Post # 1
I’m trying to deal with this realization. I’ve always wanted to be a mother, I love kids. Since moving back home, I’ve started babysitting my neice, 7 months old, and I’ve come to realize that I can’t handle being a full-time mother. I love my neice, but I just count down the hours until her mom comes back and I’m off-duty. I get so frustrated and upset when I can’t get her to behave. I know that it would be even worse if the child was my own and there was no giving her back at the end of the day and I couldn’t do that. It kills me that I would be a terrible mother when I’ve wanted to have kids my whole life. Perhaps FI and I could look into adopting an older kid, but even then, I’m terrified by the prospect.
Has anyone else ever been in this or a similar situation? I just don’t really know what to do now. I always envisioned my future with a family beyond just FI and I. I don’t know what we’ll do for the rest of our lives. I don’t know how to move past this discovery and be happy with my childfree decision. Advice?
Post # 3
@HonoraryNerd: don’t be so hard on yourself!
Children can be really challenging but your own children are different. I’m sure you will still make a great mum:)
TBH I always wanted to be a young mum and I had my first child at 22 and boy I found it so much harder than I expected but I wouldn’t change it.
Post # 4
@Honorary when its ur bby ur feelings r totally different especially in a structured relationship. Children r tailored to u, they kno ur likes and dislikes. For ex: my toddler knows I hav very lil patience so she knows wen to get it together. but it is true that motherhood isn’t for everybody.
Post # 5
@HonoraryNerd: I think you are overworrying it. If and when you have you’re only child, you’ll know them and be able to handle them better. For me, mothering was totally different to minding my nieces.
Post # 6
@HonoraryNerd: I have 3 teenagers now and sometimes I still wonder at my ability to be a mother! They can wear you down! lol
Seriously though…this is normal. She may be related to you but she is not YOURS! There is a huge difference between looking after a baby (even a niece or nephew) and having your own. I couldn’t stand babysitting anyone else’s child. But by the time they’re born you already have so much love for this baby that grew inside you.
Honestly I’d be more concerned if you thought that you were fine and had no problems. Even mothers get exhausted and tired and sometimes have to just put the baby down for a nap (whether baby wants to or not) just to keep her sanity. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love her child or is a terrible mother…it means she understands that part of looking after a baby is knowing when mom needs a break!
Post # 7
The child isn’t yours – being shuffled around to baby-sitters and inconsistencies between everyone’s parenting styles can produce some of the more classic behavior problems. I’d talk to her mom about how they handle discipline – not so you can criticize it, but if they have any pointers or things that may make the environment more consistent, could help you out.
Do you know the hunger cues to look for before she turns into a bawling mess? Do you keep her engaged – i.e., plenty of toys available, personal interaction? Do you say “no” in a firm voice when she’s doing something she shouldn’t be doing? Those three things can make a big difference. I write about childcare professionally, and I’m often involved with the American Academy of Pediatrics – their website (healthychildren.org) has tons of information that could be useful to current or aspiring parents.
Seriously, just about every issue that could be contributing to problems.
Not only that, but you likely have other things going on in your life right now. When you have your own child, no doubt the rest of the schedule will be restructured so you’re a little less stressed out.
And as others are saying – when the kid is yours, you build that relationship up consistently from birth. There is no one to a child like mom and dad. Struggling with baby-sitting does not mean you are doomed to be a poor parent.
It’s a great sign for you that you’re thinking seriously about this – that alone makes me think you’re too anxious about your future as a parent.
Post # 8
Honestly, I’m one of those people that feels that the only difference when they were “my own” is that I couldn’t give them back. My own mother, who I feel was a good mother, said to me, “Karatechick, for me, it WASN’T different just because you guys were mine. A crying baby is still a crying baby. Baby puke is still baby puke even if the one puking is your own. The only difference is at the end of the day you can’t give them back to someone.” She told me that if she could have made my dad use birth control, she wouldn’t have had as many kids. I don’t blame her.
Am I saying OP should give up on her dream of children? Of course not. However, I don’t think her concerns should be dismissed. I know I would be a miserable mother. My nephews visited for a few hours last week and though I love them, not one second of the visit was enjoyable for me. I think the possibility of adopting an older child might be a better option for the OP. I think this is something the OP needs to consider really carefully. There are many parents out there who thoroughly and honestly enjoy most aspects of parenting. But there are many people who don’t or would not. I think there are a lot of people who don’t initially realize that parenting is a CHOICE (and if you don’t believe me, read trumomconfessions.com), but I think that’s changing.
As she continues babysitting and taking care of her neice, the OP may not feel as overwhelmed and realize mothering is for her, but she may not, and that’s okay. I think she is very wise to consider tihs big question before she just jumps in.
OP, I wish you luck in your decision!
Post # 9
I love KIDS but…I have taken care of kids part-time, full-time, etc., and I always can’t wait until the end of the day when I can take a break from the kids! This is totally normal to me. I know that I will love my own kids to no end and that it will be different. It does however, make me aware that as a mom I may need to be working, or involved in some activities so I still feel like I have some other things to look forward to. I wouldn’t worry at all, just make sure you are ready when you have your own kids. 😀
Post # 10
Thanks for the advice, guys. I guess it still worries me that while it may be different with my own kids, what if it’s not? What if I can’t handle it and end up resenting them? It just sucks.
Post # 11
@HonoraryNerd: I think thats completely normal. I used to think I would suck as a mom. I babysat a couple of times and found myself wanting to sit there and cry and wait for their moms to pick them back up. But then my moms ex moved his 3 kids in and I was basically forced to raise them and I came to realize I would make a great mom.
Post # 12
@HonoraryNerd: honestly I thought the same way but all doubts melt away wen u hav children dnt stress about it wen time comes u will kno wats right for u