Post # 1
I know I want to have kids, always have and recently said that I’d like to be a SAHM and homeschool them… but I’m really terrified of them.
Is it normal that I’m not drawn to every baby or child around me? They scare me. They scare me that I won’t be liked by them. That I won’t know how to talk to them at their level because I don’t know what their level is. That they’ll judge me as an uncool adult who sucks.
Do women know these things about kids before they have them? Do I have to have a kid and make all the mistakes on it before having another one and doing it right?
I don’t know when babies are supposed to start talking, walking, stringing sentences, etc. I don’t know how old kids are supposed to be before they learn certain things in life.
My FI makes fun of me because I won’t even hold a baby. If you’ve seen Robin from How I Met Your Mother around babies, that’s pretty much me. They’re scary and they cry and I’m usually the reason why and I can’t make it stop.
Did anyone else feel this way before they had kids? Does the knowledge just come to you, do you just read books, do the scary feelings go away? Does the maternal instinct kick in when you’re pregnant? Do I just not have one? Will I just be a bad mom?
Post # 3
I ask myself these same questions.
I’m not TTC, but I’ve never felt a maternal instinct my whole life.
I just stay away from kids. I don’t understand my friends that have “baby fever.” I would much rather spend time ALONE with my SO. When I see a baby, I think,
“I hope it doesn’t cry while I eat in this nice restaurant.”
My mom said she was like me, but when he married my dad, she wanted babies and such…that wasn’t until she was 30. SO. Maybe I’ll just get that “babeh fevah” later in life. Doesn’t hurt my feelings, I guess. :S
Post # 5
Kids are terrifying! yep totally agree with you. BUT you get the hang of it. There is something which just seems to click into place after you have had your own. You might not understand that or believe it till you do.
I was terrifyed of kids, then fell pregnant at 15, had baby at 16 (yep i started early) and now have 4 kids. I’m 32. My kids are 16, 13, 8 & 2.
Post # 6
This is exactly why I think everyone needs to be required to take a child development class or two in high school or college. At least then you would know the answers to a lot of your questions, and I think it would steer more people towards or away from parenthood, rather than being on the fence. Knowing about kids developmentally helps you be more comfortable around them too. If you know what a typical 6-year-old is going through developmentally, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to relate to them.
Post # 7
@futuremrsk18: When you have kids of your own, though, you learn and grow with them, so you will know what their level is. When they’re young, it’s not possible to be uncool to them because you’re their mom and all they care about is that you love them and spend time with them.
I get being wary of others’ kids. You don’t know those kids, not like you’ll know your own. You’ll be there for every little moment that makes your kids your kids, what makes them tiny whole people and not just “a kid”. You’ll know their likes and dislikes and fears and dreams and, yes, you’ll make mistakes, but you won’t screw up one kid and learn on that one so that you can do it right the second time. Yes, it might work that way sometimes. Sometimes you’ll realize something with kid 1 that you can apply to kid 2 down the road, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve made mistakes with kid 1. You’re just…learning. And kid 2 will be just as much of a learning process because kids are all different!
As for the talking and walking and all of that good stuff, you won’t be doing it all on your own. Doctors are really, really good at keeping you up to speed on where your kids “should” be at certain stages in their lives, if they’re at a good weight, if their lisp is a neural or physical issue, how to work past it, and so on and so forth. Not to mention every single piece of unsolicited advice every woman with kids will ever give you. 😉
They say “it’s different when it’s your own kid”, and I agree with that sentiment beyond the whole changing diapers, dealing with spitup, etc. It’s not just those things that stop bothering you (usually, at least as much as it used to), it’s everything about being a parent, being connected. Be terrified of kids all you want! 🙂 Yours will be different.
Post # 8
I think that one of the reasons that kids are so terrifying (especially younger kids say, 8 and down) is that if you do do/say something “wrong” and they start crying, it isn’t so much that they are upset that’s the problem (perhaps you had to stop them from touching a hot oven or something and it shocked them and now they are crying, not a big deal) it’s the reaction from their parent. Because when you are interacting with a child it isn’t just you and the kid, it’s a triangle: you, kid and parent and that parent is watching you, like. a. hawk.
Now obviously not all parents are like this but you can’t know if a particular parent is like this until you do something “wrong” with their kid.
So I think it is certainly different with your own children.
The whole, “when do babies talk, walk etc” thing is certainly something you tend to learn from parenting/baby books (or if you had young cousins/were older when your sibling was born). If you really would like to become more comfortable with children I see no harm in reading a book like that now. At least then you’ll know more about their development and may feel more comfortable around them so that your SO can’t make fun of you.
Post # 9
I love kids, but I feel the same way. I didnt even know I liked kids because I was so scared of them, but then I got put in charge of practically raising my moms ex bf’s kids (the youngest one I had from when she was a baby till 2 years, and she called me mama.) Trust me when I say its different when they’re your own, or even just really close to you.
I see customers kids every day and I’ll talk to them, but I do feel awkward. Constantly wondering if I’m saying the right things to them or if they’ll like me.
But those 2 years with that little girl were some of the best I can remember.
Post # 10
It is different when they are yours, but parenting is not for the weak, that’s for sure.
IMO, you must be strong mentally.
Post # 11
@allyfally: Definitely agree with you there! I’ve always loved kids, but it definitely got more intense when I started babysitting for my parents’ friends’ son very often and was a TA in kindergarten and first grade at my tiny private school (9 kids in each class).
The little one is 3 and a half and he’s mine. His parents say it. The elementary schoolers are in 3rd and 4th grade now and I miss them every day. They made me a scrapbook when I graduated and I cry when I look at it. I gave a speech about them at my graduation ceremony because they’re the reason I’m going to be a teacher.
Post # 12
I think once you have a kid then it’s a lot less scary in a sense, because they will love you no matter what. It’s a HUGE responsibility and honestly that’s the scariest thing. My stepdaughter just learns at her own pace (she’s 4) and when she wants to know something, she’ll ask and I tell her the most honest answer that is age appropriate. I had an amazing professor in college who told the class (it was about family) all about his daughter and how he was just honest with her about everything and that the parent’s job is just to teach about the world. Kids just want to know what’s going on. She already knows a lot more than I did because my mom never really answered my questions, just brushed me off so I learned everything in school, so she is way overprepared.
You end up getting used to it. I was terrified of kids before I started dating her dad, but I watched him and how he interacted with her and picked it up. Somewhere along the road some maternal instincts came in. You’ll get attached, too, so that makes it easier and less scary haha.
Post # 13
@Torrid: YES! I do NOT have baby fever. Actually, none of my friends do really, either, except for a small few. Although, 3 of my close friends did all have babies this year. Sometimes, I think about how much I love my FI and want to start a family with him and I get a bit of an inkling, but then it goes away as I realize that I’m probably going to suck and ruin my kid’s life.
@mepayne: I actually took a course in college since I majored in Psychology, but it was more about developmental disabilities, as opposed to how regular development should progress. That really should be a requirement.
@ellisrobertson: Good to know my kids have to love me and think I’m cool! Until they reach their teenage years, I’m assuming lol. I actually have 2 nephews and a niece and I used to babysit them, feed them, play with them, spend a lot of time with them when they were younger. Then, I stopped because school got in the way and I spent less time with them. They’re now 6-10y/o and I’m not “scared” of them, but I certainly don’t think I could spend an entire day just me and them. I feel like we would all be really bored. LOL
@Everdeen: Yeah, I’m going to have to start reading books.
@allyfally: YES! This! Constantly wondering if I’m saying the right things to them or if they’ll like me. That’s how I feel! What if I say the wrong thing? What if they think I’m an idiot or weird?
@mepayne: Aw that’s so cute that they gave you a scrapbook!! I hear such horror stories from my friends who are teachers though (not to discourage you!), like how kids poop themselves in class or bring in weird things to school (like a c0ck ring, I swear, worn as a bracelet, by a boy).
@glittermoon: What kind of questions do 4 y/os ask? How do you know what you’re telling them is accurate or age appropriate?
Post # 14
@mepayne: agree X a billion.
Post # 15
I love kids, and plan to have a bunch of them, but recently I’ve gotten to where I don’t want to hold them. I think it’s the opposite problem you’ve having though — I starting babysitting when I was twelve, I was a nanny all through college, I’ve been taking care of kids for over half my life, basically. I still want my own kids, but now when friends are trying to give me their kids to hold or watch so they can enjoy a party or whatever, I’m hateful about it. I’m not your babysitter, people! My interaction with your child thus gets to be on my terms.
My secret to talking to kids though is just to talk to all kids as though they were adults. Answer all their questions clearly and honestly, sincerely ask them what’s going on in their lives, what book they’re reading, what they’re doing at preschool/school, etc. I’m trying really hard not to only focus on little girl’s looks or what they’re wearing (there was a great Huffington Post article about this last year), so I’m always trying to ask them about what books they’re reading or what they think about something.
Post # 16
They actually just found proof of a “mom gene” and that some woman are more genetically inclined towards motherhood- I think that explains a lot! Those without the gene are not unable to be a good mother, however, they just might have to work a little harder.
I’ve always been maternal, but now that its feasible that I could start a family (have a job, found suitable mate, etc) I am started to freak out a bit because I would be responsible for another human being. I think its perfectly normal to feel that way.