Are You Ready To Be A Parent? Answer These 4 Questions First

You don’t really think that having kids is just about baking brownies, buying cute little clothes, going to soccer games and reading bedtime stories, right? Far from it! It can be equal parts grueling and rewarding. Dr. Phil explains there is a level of emotional, financial and physical commitment that many don't anticipate. Ask yourself these four questions to help determine if you’re ready to become a parent.

1. Have you thought of the long-term commitment?
Are you willing to make the sacrifices of money, emotion, sleep and energy, and put much of your life on hold for decades to come? There is an implied contract with the child that you are saying, “I will be your fiduciary. I will protect you along the way.” That takes a ton of work along with sacrifice after sacrifice.

2. Have you looked at it from your potential child's point of view?
Babies don't have a vote, so you need to look at all your circumstances from a baby’s point of view and ask: “Would I want you to be my mom or dad?” Are you in a position to offer a stable environment emotionally and financially? If you're not ready, it’s your job to get ready before you bring a baby into this world.

3. Are you and your partner on the same page?
Do you and your significant other have a game plan for raising the child? Have you discussed and agree on discipline, religion and education? Who will take care of the child and who will work? Figure out a plan before you get pregnant.

4. Are you having the child for the right reasons?
Have you examined why you want to be a parent? Children shouldn't be born with a job — like saving your marriage or giving you unconditional love, if that’s what you’re thinking. Think long and hard about your true motivations.