AM I FINANCIALLY SOLVENT? You don't have to be bathing in dollar bills but babies do cost money. I know they're small and you might think you can just empty your knicker drawer and make them a little bed but in this situation love won't see you through. The costs mount up fast, especially in the first few months; not to mention the fact that you may want to pay for childcare in the near future. No matter the source of your income if you're struggling to support yourself it might not be the most responsible choice to add another little person to the load. If you're in doubt why not consider giving yourself six months to save a goal amount of money. This will help you pay for the essentials but will also let you know if you have the discipline to keep to a budget.
DO WE RESPECT EACH OTHER? If you plan to have the baby with a partner then it's essential that you can show them RESPECT when they get home. You don't have to love them, heck I'm not sure you have to like them but you have to be able to be honest with them, share their values and agree on parenting decisions. Sorry to jump on board the negativity bus but the fact is that even if you're more in love than that couple from 'The Notebook' you might not be together forever. You will, however, continue to be parents. Parenting is a hard when you place the other person on par with pond scum.
AM I FACING UP TO MY EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES? You don't not have to be perfect to be a parent, in fact it's probably best to be knowingly imperfect. When you're living for yourself it can be easy to tuck the fears, lies and bad behaviours into the back of your shoe cupboard. Children shine a light on all those dark corners and it's much easier to clean up your mess (literally and spiritually) without a needy baby to be present for. That thing your mum, your ex and your doctor keep bugging you about; the things that you think about at 3AM - confront them now.
AM I TRYING TO FIX SOMETHING? One of the most unkind things a mother can do is allow their child to be born with the burden of fixing her crap. There is no guarantee that your child will make you feel loved, important or worthy. Really question your decsion to become pregnant. Mothers are sometimes placed on a pedestal by society; held up as these wonderful, selfless beings whose every waking thought is for their darling offspring. Anyone with a mother probably knows this isn't the case. If you're searching for something do your hypothetical child a favour, give him a break,
Of course if you're reading my blog the chances are I'm a little late to the party but the beauty of these four questions is it's never to late to ask them. You can spend the early days of motherhood in a bit of denial (Sure I can survive on two hours sleep!) so don't miss the opportunity to be really honest with yourself and your new baby.