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3 Signs You're Ready To Be A Mom

{The author, pregnant. Taken by the talented David Urbanic.}

My sweet, sweet bestie Barbara King – actress, writer and Mom of the Century – is back with the latest of her series on motherhood in Los Angeles. She wrote this rebuttal to a post I shared a few months ago about my fear of motherhood and everything that comes with it. FULL DISCLAIMER, MOM: I’M (STILL) NOT PREGNANT. I had three delicious cocktails last night, and plan to continue pretending my dogs are my children for just a little while longer. But here’s why Barbara thinks I should throw that plan out the window…

Dearest Annie,

A few months ago you wrote an article called, “The Baby Question,” addressing the clash between your love of babies and your utter and absolute fear of actually becoming a mom. In your opinion, your career isn’t where you want it, your yard doesn’t have enough play space, and your love for wine and sushi is a little too strong to give up for 9+ months. And you’re especially afraid that you won’t be able to be the mom you want unless you “drop everything else.” Kind of an accurate assessment of your headspace, right? (Editor’s note: YES.)

Well, I have good news. None of that matters.

The ultimate paradox of “the right time” for motherhood rings true for all moms:

Even when you’re ready, you’re not ready,

and even if you’re not ready, you’re ready.

Go ahead, read it again.

It’s like a Dr. Seuss algebra equation about babies, but I promise you, it is real. I don’t know any mom who floats through motherhood with the ease Parents magazine and Pinterest would make us believe is possible. Because it isn’t possible. Motherhood is messy. Motherhood is hard. Motherhood will make your heart grow and grow and grow and float away on a string into the clouds. Motherhood is magical. Motherhood is sad. Motherhood is everything you’ve imagined – good and bad – and at the same time nothing you could ever imagine. Motherhood is perfection on a fucking stick, even when nothing is perfect. Motherhood is beauty defined.

Truthfully, nothing can adequately prepare a woman for all of these wonderful, beautiful, heartbreaking elements of motherhood. But I do know that being ready to be a mom has NOTHING to do with money, a house, or a career. It’s not about being married or reaching a certain age. It’s not about the school district you live in or nursery color scheme you’ve chosen. These outside indicators don’t make a mom – and certainly don’t have anything to do with being a good mom. Actually being ready comes from within, and really it’s quite simple to know when you are ready. So here you go, Annie…

3 Signs You're Ready To Be A Mom

{On the set of Tony Cavalero and Josh McDermitt’s film, 6 days before I gave birth. I also performed improv with these guys the day before I gave birth and was back performing just a couple of months later. See – you CAN have it all.}

3 Signs You’re Ready to be a Mom

SIGN 1: You’re pregnant.

Yup, I’m serious. If you are pregnant then you are just as ready to be a mom than your high school friend who has been planning her perfect pregnancy for years. Not everyone who becomes a mom happily charted their ovulating temperature for months to gear up to the perfect time for conception. (Confession – that charting mama-to-be was totally me.) Sometimes it’s a complete oops and it seems to happen way more than you could imagine. Some of my best friends (both married and single) are parents for no other reason than they did that thing that gets you pregnant. And although the pregnancy was entirely unexpected, I see no difference between the “being ready” that happens to a woman who tried for years with her husband to make a baby and the “being ready” that happens to a woman who unexpectedly got pregnant with a man she just started dating. I spoke to a friend of mine who falls into the latter category and she put it so simply: “When you’re pregnant and in that moment, only one thing is clear. I’m Mommy.”

3 Signs You're Ready To Be A Mom

{You know you’re “ready” when you decorate your Christmas tree with positive pregnancy tests.}

SIGN 2: You get The Urge.

You refered to a “primal urge” some moms mention in the article you wrote. The Urge is that unexplainable, uncontrollable, undeniable need to have a baby RIGHT NOW. From what I’ve heard from my mommy friends – it’s like a switch flipped inside. You go from a blissful mimosa-sipping wife curled up on the couch to a fire-breathing-baby-needing-possessed-maniac popping prenatals like Starburst and scheduling thrice daily sexcapades with your husband to MAKE A BABY RIGHT FREAKING NOW. The Urge can happen to anyone – even those women who “never wanted a baby” – and The Urge can’t really be planned for, as it’s nature’s way to punch some sense into over-thinkers.

3 Signs You're Ready To Be A Mom

{Practicing swaddling on our pups to help “get ready” for baby.}

SIGN 3: You can’t afford NOT to have kids.

My mom always told me that the time would never be right to have kids. And like with most advice my mom gives, I foolishly didn’t believe her at first. I figured that for me, I would JUST KNOW the time was right. And after several years of marriage, enjoying kid-free travel, building my acting resume, and creating a home in Los Angeles, it seemed like the right time was getting closer – but not yet arrived. Just one more pilot season. One more bedroom. One more car. And then on a typically sunny afternoon my husband offered this wee piece of advice: We can’t afford to have kids, but we can’t afford not to have them. He was right. So was my mom. All this checking off of arbitrary lists wasn’t leading me any closer to being ready to be a mom. The stars WILL align – but you have to allow them to align. So, assuming you aren’t pregnant, and you haven’t gotten The Urge, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself – can I afford NOT to have kids right now? The answer, at least today, will most likely be “uh, yeah. I can totally afford not to have them right now because my husband’s show is airing in a month, I have a great trip planned for the spring, and I’m busy writing another screenplay.” Then ask yourself again in a few months. Maybe the answer will be, “I think so. Yes, I can afford not to have kids right now. At least I think I can. Maybe.” And then ask again, and again. And then perhaps one time you will ask and the answer will be, “No. I can’t afford not to have kids. I can’t afford not to have kids! TONY!”

3 Signs You're Ready to Be A Mom

{The best part of getting ready to be a mom? Our “babymoon” in Ojai.}

All I ask of you, is that a few months after you realize the time is indeed right, invite me over. I’ll gladly bring non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice and baby-safe hard cheese and we can make fun of baby names together while we paint our nails with non-toxic polish.

xoxo

Barbara

Barbara King-Wilson is an actress and writer living with her family in Los Angeles. Follow her @TheBarbaraKing and visit her at www.barbaraking.com! For past posts by Barbara, get over here, here, here AND here!

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  • Heidi Hawk

    Well shit. All my excuses have been challenged. But I can say that no ready for a baby TODAY, but maybe, just maybe, I can let go of that plan just a little bit. Maybe. But definitely not today. Don’t see it happening tomorrow either.

    But serious wonderful food for thought and post.

    • Annie

      Haha love this! Agree completely. If I could clone Barbara’s daughter Matisse, though, I’d have a baby today… But otherwise, I’m going to enjoy my wine and freedom just a little bit longer!! Thanks so much for reading!! X A


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