Having a baby sounds like such a magical world. Who wouldn’t want a sweet little combination of two people in love? Sure you’ve heard the stories about sleep deprivation, laundry piles, and the never-ceasing worry, but it’s so worth it. And that’s true. But here’s the thing—those babies grow into medium-sized humans. And you’re still responsible for them.

I think my son said it best while we were navigating our latest parenting course with the 11-year-old. “Parenting is like riding a bike . . . except the bike is on fire.”

Truth. So much truth. So while it is absolutely worth it, there are a few things to consider before you decide to jump in to reproducing. You’re NOT ready to be a parent if . . . 

  • You aren’t willing to ask for or accept help.
  • You can’t function on less than six hours of sleep.
  • You love your own agenda, schedule, and daily life and don’t want to alter is drastically.
  • You are only able to pee or poop by yourself with no audience.
  • You take everything personally.
  • You can’t allow your child to make his or her own mistakes and learn from the consequences.
  • You won’t give your child consequences.
  • You can’t say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.”
  • You won’t accept that your child is not perfect.
  • You aren’t willing to love someone with all your being, yet hate them at the same time and still stick around.
  • You think you are the perfect parent.
  • You can’t listen to, “I hate you! You ruined my life!” after doling out consequences and laugh it off knowing you are actually doing what’s best.
  • You aren’t consistent.
  • You plan on continuing the “party life” after children.
  • Your social life means everything to you and is your first priority.
  • You think your friendships will always stay the same and will never grow and change.
  • You think having children will be the answer to make you happy.
  • You aren’t ready to be the most unselfish person on the planet.
  • You aren’t willing to display adult behavior in every relationship you have with others.
  • You plan to neglect your relationship with your significant other.
  • You aren’t willing to ask for or accept help. (Yes this was already on here. But the words, “It takes a village to raise a child” are absolutely true.)

But there’s hope. You ARE ready to be a parent if . . . 

  • You are willing to do whatever it takes to put the needs of your child before your own.

Kids need stability, consistency, and parents willing to ask for and accept help. They need love. They need to see you model adult behaviors because they learn from watching you. Parenting is the scariest roller coaster you’ll ever be on. Hang on tight and don’t let go.

Welcome to the parenting club. Oh, and I’ll let you in on a little secret . . . none of us know what we are doing.

Bailey Koch

The story of Bailey Koch finding her love for and strength in writing begins with near tragedy. In February of 2012, Bailey's husband was nearly killed in a head-on collision with a semi truck. As a method of getting information to friends and family, Bailey began a Caring Bridge page. Immediately, others began commenting that Bailey should be a writer. "Yeah right!" Bailey thought. "There's no way I could do that!" "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" was published in March 2015 and is written by Jeremy and Bailey Koch. It details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. High school sweethearts, Jeremy and Bailey know their lives were meant for each other and to help others by being honest about their story. They are proud parents of two beautiful, and often rambunctious, boys, Hudson and Asher. You can learn more about their journey and even purchase the eBook or paperback copy of "Never Alone" at www.jeremyandbailey.com. Additionally, a new book written for families to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression is now available. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is available at www.jeremyandbailey.com as well. Jeremy and Bailey found their purpose in helping others find hope when suffering from a disability, especially unseen illnesses like depression. Jeremy, who suffers from suicidal thoughts, continues to learn to live, not simply stay alive, through hope from God and the acceptance of help. Bailey is his biggest supporter and left her teaching job, after being in public education for seven years, to focus on what the two know to be God's plan. Bailey now works as a Lecturer in Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and will graduate with her doctoral degree in Special Education from Walden University sometime in 2019. Jeremy and Bailey co-own and operate Natural Escapes, a landscaping and greenhouse services business that also includes a paint your own pottery and canvas family art studio. The passion to advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves is strong. Bailey has a message of hope and acceptance for all; she has plans to completely demolish the societal stigma attached to mental illness.