When Prince Harry admitted he’d love to have kids it sent the press into a state of wild excitement and had broody women everywhere wondering how to get hold of his number.
Sadly, unlike the enlightened royal, not all men are able to identify when it’s time to take the plunge into parenthood. If your partner is procrastinating about procreation here are a few signs that he’s ready, whether he likes it or not.
He has developed an interest in DIY
It’s a bit like a male version of nesting but involves a lot more power tools. And dust. His urge to knock down a wall stems from a subconscious desire to create an open plan kitchen-living space in which he can cook a pasta bake AND keep an eye on a small child.
Babies don’t paralyse him with fear
He used to back away muttering something about an old wrist injury, now when offered a newborn to hold he happily scoops it up in his big protective, manly arms … Not only is he ready for one of his own, you’ll feel a sudden urge to make it with him. There and then (let him hand the baby back first).
He wants a pet
Something to nurture, something to cuddle: why not just go the extra yard and get him a tiny human? Sell the idea to him by pointing out that a child will eventually learn to poo in the toilet, unlike a dog.
He’s coasting at work…
He may once have been an ambitious go getter eager to “reach out” to colleagues and “share learnings” on his way up the corporate ladder. But there’ll come a point when he starts wondering if there’s more to life than impressive excel skills and a job in middle management… Like children perhaps. Or a very fast car.
… And he skips office drinks
His workmates are off to the pub to bitch about whoever keeps leaving threatening Post It note messages in the fridge, but your man would rather get home before bath time. Now all he needs is a baby to bath. On Saturdays he prefers getting comfortable on the sofa with a lamb dhansak to tumbling in at 4am reeking of tequila and carrying fried chicken he doesn’t remember buying. His body is clearly telling him it’s time to settle down.
He can’t dance
Maybe he never could, but something’s changed: he’s started to dance... like his dad.
He’s up early for a wee anyway
In his early 20s his alarm clock cruelly cut short his slumber every morning, now it’s a reminder that he’s been up since 6am because his bladder can no longer hold it together for the full eight hours. This is partly down to the ageing process and partly nature preparing him for early rising offspring.
He’s lost a yard of pace
After playing football does he complain about his crumbling joints and opponents who cheat by being younger and faster? A child is a perfect excuse to ditch weekend sporting commitments without admitting it’s because he can’t keep up anymore.
He’s happy by the pool
Worthy travelling expeditions that involve trekking up a mountain wearing ill-fitting sandals are all very well. But imagine reaching Machu Picchu with a soiled baby strapped to your back and realising you’ve run out of wet wipes. Once he’s admitted to himself he’d rather lounge around an all-inclusive resort you know it’s safe to let him organise a family holiday.
He doesn’t turn One Born Every Minute off…
… Obviously he’s not really watching, but he does seem to be welling up quite a lot.
All his friends have kids
And these days they hang out at soft play. He’ll soon realise it’s a lot less awkward going to soft play if you have a child.