There is plenty of sunshine and roses that comes with parenthood, but as any parent with an ounce of honesty will tell you, it's also the toughest gig you'll ever have. Sure, all of those family pictures your friends post on Facebook look like the stuff of fairy tales, but behind every shining little face is the truth: They will change your lives in ways you could never imagine, and not all of those ways are good.
So while clocks may be ticking and ovaries are aching for a little babe, it's best that people go into parenthood with their eyes wide open. Because the fact is not everyone can handle it nor should they attempt to do so. For some, it's just not the right time in their life, and waiting is a better option. For others, it should probably just be a big permanent never. To determine how prepared you are to become a parent, here are 10 very important questions you should ask yourself before becoming one:
1. Do you like to sleep in?
If your answer is yes, consider getting a gerbil. If no, continue to the next question.
2. Are you totally cool with someone throwing up all over you? Repeatedly?
If yes, then I question your sanity for the job. If no, don't worry, you'll get used to it.
3. Can you go three days without sleep and still drive a car?
If you answered no, make sure you live by a reliable means of public transportation before getting pregnant. If yes, I want whatever it is you've got.
4. Do you require privacy to do your business in the bathroom?
If yes, prepare for problems, and invest in a good laxative.
5. Are you prepared to say goodbye to the sound of yourself thinking for at least the next 18 years?
If no, don't worry, you will quickly forget that such a sound even existed. There are plenty of new and unusual sounds that will take its place (Mommmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyy!).
6. Do you have a whole list of things you'll NEVER do as a parent? Do you hate to be wrong?
If yes to both, start by ripping that list up right now.
7. Do you love input from strangers on things that are none of their business and adore being judged for pretty much every move you make?
If no, proceed with caution and start practicing deep breathing techniques.
8. Can you clean up puke, change 10 crib sheets, make dinner, and help someone do homework while running a fever of 103?
Okay, no one thinks they can.
9. Do you like to fly on airplanes and eat in restaurants without the burning eyes of hatred from hundreds of glaring strangers searing into your skin?
If yes, think of adopting a 17-year-old. People usually start to be kinder to kids in public around that age.
10. Are you good at scraping things off of floors -- like oh, say ... your PRIDE?
This is pretty much the biggest deal breaker. Your personal pride all but evaporates it comes to leaking breasts, public potty accidents, and children who blurt out exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. The best you can do is scrape up the scraps and carry on.
Bonus question: Are you prepared for the most rewarding and amazing roller coaster ride of your life that's worth any of the hard stuff?
If yes, then get to procreating, because the rest of it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things.
More from The Stir:
5 Ways to Get the Most From Your Baby
The 3 Rudest Things People Do to Pregnant Women
5 Totally Weird Pregnancy Symptoms
The 5 Greatest Pregnant Celebrity Magazine Covers of All Time