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Are You Ready for a Baby or Not?

Before you ditch the birth control, figure out whether you and your man are really equipped to take the pregnancy plunge.

Signs You're Ready...

Your Finances are Rock Solid Don't forget to factor in child care costs or the income hit you'll take if one of you stays home. Find out what a baby will cost you at thenestbaby.com/budget.

You Have a Support System
Friends and family are all around, and you're not ashamed to ask them for a hand. What you already know is far less important than your willingness to let others help.

You're Ready to Sacrifice "Me Time"
The selflessness that's necessary for raising children is pretty major and life-changing—so make sure that you're cool with the idea.

You Can Deal with Discord
When there's a disagreement, the two of you talk it over without any major explosions. It's not the absence of problems (get real), but your ability to openly and calmly deal with them that will make you fit parents.

You've Got Questions
Asking yourselves, "What if we mess up the kid? And how bad will the sleepless nights be?" is totally valid. Make sure you're also willing to listen to each other's answers.

Signs You're Not...

You Both Put Work First
Even if the future nanny's on speed dial and you both plan to continue to work full-time, some amount of change in your lives is inevitable. If one or both of you would feel burdened by this new "job," put it on hold.

You Still Crave Freedom
If you feel depressed at the thought of giving up those spontaneous vacations and frequent dinners out, it's a signal that you need a little more time as a twosome.

You Feel the Pressure
The only timetable for getting pregnant that matters is the one that makes sense for the two of you—not your friends or parents.

You Want a Baby Band-Aid
You hope the baby will bring the two of you closer or distract you from problems in the relationship. In fact, it'll only amplify them.

You're Not on the Same Page
Babies aren't a "give it a try, see if you like it" kind of deal. A disagreed-on pregnancy can potentially set up an unequal balance of responsibility and may result in animosity for both of you down the road.

-- Paula Kashtan

See More: Couple Issues , Getting Pregnant