Here are eight signs you're ready to be a parent:
1. You are married. The optimal condition for a child is having a mom and dad who are happily and healthily married. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that a single man or woman can't be a good parent. I'm not saying that a gay person can't be a good parent. I'm just saying that the optimal condition for a child is having both a mother and a father. Anything else is not optimal - it's what you want. And again, I don't care about what you want. I only care about what a child needs, and kids' needs haven't changed since human beings have been around.
2. You are prepared to live on one income. Either you or your spouse needs to be around to love, nurture and influence your own kid. If you can't or don't want to do this, then don't make babies.
3. You are not an emotional wreck. If you're an emotional wreck before having kids, then the challenges of having a baby are really going to put you over the edge. If you struggle with depression, anxiety or self-image issues, then don't have kids. A child needs parents who are reasonably healthy and stable, not bouncing off the walls. Trust me - the first week alone is enough to challenge the abilities of Thor.
4. You have a home. It doesn't matter if it's a house, apartment or condo. It just needs to be safe and secure. One or two moves normally happen in most people's lives, but moving around a lot deprives kids of a sense of stability and continuity.
5. You don't feel like killing your spouse on a daily basis. If you and your spouse don't see eye-to-eye on most things or can't negotiate through tough decisions, then don't make babies. Parents need to be a team. If one of you permits everything and the other permits nothing, it will not only mess up your kids, but it will destroy your marriage.
6. You have the support of your friends and family. It makes parenting much easier.
7. You are happy with what you've accomplished in life so far. The early years of parenthood are all-consuming to the point that you have to make appointments with your own tush to go to the bathroom. Whether it's professional or creative, you're going to have a big dip in productivity because you won't be able to do as much as you used to. You need to have a sense of accomplishment under your belt already so that when you hit your dry spell, you are not resentful of your kids.
8. You really want a baby. Don't do it because your spouse wants one or you think you ought to want one.