How I Got Over My Fear of Having Kids

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Fear of having kids

Some little girls dream of being mothers from the moment they are old enough to clutch a baby doll. That was not me. I didn’t even like dolls growing up and I certainly did not dream of having children when I was still a child. Not even a tiny bit. I was too busy dreaming of getting slip-on Vans that were out of our price range.

Part of my resistance to motherhood came from being raised by a single mother and having a much younger brother, which made me keenly aware of how much work and sacrifice is involved in raising children. Another huge factor? It seemed to be expected of me, and I was (and am) rebelde by nature and proud of it. I want to do things because I WANT TO DO THEM, not because it’s expected of me because of my gender or my culture.

So the years passed and I grew up and my ovaries were not twitchin’ or itchin’ or anything.

Then in my mid 30s I was with the man who would eventually become my husband and I had a VERY real conversation about kids with him. He was sure he wanted them and I told him I wasn’t sure I did. He’s younger than I am and it’s not like he was in a hurry, but he did let me know that not having kids would be a deal breaker.

I’m the kind of person who would rather cut her losses than keep investing in a relationship that is going to end because my love tends to grow not diminish over time. So I had to give his words some serious thought. I had to think about why I didn’t want children and if I would ever regret the decision not to have them.

Turns out that all my reasons for not wanting children were fear based and I can’t live my life the way that fear wants me to. It would have been different if I really didn’t want kids, but deep down in a fearless place in my heart, I did want kids. I was just scared.

I was scared to mean so much to someone else. I was scared I would mess up. I was scared of all of it.

Once I figured out that it wasn’t that I didn’t want kids, but that I was afraid, it became clear to me that I would regret not having children and so I did. I now have two beautiful daughters who have changed my life and my world.

5 misconceptions about being a mom

I want to share with you the things I thought before I had kids and what ended up happening:

1. What I thought: That I was too selfish to ever put anyone’s interests ahead of mine.
What ended up happening: Turns out that my children are an extension of me so my “selfishness” has expanded to include their interests, especially since their interests have become my interests.

2. What I thought: That I would have to give up on my dreams.
What ended up happening: My dreams changed. In many ways they got bigger and better and more inclusive.

3. What I thought: I could hardly support myself financially when it was just me. How the heck would I be able to support anyone else?
What ended up happening: I thought I was driven before, but I did not know the kind of drive that I know now as a mother. My hustle has more ganas than ever in it and because of my children I work harder than ever.

4. What I thought: That I could never be the type of mother my children would need.
What ended up happening: My children taught me how to be the kind of mother they need. I’m not doing this alone; we’re in this together and they teach me just as much if not more than what I teach them.

5. What I thought: That motherhood wouldn’t really change who I am.
What ended up happening: Yes, I’m still the me I’ve always been, but I am also so much more. I am more compassionate. I am more caring. I am stronger. I am connected to this world and committed to making it a better place not just for my own children, but for everyone’s in a way I couldn’t even imagine before.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I would never try and convince someone who doesn’t want to be a parent to be a parent. I don’t think everyone NEEDS to be a parent. It’s not like we’re in danger of going extinct. Also, I don’t think it’s a decision that should be taken lightly. I know I didn’t take it lightly. I just wanted to share my journey with you because I know I can’t be the only one who has gone through this struggle with fear before becoming a mother.

If you have gone through this struggle or are going through it, I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know whatever you decide is fine and I want you to believe that no matter what you will ALWAYS rise to the occasion, because sometimes we don’t know what we are capable of until we have to find out.

Image via Claudya Martinez

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