Some little person will be calling you “Mommy” one day—the question is, should you start saving now for his or her therapy bills, or should you be finding space on your shelf for those Mother of the Year trophies? Most, if not all, women who hope to become parents question whether they’re fit for the job. The good news is, perfection is not a prerequisite—and it’s the ones who worry who usually don’t need to worry…simply being concerned is a sign that you are conscientious!
Here are 5 other ways to know your child will be in good hands—and we have a feeling you’ll ace them all!
1. You have never, personally, starved to death.
Sometimes you don’t hear the growling of your stomach when you’re really busy. Good news: your baby will cry a lot louder than your stomach can growl. In fact, your own baby’s cry is very difficult to tune out (and really, a baby crying shouldn’t be ignored…unless by “baby,” you mean a 7-year-old crying that you won’t buy her another tiara).This means you will feed your children, and they will not perish from lack of nutrition.
2. You can count to 10.
Yesterday, my three year-old-son was shouting, “Mommy, can I have some milk PLEASE!” at the top of his lungs. It was 5 a.m. I did not kill him. I counted to ten, exhaled, gave him his cup and went back to bed. I do remember worrying that when I became a mother, I’d have trouble controlling my temper. The “count to 10” rule when you start feeling mad really works. Somewhere between 7 and 8, I talk myself out of physical harm, and by 9 or 10, I remember the mantra, “This, too, shall pass.”
3. You’ve made big decisions before.
Maybe it was whether to buy or rent. Maybe it was whether to major in Spanish or accounting. Whatever was up for debate, you carefully considered the options and were able to make a choice that seemed right for you. This is exactly what you will be doing as a mother—deciding whether to work outside the home or stay home, whether to breast-feed or formula-feed. Many people will have opinions on what the right answer is, but ultimately, it’s not that black-and-white, and every set of parents must decide for themselves and their child. You need to be able to think things out—and live with what you decide.
4. You are halfway decent at choosing presents for at least one person who doesn’t have the same tastes as you.
It sounds trivial…but passing this little “test” means you’re not a total narcissist, which is great news, because narcissists do not make amazing parents. You, on the other hand, are fully capable of seeing the world from someone else’s perspective. One minute, you’re making Aunt Sue tear up at her 60th birthday party with a Precious Moments potholder…the next, you’ve figured out why your baby is being so cranky.
5. You know you don’t know everything.
If you think you know everything, and never listen to the pediatrician’s advice or even just conventional wisdom…you might end up making some really terrible decisions, like driving with the baby on your lap or smoking in bed while co-sleeping. If you’re capable of deferring to experts, you’ll heed their advice and not do those things. This very act will extend your child’s life expectancy. (I’m not kidding!)
See, that wasn’t so bad! Basically, being a good, thoughtful person is the only real prerequisite of being a mom. So now that this is all settled…time to stock up on a great prenatal vitamin and let the baby-making begin!