Friday, July 2, 2010


i'm thinking a lot about children/parenthood lately.  but not in the way that one might expect a happily married-for-four-years 20-something to think. at least not someone in that position in this part of the country ;).

kids scare me.  a. lot.  while so many young women have images of smiling faces, pudgy cheeks, and tiny clothes, i have visions of toddlers throwing tantrums, kids talking back, annoying pre-teens, and obnoxiously terrifying teenagers.  a husband stressed out from working two jobs to support our family so i can stay home b/c the doctor has said that i can't work and have kids.  my house more of a mess than it already is b/c i don't have the energy or desire to do anything other than collapse after the kids are in bed.  marital tension b/c we both feel that we are pulling more than our share of the weight in our respective areas--him financially and me around the house and with the kids.  i picture fights over how to raise the kids, arguments with the kids over boundaries we set, trying to figure out how to balance my husband's tech-savvy with my desire to keep the kids from having cell phones and laptops and tvs in their rooms.  how to shelter the kids from the big bad world enough but not too much.  how to discipline? how to do school?  how to afford college?  what about dating?  what about driving?  i see it as work.  work that does not end.  ever.  because once that baby comes out, you are responsible for a little person who has thoughts and feelings and needs and desires and wants and a sinful nature that is automatically going to drive this little one to do the wrong thing.  and all this is the norm in a happy healthy family!  my head hurts just thinking about it.

i know that those things are not all that parenthood is about--if they were people would have stopped a long time ago!  i know that there is love and joy and fun times and happy memories and pride in seeing your child grow and accomplish, but right now i can't escape the fear.  and i just don't understand why.  it's not like i'm a career-driven woman.  i mean, i'm practically retiring at the age of 26 due to health problems!  i know that a huge part of it is because of those health problems.  will i ever be able to be the mom that i imagined with limitations that i may have now?  how will i possibly have enough energy to care for my children and husband when i currently end up stuck in bed after too much work or too little sleep?  and i did imagine myself as a mother--that is honestly the only thing that i ever wanted in life since childhood.  my mom stayed home with us and i wanted to do the exact same thing since i was a little girl.  i loved playing house and with baby dolls and in the kitchen.  i spent a huge part of my youth babysitting and working childcare and of course my "grown up" job is in a pediatric office.  it just makes sense for me. and i always take on a mothering roll with people that i love.  whether it be carrying my giant "mom purse" to be sure i am prepared for any situation, to stocking medicine and snacks in my desk to take care of my coworkers.  though i have no children i am a mother at heart

so i don't get why i don't want kids.  i am surrounded by friends who already have kids or who are currently pregnant and even several who are starting the adoption process or becoming foster parents--they all want this so much, even the ones who never seemed that maternal, but i am absolutely terrified!  i don't get it.  i feel like there is something wrong with me.  i even went so far as to google "why don't i want children?" just to try to make sense of it...and some good reasons came up.  things like being worried about passing on genetic/health conditions (yep, that's one); concern over not being ready/husband not being ready (that is true too...i think hubs will be a great father but i do anticipate future struggles--his picky eating habits rubbing off on the kids, me ending up overwhelmed by motherhood + housework while he works so hard...); being afraid (duh--that's what we're talking about here!) but other things like being career driven & not liking kids just don't fit me at all.  but obviously i should be looking to the Lord for answers here rather than Google.  it's just confusing to me and i want some reason why i am at such a different place than i expected to be.

i know i'm still young and have plenty of time to make these decisions, and thankfully hubs feels the same about it so it isn't an issue of pressure from either of us.  but i do feel pressure.  people think "it's time."  we've been married for 4 years, together for 8, why would we need any more time for just the two of us?  especially when we're done with school and settled down with a house and all that.  i don't feel like i have any friends in this situation b/c it seems like the couples that i know who don't have kids are trying to get pregnant/adopt/foster parent...  and i'm just running screaming away from children.  and i like our life.  i like the freedom that we have to pursue our passions.  i like that my time is my own.  and maybe that sounds (or is) selfish, but that is the life we have now.  but it gets lonely being in this position.  people don't understand why we would choose this, even if it is just a choice for now.

but i guess that is all it has to be.  our choice for now.  i'll let you know if it changes.


  1. Well, right on sister! I think you might have scared me out of wanting these two... Do you think its to late? Ha Ha I love you bunches!!!!

  2. Girl! I know you have been struggling with all this lately, but seeing it all laid out like this... I wish I had some kind of answer to give you!! I agree that you have always been very motherly and you have the purse and caring heart and so many other "ingredients" to become a great mom and I remember the years where that is all you really wanted - to be a mom. But so many things have happened in the past few years that it is ok to change what you want. I guess your hardest thing right now is deciding what you have to change TO. I know you want to know for YOU, but I hope you can realize that you are still so young and have so many years ahead of you that no matter what other people are doing, you are right where you need to be for now. You have so much changing in your life anyway, there is no way you need to add children into the mix.
    Shew... that's a lot and I dunno if it makes any sense at all. Sorry!

  3. Being terrified is completely normal!!! You will be terrified for the rest of your life, before and after having kids. The thought that you are doing it all wrong never leaves. John and I are have been married 5 years and we have a 4 year old (as well as a 21 month old). I can only vaguely remember life without children, and believe me I miss it at times. The only thing I can say is that one day the want of children ( and for me the cute/happy times) might/will out weigh the fear (or naughty days). Remember that no mother is perfect, no child is perfect. As a parent you will be let down and you are going to let down your children, but that is just life and love and family. The good times will always out number the bad, ten fold.

    Lauren Bianchi

  4. I can empathize with you. I am in a somewhat similar situation, though with a different cause, I think. I have many days where I almost wish I could just get my tubes tied, just to avoid the whole mental anguish of the question having or not having children.

    If I am completely honest with myself--which I have to be on occasion, lol--I want children very badly. We have even had names chosen for more than five years. Circumstances, however (PCOS, one miscarriage, one false pregnancy etc.) have made what is effortless for so many people (like a relative who has accidentally become pregnant twice in the past two years and had no problems whatsoever) seem very unlikely for me. To cope with this, I have spent the past two years since my miscarriage telling myself why I am better off without kids, and finding any reason to despise those women who seemed so engrossed with motherhood. That bitter point of view has really engulfed my life. I am now trying to untangle the web I so willingly tied myself up in.

    I am terrified of financial woes once kids enter the picture. I also don't really like having to cater to someone 24/7. Every time my husband and I decide to just up and travel somewhere, I can't help thinking how impossible that will be once we are parents. And girl, I am so with you on the obnoxious teenager thing. I teach high school. I see how hateful those kids are towards their parents.

    Anyways, here is another 26-yr-old, married-for-five-years, childless-yet-feeling-the-pressure girl.

    (As a side note, I had similar misgivings as a teenager about getting married. The transition from single to married and from married without children to parents seems, to me, to be nearly the same. My husband (when we were only friends) once clarified the situation for me by pointing out that though one loses a certain amount of "freedom" in getting married, one is only trading one set of advantages for a whole other set otherwise unattainable. When you're single, you're your own mistress, calling the shots, only having to take circumstances for one person into consideration--yourself. Being married is a little more complicated, but I know I wouldn't trade it for the world. I've never woken up and seen a mess left by my husband (which happens--we're remodeling! lol) and thought, "Geez, I wish I hadn't gotten married." I imagine parenthood is somewhat similar. :) )

    Anyways, now I'm rambling. Longest comment ever! :) Just know you are not alone.

  5. children and the transition into parenthood is the unknown of our "phase" of life girl. there is no more wondering or thinking about dating. no more planning of a wedding. and the adventure of buying ones first home is now complete. the only big "change" really left is children (not counting random life changes that are completely out of our hands)... i am feeling you on the pressure. the topic of children is such a tender one. i think people assume if you dont have children its your choice, unless you have proclaimed that you are having problems getting pregnant. you know? we arent necessarily trying or not trying. we are just being married and letting the Lord decide, and thats hard to convey to people.

    i think you and patrick have to pray and choose what you think is the wisest thing for you right now, but then you need to really just trust the Lord. children are a gift from him, and if he wants you to have one then he will work out the details.

    on a different note- WW?? Our new "series" starts in two weeks i think. want me to send you the info?

  6. I so wish I could have this conversation with you in person! This will have to do I guess... First I sympathize with some of the fear and pressure but much of my pressure is coming from me. I feel silly that we are putting off children for me to get a PhD that I might not use, but how could we justify adding the responsibility of children to our plate when we are barely taking care of ourselves?
    However my Mom frequently reminds me that is fear and self talking, not faith. She also reminds me that God always gives us 'transition time', there is an engagement before marriage so we can prepare mentally, financially and spiritually. So too with children there is built in 'transition time' during pregnancy to prepare... also I've seen you with Butch, and while her attitude may not match that of a teenager she at least has the terrible twos down pat at times!
    I guess my encouragement to you would be to examine where these fears come from. While many of them are valid things to consider, should they keep you from children and should they make you this afraid?
    Personally I think much of this fear will lift as you heal and regain some of your strength. But if not, God continually reminds me how worthy He is of my trust, I pray He reminds and uplifts you in the months and years to come.