My friends who know the stories of the hell I was raised in still say, “oh, you’d be a good mother!” And yes, I get babies handed to me as if I’ve never cared for anyone before, and my “objection” to kids is I am afraid of poop or puke.
I took care of my step sister’s 3 kids 24-7 when I was 17 – she was in a bad marriage and so her kids were at my step mother’s house all the time. As the teenaged girl, they fell to me to care for, from the infant, the toddler, and the 8-year-old. I’d feed the baby, get him down, rock the toddler while she pummeled me with her tiny fists until SHE went down for her nap, and then get to do my homework while the 8-year-old did hers, help with dinner, get then fed, bathed, and to bed – repeat. I’ve slept on the couch with the infant cuz no one else would and we had no crib to keep him, and woken up to being spit-up on.
I also was the caretaker for my substance abusing mother. She liked to get tranq-ed, and wander around the house talking to my dead grandmother, fall down stairs, and try to drive. She killed stop signs, and I found her face-planted in the yard a few times when she was actually out of bed waiting for me to walk home from school. Dad liked to use a belt till I had to cover marks with long sleeve and pants in the summer. My main job from about age 5 was to somehow “control” mom, keep her from falling, and I was even taught to drive at 11, when my legs were long enough to reach the pedals, so I could drive for mom if needed. Dad seemed to think having me run errands and be a gopher was the solution instead of getting mom cleaned up. She actually mixed sleeping pills and laxatives once. We needed a caret cleaner.
I have spent about 20 of my 39 years in caretaker roles – but it’s assumed I am lazy and have never changed a diaper.
Part of me would LOVE to be a mother. I am also 39. H and I JUST got married after a long time of me waiting, then saving. In about 5 years, I can see he might want to be a father and we might be financially able – but my body won’t be able to as easily at that time – I’ll be in my mid-40s. We might adopt in the future, but I can face the facts – mental illness runs in my family. I have odd instincts as far as the age things are appropriate – I was cooking bacon and left alone at home at age 7 – seemed normal until I saw my friends’ 7-year-old kids. So I worry my internal wiring would somehow be bad – I’d either repeat mistakes, or make horrible new ones overcompensating for how I was raised. I don’t want to pass on mental illness or subject a child to any I may exhibit. But I am told I am irresponsible and I have no right to be tired, and it’s nice to see I am not alone in these feelings.