As I approach 33 the panic about my impending motherhood decision has started to set in. I think I am doing my own head in. I think too deeply and too often about things.
I know other people who have gotten pregnant by accident or to someone they have known for a couple of months. They seem to have not only survived but are also blissfully happy. They also escaped this torturous decision process I am undertaking at the moment.
Here are the reasons I have come up with so far why not to have kids…
I don’t have ‘urge’ (which I have already written about here.)
Life is full. Most days I don’t feel anything is missing. If I got told tomorrow I could not have kids, I don’t think I would be having every medical intervention known to man to have them. If I get the urge when it is too late, I will find some other way to have little people in my life. I believe children are a gift, not a human right and that everything in life happens for a reason.
I have a blissfully happy relationship and am PETRIFIED to destroy it.
I know three handfuls of people who are my age and divorced. This is a sad statistic at 32. Marriage is hard work and you have a limited chance to make it through anyway without kids. My relationship is a gold mine. I am happy and lucky. Add another person to the dimension and all could be ruined, particularly if it’s you who want the kids and the man is not partial. When the kids grow up, what happens when you realise you have not talked about a single, separate thing for the past 20 years besides school fees and pick-ups? What if you can’t put any time into your relationship (which I believe firmly is a separate but related entity and needs nourishing independently of your child raising partnership).
I won’t be able to do all the things that keep me sane.
I get a bit of anxiety at times (If you have not noticed already). Sleep is very important to me. Exercise is very important to me. Alone time is very important to me. Personal goals are important to me. I am EXHAUSTED a lot of the time from work, time with the Husband, life, training, trying to pursue my interests, planning our household and spoiling the cat. Adding another person into my already crowded, nutty head makes me petrified just thinking about it. Another person for me to organise, think for and worry about for a lifetime.
Women carry the burden of motherhood.
Let’s face it. As supporting as a man can be, (and I got a good egg), women carry the burden of raising kids. We are expected to find flexible employment, organise childcare and the entire family life. I am told by my friends to do every endurance event known to man now because I won’t be able to do ANYTHING when I have kids.
We are the ones at first point of call when the kid is sick and praise our husbands when they ‘babysit’ for one night a week so mummy can have a ‘night off’. This really shits me when women use the word babysit to describe what men do for their own kids.
Women are told to expect less in other areas of their life, while men are expected to push harder, earn more, be physically stronger, achieve more and constantly grow. Why are we told to want and expect less from our careers right from the start?
I watch the Facebook posts by my female friends who have given birth. They write constantly about sleepless nights, asking questions about parenting or what is the best day care centre around. We are key planning masters and organisers in the parenting world. And the men’s newsfeeds? After work drinks, general news sharing, gym check in’s, training updates, fishing and endurance events. Nothing much seems to change in the world of the bloke from where I am sitting. ‘What do I do when my baby is teething?’ or ‘Who knows a good family GP?’ asked no bloke to his man friends, ever.
My dreams will surely end.
My dream is to have this part work, part time writing, and flexible life. I want to be living part of my year in Thailand each year within the next three years. I want to learn to meditate properly. I want to do a ski season, somewhere, someday. I want to be flexible to go wherever life takes me with either my or my husband’s career. I want to keep travelling every year. I want to have a successful business as a freelancer. Is this possible with a kid? Really? I worry that I will wake up after 20 years in suburbia spent working a job I hate to pay for a house that I could not afford to start with. Then I will look back one day when the house is paid off and empty, my children are gone, as are all the things I once dreamed of and wonder what the heck happened.
I can’t expect anyone to help me but me.
One set of potential grandparents lives abroad for three quarters of the year. My parents have full and busy lives and still work. Weekends at nan and pops and whole days with gran while I go to work are a no go for me. It’s probably why I have waited a little bit longer.
Is there ever enough? No. I already know that. But the added third person will just add to this stress. Sydney is especially suffocating and hard. At the moment I have one house office and a psychotic white cat in a small apartment, with no house affordability likely on the even near distant horizon.
Baby friends…. did you have all these reasons not to have kids (or more ) and decide do it anyway?
Or, did you know that motherhood was always the path for you?
Note: I was RIDDEN with guilt after uploading the photo of my cutsie niece above and then reading over this post . I spend LOTS of time with my niece and nephews, I LOVE them so much I get chest pain. My family and my parents and sister mean the world to me – I am aware of the importance of family as the number one protective thing in our lives and I don’t need convincing of the benefits of motherhood – I have seen these up close…. but I want to know – are my fears normal?