Pregnant in Heels star Rosie Pope, who counsels mothers-to-be, shares three signs you're prepared to make the move from newlyweds to Mom and Dad.
YOUR MARRIAGE IS SOLID
New parents need to discuss everything—the baby, sex or the lack thereof, you name it—without filter. "No matter how much you love your spouse, the child becomes priority number one, which can lead to feelings of neglect," explains Pope, herself a mother of two. "Your marriage needs to be strong enough to handle that stress, and communication is key. If you act as a team and are open and honest with each other, parenting can be so much fun."
YOU'RE IN A GOOD PLACE WITH YOURSELF.
"When you become a mom, you're suddenly an important role model, and it's imperative for your child to see you're happy with who you are," says Pope. "Nothing brings out insecurities more than being a first-time mom. Your body will change, you will sometimes feel like the world is going haywire, and you can never take off the day and stay in bed until noon." Being nervous is normal, she says, adding, "It's the people who say they aren't nervous that I worry about."
YOU'VE DISCUSSED THE PRACTICAL STUFF.
The cost of raising a child, the size of your home, where you are in your careers: They're all things to take into consideration. But don't fixate on them. "I've seen people make Excel spreadsheets about their kid's future and obsess over how they're going to pay for college, eighteen years down the road," says Pope. "Sweet, but so not helpful. You have to be flexible and resist the urge to overprepare. No one is ever really ready to be a parent, but if you're in that good place, take a leap of faith and go for it."