This is the first in what will be a few guest posts written by my lovely sister. Hey look, there we are… (I’m on the left)
A while back, I did a guest post, anonymously, for my sister’s blog. You can read it here if you so desire.
The gist was this: I’m afraid to have kids. My fears include:
· What if something is wrong with the kid, physically or mentally?
· What if the world we live in isn’t kid-friendly (think pollution, global warming, wars, financial collapse)?
· What if I’m too selfish and impatient to be a good mother?
· What if my kid is an asshole?
· What if having a child makes my soon-to-be-husband and I forget about each other?
· What if pets are enough?
· What if the thought of helping a kid with homework gives me chills?
· What if I don’t have time to write or read or hike or cook or do all the other things I love?
· What if we struggle financially with a kid?
· What if I go crazy due to sleep deprivation?
· What if there are adventures and travels I still want to have?
All those fears aside, I know there are pros to having kids. Duh. I’ve met my nephews. They’re pretty awesome. I can imagine how amazing it is to create a life with someone I love. I can imagine the fulfillment of that, the love, the lessons. I just don’t think it’s for me.
Before you encourage me to change my mind, rest assured I have thought about this long and hard. I have played Devil’s Advocate with myself. My fiancé and I have discussed this at length. We even went to a preconception counseling appointment (who knew they had such a thing?), just to get some information. The doctor said that I would be considered “high risk” (according to the insurance companies) when I’m 35 (which is now less than a year away). I know that’s just a silly policy, but the words still threaten me—high risk. I am a person who prefers very little risk. As in, no risk.
But even if I was 25, I don’t think I’d want a child. I’ve never wanted to be a mom. I’m an introvert who needs A LOT of alone time. I worry that being a mom wouldn’t allow me that. I’ve struggled with depression in my life. I worry that I’d pass that on to my child, or that my depression would flare up as a parent. I’m a chronic worrier. I worry about that.
The reason my first post was anonymous was because I’m a little embarrassed that I don’t want a kid. Most women want children. Most describe an ache, a craving, for a child. I’ve never had this. Most women either ignore any possible risks, or embrace them because their desire for a child far outweighs any fear. I’ve never had anything close to such a desire. My sister, for one, always wanted kids. When we were little, she toted around baby dolls, “feeding” them from toy plastic bottles. I played with my Barbies. These days, my sister says she feels a little sad for me and all that I’ll miss by being childless. The thing is, though, I’ll never experience having a child myself so I won’t know what I’m missing. I’m happy as I am, and I’ll just go on as that person.
I used to think there was something wrong with me. I’m in a minority, after all. Now, though, I’m proud of myself for realizing my limitations and making a decision for the life I want for myself (and my partner). Plus, like I said, my nephews are awesome. I plan to love them with all my might.
Did any of you share my fears? Did you always know you wanted to be a mom?
Kim Hooper / Copywriter & Novelist / Also, my sister