Motherhood: My Honest Thoughts on Having Kids
The topic of motherhood and having kids is something that is very relevant to my life right now as so many of my friends and family are having children. I turned 30 this year, and it seems as every year passes since I have gotten married (at 26), more and more people ask me when I too am going to have kids. To be honest, it doesn't bug me the way I know it bugs other women who are asked, but it does give me a little anxiety because I am just not there yet. At times, I also sense judgment from some who don't think my answer of "not now" is good enough. I feel like I get one of two responses when I tell people "Not for a while!" -
1."What are you waiting for? You'll never be prepared for it! Nothing can prepare you for this so why not just start now while you're young? You don't want to be older having kids, it's hard enough as it is!": which also makes me wonder why people have kids because this doesn't seem like a super positive response. I also feel like if I know I am not wanting kids now, why force it simply because I don't want to be "old" having kids. I'm not talking 40's, just early to mid thirties. That's not even in the. "danger zone" and people still try and talk me out of it. I'm not married to any specific age, I just know I'm not trying for kids right now.
Another response I get is:
2. "Taaaaaake your time honey, parenthood is foreverrrrr. If I could have gone back, I would have waited till I traveled more/ established my career/ spent more time with my husband. You can't return them!": Which of course makes me think motherhood sounds miserable, something I may want to avoid, and possibly makes me feel like I would regret it based on some of these women's responses.
The thing is, I am not afraid of having kids. If I found out I was pregnant, I would totally roll with it and prepare myself for the new lifestyle change and all that comes with having kids. However, Chay and I are both not in the space where we desire kids yet. We don't have the itch! In fact I don't even know what that feels like. I have never longed for children, but I did assume I would have kids. To be honest. we have discussed the idea of not having kids at all. We both don't want to do things simply because that's just "what you do" at a certain age. I never want to live my life that way. I want to do what feels right to Chay and I as we pray for our future and ask God for guidance. If I am not feeling it at all, I'm not forcing it. We love the idea of a family, and if God has it for us, it will happen in due time.
I have had the blessing of getting to see siblings and many close friends become parents. When you get to see others parent, it's truly impressive because it looks (and is) exhausting, yet they keep doing it ("because you can't return them!") with so much love. However, when you're an onlooker, it just seems daunting. I know that sounds horrible, but it just looks overwhelming and tireless. I get anxious and stressed out thinking about it. Also, I'm one of 5 and all of us are hoping to have our moms help. But my mom can only do so much and in my heart, I don't think it's fair to take all her time up with babysitting once we all have kids. She raised her kids (and God bless her because she did it with a full-time job raising 5 kids) and now is her time to do whatever she wants. I know she loves it more than anything, but she is also super social and should have that time to do all the fun stuff she sacrificed for so long. Only 2 of my siblings are parents so far, and it seems like whenever I talk to my mom she is with a grandkid or working, so I can't imagine when the rest of us have kids. I'm scared of not having the help I need from a trusted source. Even if I can afford help, it's not the same as a parent who loves your kid like you do. I can't even leave my dogs with strangers, I can't imagine my own baby. I don't want my mom stretched thin and I also don't want to take help from my other siblings when and if I need it, so this also makes me nervous.
This is probably my biggest fear. Losing contact with many friends and losing my identity by being "mom" all the time, when there are so many parts to me that I care about. I want to keep working, but my work isn't as regimented so wouldn't allow me to get out by going to an office. I blog and model/act so while I get back into shape, which takes a bit, I would not be getting modeling jobs, and blogging is all done from home. I don't make money at this point from blogging to be able to justify paying someone to stay with my kid while I shoot/write which scares me because I dont want to give up something I love. I know it's difficult to continue to work from home because there is little to no free time for moms. Am I just expected to drop all my aspirations and be chained to the house? I know the baby stages are just that, stages, but it seems like a long stage to be in and not get totally discouraged. I am a big people person and find energy being around other like minded people. I love spending time with people and don't want to become a recluse simply because it's easier to be at home. I know this is not good for my soul or my emotions. I learned that from being in Redondo Beach which was isolating enough and I didn't even have kids. I know in my heart that God would carry me through this time and that I would most likely love being a mom, but every moms experience is so different and I won't know till I am one which scares me.
This is one of the smaller fears for me because I have so much faith in Chays ability to be an amazing father, and it's something I know would resolve itself in time. I love my marriage and have so much fun with Chay. It's also taken a long time for us to truly get on the same page emotionally and mentally in order to meet the needs of the other person. Communication hasn't been our strong suit in the past and I really don't want having kids to make us go backwards. We have been forced to face hard things in our marriage due to outside circumstances that have caused incredible amounts of pain and stress, and I fear that having a child will put us in the stressed out/ non communicating boat again. For me, that is prison and I feel most hurt and isolated when Chay and I aren't on the same page, talking openly, and laughing together.
All in all, I know I am going to make a great mom because I know how much I love and care about people. Having children would only magnify that for me. It's more of the early stages that scare me due to the restrictions on time, freedom, identity, and having my creative outlets but I also know everything in life is "figureoutable". I also know Chay is going to be the best dad and I want to see that because I think that will be a huge blessing.
Does anyone else feel this way? I'm assuming yes, but I would love any input you might have if you felt this way and had kids, don't have kids yet, or you decided you aren't going to have kids and have input on why. I am so curious and would love any feedback on the matter! I read your comments and will be responding to them all today. Thank you for reading and being a part of this community!!