All my life I've said I never wanted children. Even as a little kid, baby dolls gave me the creeps. As a result, I've spent my adult life diligently doing all the things I need to do to make sure I never accidentally end up pregnant. Another side effect of this is that I don't really have any conversations with my partner about having kids. I'm not avoiding it; it just doesn't really come up. Since it's not exactly a hot topic in my house, it's really important to stay tuned into the signs they want to have a baby. For most people, deciding to have kids is a process, which means it's possible to pick up on clues that your partner is heading down the road toward wanting to start a family with you.
So what should you be looking for in your partner to know they are catching baby fever? I asked April Masini, a relationship and etiquette expert for the Relationship Advice Forum, about clues that our SO's biological clock has started ticking. She says if your partner is doing these seven things, there may be a nursery in your near future.
1. They've Started Volunteering To Babysit
Remember when date night meant going out on adventures in the city together? If that’s become a a thing of the past, replaced with nights in babysitting your partner's nieces and nephews, that's a clear sign that your SO “is subtly pushing the envelope on the ticking clock." She says,
"They’re trying to get you used to being with kids, and incorporating the kids into your lives."
2. They've Started Noticing Kids Everywhere
I have to confess: Kids are mostly invisible to me — unless they are crying. You are more likely to notice the things that are on your mind and that you desire. For me, a vintage handbag never slips below my radar. So if your partner is suddenly noticing all the adorable kids around them and pointing them out to you, when before they would hardly have spared them a glance, it may be a sign they are catching baby fever.
3. They've Become Very Excited For Friends With Baby News
We all get excited for our friends when they have good news, but does your partner seem extra excited when your friends announce they are preggo? Do their eyes light up and look wistful? Uh oh, you in danger, girl.
4. They've Started Including More People With Kids In Your Friend Circle
Have you noticed that your partner is ushering a new group of people into your life — people with kids? Or have they begun focusing their energy more on friends who just so happen to also be parents? If "your partner starts including more young parents with kids than you’d had in your social circle before ... [it's] his or her way of conditioning you to family life," says Masini. "It’s also a way to start a support network of other parents who have kids, so that if and when you do have them, you’re better set up."
5. They've Started Having Tons Of Fun Playing With Their Friends' Kids
Has your partner started getting excited to see their nieces and nephews or friend's kids because they are just so fun to goof around with? Yeah, they are in full on baby mode.
6. They've Started Saying What A Good Mom You'll Be... Someday
We all love it when our SO tells us how amazing we are, but when compliments include things like, "You’re going to make an amazing parent!" or "I can’t wait to see you with our baby one day!" Masini says that your partner is hinting at their desire to start a family and to get you onboard, too. "These are the kinds of compliments that get into your head and make you rethink your identity. If you never considered yourself as a parent before, these are the kinds of comments that will make you think you possibly could be!"
7. They've Started Saying Things Like “When We Have Kids” Like It's No Big Deal
Has your partner started talking about the future — a future that includes a couple of kids running around — like it's not a huge freaking deal? That's a pretty big flashing sign that they are thinking about starting a family in the not-too-distant future, and they would like to do it with you.
So now you know what to look for when determining if your partner is interested in the whole "starting a family" thing. But how do you feel? When you watch your partner, does that fill you with excitement or dread? Whatever you decide, just make sure it's on your agreed-upon timeline. As cute as your SO is when rough housing with your cousins, starting a family is nothing you want to rush into. Good luck!
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