Want to have a baby? Make sure it's for the right reasons -- because you love children and are emotionally and
financially prepared for the responsibility of raising one or more of your own.
are many reasons for wanting a child. Too many, however, are based on false assumptions and can potentially result in
a baby being born to parents who are unable or unwilling to care for it.
First of all, giving birth
does not make you more of a woman, and fathering a child does not make you more of a man. Even the most primitive animals
can mate and breed. My gerbils produced several litters before I separated them.
Secondly, it's naive to
want to have a baby so you'll have someone to love you. It doesn't work that way. Babies don't emerge from the
womb loving you. But they do come into the world with A LOT of needs that it's up to their parents to meet.
You do not have an "obligation"
to reproduce because you come from a fantastically superior gene pool, or because your parents want to become grandparents.
The decision to become a mother or father is a highly personal one.
you love your partner so much that you long to produce a miniature version of him or her? This sounds noble but when
taken by itself is not a compelling enough reason for conceiving a baby. First of all, that baby will be his or her
own person, with his/her own mind and personality, not a carbon copy of either one of you. And second, if things go
sour between you and your mate, how will you feel towards the child afterward? And are you prepared to raise a child
alone should your partner die or leave you? Think about it.
Nor is it EVER a good practice for a woman to become pregnant in order to get her boyfriend
to marry her, or to save a marriage that already has its problems. The short explanation is that it won't work.
First and foremost, a baby should be wanted (and planned) by both parents. Should a woman turn up with a "surprise"
pregnancy, her man may "do the right thing" and marry her, but if he hadn't already loved her enough to marry her beforehand,
his heart won't be in the union and chances are the marriage will not last. By the same token, having a child will not
strengthen a weak marriage. Raising a child involves such a complex web of problems in itself that attempting
to do so with the added strain of a poor marriage can, in fact, tear that marriage apart for good.
Babies are not dolls. They cannot be tossed aside when you're tired of taking care
of them. Babies are tiny, helpless human beings who are 100% dependent on YOU. They need 24-hour-a-day care.
This means that you do not have the luxury of walking away from the baby if you don't feel well, if you're having a bad day
or a migraine or an upset tummy. You don't get a "vacation" from parenthood. Nor do you get to go out partying
with your friends every night. Once you have your first child, those days are over.
Children also cost money, and a lot of it. Ask anyone who has them.
Once you make a decision to bring a child into the world, that child must come first,
before anyone and anything else. That baby didn't ask to be born; this was YOUR decision. And don't kid yourself
by saying the pregnancy was accidental. All pregnancies start off the same way. You had sex, correct? Unless
the contraception failed for some reason, it was no accident. I don't buy that wide-eyed innocent "I don't know how
it happened." YOU know how it happened.
Don't introduce another child into society unless and until you know what raising a child entails. Learn everything
you can about birth control. Read up on baby and child care. Take parenting classes. If possible, spend
a day with a young mother. The time to do this is BEFORE conception. If you're old enough to engage in sexual
intercourse, you're old enough to be responsible about it. Don't like condoms? TOO BAD. Don't want to take
the Pill because it might make you gain weight? Wait'll you see how much you gain if you DON'T take it!!!
Life does not have to be devoid of romance or closeness.
If you care about somebody, it's hard to say no. You don't necessarily have to say no. Just say wait! Use
your common sense, maturity, and protection! DON'T
LET ANYBODY FORCE YOU INTO THIS VERY PERSONAL, EXTREMELY IMPORTANT DECISION!!!
Birth Control: What Works and What Doesn't