Who’s Ready for Baby?

As one prepares for the impending visit from the stork, a common thought often crosses the mind: Am I ready to be a parent/for children? I know I have frequently wondered this and my analytical nature naturally has me going through the pros and cons of readiness, what quantifies a “ready” parent, etc. What everyone will tell you is that you’re never “ready” for children, they just kind of happen to you and you cope as best you can, as if they were a cancer diagnosis or such.
Sometimes children do just happen, but other times people decide to have children. I know that part of me is ready. Obviously my body is ready, my mind is ready, as much as it can be. I have a pretty good idea of some of the things to expect from my time working in child care. At least the basics and unpredictability of children. What worries me sometimes is whether my husband is ready for children.

It kinda scares the hell out of me that my husband has absolutely no worry or trepidation about becoming a parent. He’s never changed a diaper, held an infant or such. He has very little knowledge about babies. Historically, every time he’s gotten this complacent about a topic he makes mistakes, sometimes a lot of mistakes. It worries me that he just feels everything will just be fine. I feel that a little trepidation (but not too much) keeps you alert enough to not make careless mistakes. It can keep you aware & alert of your surroundings.  Careless mistakes can be really bad when a child is involved. How many parents are in the Emergency Department saying “I just walked away for a second”?

Also causing issue for me is his behavior is still rather “adult light” in many cases. Bills get paid, but maybe not on time (because of lack of planning ahead.) Staying up till midnight every night of the week and getting out the door to work late every morning. He’s just so casual about well, everything. He honestly thinks everything will just turn out all right. I don’t know if he worries about anything ever.

Part of me admires his nonchalant attitude as it balances me out because I will plan everything to death and he brings me down to earth, but I don’t have the same effect on him at all. His natural inclination is always to play first and work later, which is the exact opposite of my upbringing. It drives me nuts because I often feel like I have to nag to get anything done that I can’t do myself. Or worse, after waiting far too long to get something done, I give up and end up doing it and then I get resentful about it. Especially when he gets upset because I did the job. Well, I was sick of waiting 3 months to get stuff done.

What does this have to do with parenting?  A lot. What kid is going to voluntarily pick up after themselves and do their chores first  rather than play when they see their parent not doing so. It’s not that I’m a harpy that I want my husband to be more responsible and timely in getting errands and such done. I want him to be a good role model for our children. Children will naturally take the path of least resistance (i.e. Dad’s way of doing things in our family.) They will be resentful when made to behave contrary to what has been modeled for them. I fear his behavior will teach them “Do as I say, not as I do.”  There are some old-school parenting lessons that I agree with (such as “because I said so”) but I’ve always thought that parents should try to model the behavior they wish to engender in their children.

Maybe I’m being too critical of my husband and as soon as the baby is born he’ll do a one-eighty and start being more responsible around the house more often than not. I’d like to think so. But until then, I feel like I’m already a parent, trying to get my husband to realize why these little things are important.  I don’t want to parent him, it’s not my place. Hopefully I can parent my children better than I parent my husband.

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