How do you know if it is the 'right' time to have a baby?

How do you know if it is the 'right' time to have a baby?

Written in 2014 (It is the beginning of my second book...that I haven't written yet)

I would like to have a baby. 

My maternal instincts are going wild. 

I can’t stop interacting with snot filled toothy faces that peep out of prams on the bus.

I visualise future Christmas gatherings and imagine a family portrait taken on the stairs off a large hall (very Escape to the Country) with a giant Christmas tree at the foot (naturally we are all wearing white!).

However it is likely this wouldn’t be a reality as a)We are not the Von Traps and b) I would be banned from buying a giant tree as the swearing and sweating of carrying it would definitely buy at least 15 minutes of sulking time from my partner. 

At 32, I am suddenly paying attention to what it would be like to carry a small person. How would I physically do it?

As a five foot 2 woman with a fairly generous pair of baps, would the bump hitch them so high that I would be sporting a breast filled neck thermal? I don’t look good in polo necks. I don’t have the right proportions. 

How do you build up the upper body strength to carry a vaguely stylish handbag, a baby and unlock a door when I start to shake and panic a little when I have to hold ‘plank’ in yoga?

How to you afford the ‘nursery’ set ups you see in Ok magazine? If you do gather the money together, how do you keep them so pristine that the ‘cosmic latte’ walls and  the ‘tapestry beige’ carpets are not splattered with tea  and felt tip pen. 

Then of course of the birth. How high is my pain threshold? How do you know these things?

For years I have wanted to scream through my irritable hayfever eyes that I rubbed like a psychotic teddy bear until I gave in and went indoors with Liz Earle.

The two holes in my leg (one created by sliding into my particular pointy Ikea bed in my lounging pants and the other falling off a pavement in my Mary Jane’s) really hurt at the time. The pavement incident even took me to A and E as I thought I had broken my ankle. I hadn’t, the booze had just worn off , I was little emotional and in agony. I should have stayed under my duvet with some Kettle Chips and a Friends box set. 

Apart from that I have been lucky enough to have a pain free life so far.

Oh wait a second, I am forgetting the first time I had a Brazilian wax and I thought true violent thoughts towards the beautician (but did not act on them) but a strong lager and a Nurofen afterwards helped future appointments. 

Now judging by the distressed faces and the farmyard sounds of One Born Every Minute, giving birth really hurts. Occasionally you get a woman who has the metal attitude of a Gladiator and log flumes a little bundle of joy, sweat free before her man has made it back from having a smoke and a trip to the vending machine. 

But that doesn’t seem to be the majority…and myself and my partner are watching closely…sometimes again on Channel 4 plus 1.

When I daydream about the above, I always think ‘Well, I’ll figure it out. I have a great group of friends and family who would be thrilled with the new addition and if I was being melodramatic in any way, they would tell me to have a word with myself’. 

The main nagging question is…is it the right time? Are we ready? I have starting reading and bombarding friends, colleagues and randoms at parties (I blame my age!)

‘Did you know when it was the right time?’ ‘ How do you juggle life and make it work?’.

I seem to get the same answers. ‘There is never a right time and I don’t a lot of the time, I am tired, feel guilty but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

So in reality, I am no further on, really. I trained as a life coach and apply many of those principles to my own life. I am not from the wishy washy, vague school of thought….I like to know what it is I am aiming for (setting a goal) and then take action (I love a to do plan of action). 

It was becoming very apparent that the decision was left to the individual couple and the right time meant very different states for different people. For us, we knew it was never going be about the ‘cosmic latte’ walls. 

My partner and I are both freelance creatives. We didn’t join the ‘rat race’ and we make our livings through coaching, acting, writing, blogging, talking and playing on a schedule that we create. We design our own lives. We don’t have paid holidays, we have better months than others, we have great friends and family and enjoy our lives together, individually and as a couple. 

We love children. At family gatherings or special occasions we can often be seen hand standing, playing rock, paper, scissors or becoming unnecessarily competitive during a game of rounders. 

I trained as an actress and when I left I worked at a children’s play and music centre and then became a nanny for many families I met there on a part time basis between acting jobs. I expanded my den making skills, I learnt how to take command of a parachute with no suffocations and had an abundance of nursery rhymes ringing and screeching through my brain 24-7. I have been known to sit bolt upright in the middle of the night singing Incy Wincy Spider with actions. (Now I am just showing off). 

My aim with this book is to track our own journey and also help you as a creative to unlock the answers for you.

To be continued...

Podcast: Episode Twelve // Annie Ridout, founder and the editor of The Early Hour

Podcast: Episode Twelve // Annie Ridout, founder and the editor of The Early Hour

Podcast:  Episode Eleven // Anna Hardy

Podcast: Episode Eleven // Anna Hardy

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