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Having a baby can seem like a huge decision. Yes, you’re loved up and in a long-term relationship. Yes, your finances aren’t as tragic as they have been. But how do you know when you’re ready? Really, really know?
Take a look at our fun (but truthful) tick list.
1. You notice babies EVERYWHERE. When before you’d lust after a coat or pair of shoes, now the only thing on your radar are babies. From newborn frog babies in papooses to chunky sit-up babies (you’ve no idea how old they are) and chatty toddlers - the are all around you.
2. You give babies gooey smiles. And then notice your partner has the exact same expression, so you feel all warm and tingly.
3. Your friends and work colleagues are announcing a pregnancy every other week. Sure, it’s not a competition but...
4. You talk about what great parents you’re going to be and how you’re going to do everything differently to your sleep-deprived, puke-down-their-back friends. Fat chance!
5. You pore over baby photos of your partner. Your baby is going to be so cute!
6. You talk A LOT about baby names. You have a mental list and feel ridiculously put out when a friend nabs ‘your’ name or your partner jeers at your favourite name of the week.
7. You wish you hadn’t given the best name ever to your cat.
8. You gravitate towards the baby sections in department stores and find yourself stroking soft sleepsuits with teeny, tiny feet.
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9. You covet baby hats, especially ones with ears or shaped like tiny strawberries. You may even have bought one and hidden it guiltily in a bottom drawer.
10. You’re always the one begging to hold your friend’s newborn baby. You find it strangely thrilling that you do the baby swaying thing automatically. Surely, a sign you’re going to be a natural mother.
11. You quiz your mother about her birth stories - and don’t feel even the teeniest bit revolted. You’re delighted when she says her babies arrived quickly, because you’ve been told that it’s hereditary.
12. You spend more evenings in than out. Standing in a pub shouting has lost its allure over the years and now you much prefer sofa-slobbing coupledom with the latest Netflix drama. Having a baby is so not going to change your lifestyle, you tell yourselves.
13. You’ve checked out what maternity leave you’d get from work and done quite a few sums about whether you could take a whole year off.
14. You spend a lot of time imagining having a spring baby and spending a summer lying on picnic blankets with a baby.
15. Of course you’re not ‘old, old’. But you’re infuriated by the endless ‘helpful’ articles about the ideal age to conceive and women your age freezing their eggs to ‘be on the safe side’.
16. You day dream about telling everyone you are pregnant and their ecstatic reaction. Finally, your parents will stop asking if you have ‘any news’ with a desperate look every time you stay.