- Miss PumpkinPenguin
- 9 years ago
- Wedding: September 2010
I have adored WB since my bride-to-be days, but admit it feels weird to be logged in to talk about babies this time! 🙂
I am 31 and have been married nearly 2 years, but am feeling some fear at the thought of starting a family. I am curious to know if others have had these same types of fears, and how you worked/are working through them.
I always grew up thinking that I’d be a mother someday, and always felt strongly about having a biological child and also adopting a child. As I’ve entered my thirties, I’ve naturally been thinking about it being time to start a family. I have always had trouble with irregular periods so I know TTC may not be easy for me, so ideally I would be starting TTC in the next six months or so. However, I have some major fears about having kids…
I used to joke around that I couldn’t take care of a kid, or that I’d be apt to leave the kid on top of my car like I’ve done with my cell phone and wallet. All that joking around used to help me relieve some of the tension when people would ask me “when are y’all having kids”? But in reality I know I’d be a good mom as far as keeping a kid healthy, safe, and nurtured. People tell me ALL the time that I’d be a great mom, which is very flattering. So I know that’s not really my true fear.
I also used to say that I love to travel and was afraid a child would keep me “tied down”. But I know so many people who travel with their kids and/or make arrangements for their kids to stay with relatives while they’re out of the country. So I know that’s not really a true part of my fear either.
I think it boils down to two true fears:
1. I just completed a Master of Social Work degree, and I interned in a hospital emergency room for 10 months. In that time, I saw it all: victims of domestic violence, child abuse, homelessness, rape, substance abuse… everything. I love working with patients in crisis and think I’m actually really good at it. BUT, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that seeing all that kind of stuff didn’t make me wonder how on earth I would help a child navigate this often-scary world. How would I explain the evils of the world in a way that still instilled hope in my child for a bright and happy life? It seems so hard to do, and honestly I wonder all the time if I’m really equipped to teach a child about the world. Yes, life is beautiful… but it can also be very frightening.
2. I am very involved in the life of my 5-year-old niece. Her father (my little brother) is a single dad because her mom walked out when she was 2. With the help of my parents, my brother is raising her and she’s a beautiful, bright, happy, well-adjusted child. My mother is a wonderful Nana who steps in to cover most of the “motherly duties” and even though I live 3 hours away I make it a priority to be very present in her life. I go to her school plays, I’ve never missed a birthday party, and I call her every day just to see what she’s wearing to school and what she ate for lunch. I LOVE being her Aunt. And a big part of my role has also been helping financially with legal fees as my brother pursued sole custody and, more recently, termination of her mother’s parental rights (her mother has not seen her or paid any child support in years and is a bad drug abuser). Money is tight in my family, and I’ve been able to help pay for things and spend time helping care for her as needed. I worry a lot that if I had my own child, I wouldn’t be able to be as present in my niece’s life. I couldn’t just drop everything and drive 3 hours if she needed me. And I couldn’t just empty my savings account for legal fees because I would have my own child’s expenses to think about. Some of my friends don’t understand my feelings about this and say things like “but your niece is doing fine, why are you so worried?” Yes, she is fine, but that’s because she has been the sole focus of my family and because we’ve been able to sacrifice for her at every turn. If I brought other kids into the picture, could I really be there for her the way I want to? The way she deserves?
I realize that’s a lot of stuff but it feels good just getting it out there. Do others struggle with fears about either how to raise a child despite the “badness” of the world sometimes, or with fears about not being able to “be there” for others?
I would love to hear anyone’s thoughts/experiences. Lots of love!