You read that title right – I am scared to be a mom. Let me give a little backstory first. Growing up, I loved babies. I loved being around them, holding them and playing with them. I thought I’d be married and be a mom by the time I turned 25. But the older I got, the more I wanted to put kids off. A lot of those reasons are in a post I wrote last year about why Adam and I are waiting to have children.
Over the last few months in particular though, I’ve been digging deep and thinking about children more. I think it’s because recently, more people we know are getting pregnant and having kids of their own and my social media newsfeeds are a constant reminder of that. I’ve been asking myself why I still don’t feel ready. Again, a lot of those reasons are in last year’s post. But what I didn’t include in that post – because I don’t think I really realized it then – is that I’m scared.
It’s scary to come right out with that and admit that I’m scared. However, I’m sharing this because I think more women need to talk about their fears and their struggles so other women know they are not alone in the thoughts that they have and the feelings they are going through. I would like to think that I am not alone in this. So, if you’re reading this post and are scared to be a mom too, I’m right there with ya. I’m sharing my reasons why below – be prepared for some #realtalk.
I’m Scared I’ll Have to Give Up My Dreams
Call me selfish, but I don’t want everything I’ve been working so hard for to come to an end when I have a child. I understand we as women have to re-prioritize our lives when we have children, but I also know that I don’t want to forget about my passions and my goals in the process. I’ve worked really hard to get where I am in my career and I’m hustling day and night to make Lipstick & Ink into something legitimate. And despite the long hours, I make it work balancing both a full-time job and a side hustle.
How in the world would I be able to do that though if I also need to take care of another human? I know realistically it’s probably not possible and something would have to give. But that’s the thing – I don’t want to give up either of them right now.
I’m Scared I Won’t Know What I’m Doing
Give me a school age kid and I got it covered. But put a baby in my arms and tell me I have to take care of him or her and I tense up. I never babysat babies growing up, nor was I ever really around them for long periods of time (aside from my younger sister). I’m afraid I’m going to have my baby and immediately have to call up my mom or a friend to come help Adam and I take care of him or her. I suppose that’s why there’s books and millions of articles on the internet to help prepare you for this sorta thing, but still, I’m just terrified I won’t have any idea of what I’m doing – or that I’ll even be good at it.
I’m Scared of Things Going Wrong
Ever since I was probably in high school, I’ve known that women can have miscarriages. But I didn’t realize how common they were until I began hearing of more and more women having them. Maybe it’s because women are starting to break down the stigma of miscarriage and are being more open about it. Whatever the case, it’s devastating. Hearing that a loved one has gone through that breaks my heart each and every time. It then makes me wonder, what if that happens to me? How would I cope? Could I mentally handle that?
I’m Scared It Will Negatively Affect My Mental Health
Which brings me to my next point. I’ve suffered from depression in the past and I battle anxiety almost every day. In addition to miscarriages, I’ve also heard of women’s hardships with postpartum depression. I am terrified I may be one of those women in the future. While others may consider me as strong and put together, I truthfully have internal struggles every day. I question if I could be mentally strong enough to have a child. The last thing in the world I would want is to have my mental health get in the way of the joys of having a child.
I’m Scared of My Body Changing
I know this sounds vain. But the truth is, I’ve struggled with my weight since puberty. I yo-yo dieted all through high school and college and carried more weight than I ever would have liked. I’ve changed my diet and exercise routine over the years and have found things that have worked for me. I’m finally at a point in my life where most days, I can look in the mirror and be proud of who I am and how I look.
I am scared that if and when I’m pregnant, as my body changes and I gain weight, that I won’t look or feel beautiful. I am scared that if and when I have my baby, that my body won’t look or feel the same. I am scared that after birth, when I look in the mirror, I won’t be happy with what I see. Me writing this may rub you the wrong way, but this is #realtalk, remember? This is one of my truths.
I’m Scared to Give Birth
My mother is a saint. She gave birth to me without an epidural. How she did it, I have no idea, but I definitely hope to never find out what that feels like. Give me the epidural! Even though that helps lessen the pain, I’m still very uneasy about the idea of giving birth. The contractions, the pushing, the tearing…. not to mention, you can’t even eat during labor. (I just recently found that out and was #mindblown.) To the mommas out there who have given birth, I salute you. You are my heroes.
I’m Scared My Marriage Will Suffer
As I mentioned in this post, I admit that Adam and I have a pretty solid relationship. I know that’s probably annoying for a lot of people to hear, but it’s true. It’s why I am scared that having a child will cause a rift in our relationship. Between the no sleep, the added responsibilities, the balancing of work and baby, I can only imagine the stress that can add to a relationship. I don’t want to become the couple whose lives revolve around their child. I want to still be us and take time for us and be selfish together. I want our marriage to keep thriving and hope that a child won’t affect that.
I’m Scared to Lose My “Me” Time
I’m selfish with my time and I have no qualms in admitting it. I like my time alone. My time alone usually means I am doing something for me, whether it’s writing, reading, going to treat myself to a facial or massage, or even just going for a walk to get some fresh air. I need that time to cope with my anxiety. Having a child, I feel, will affect that time. I am just not ready to give that up yet.
I’m Scared That I’ll Emotionally Scar My Children
Did I have a good childhood? Mostly. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t clouded with pain, deceit and control that I’ve carried with me into adulthood. I didn’t realize how much the negative effects of my childhood affected me until I went to therapy a few years ago. It was an eye-opening experience to hear from a completely unbiased person who didn’t know me at all tell me why I was the way I was – and most of it was rooted in my childhood. That weighs on me – heavily.
I don’t want to be the reason my children go to therapy. I don’t want my children to go through what I had to go through. But I’m terrified that in some way, I will replicate what I went through and do some of the things I saw growing up, without even realizing it.
I’m Scared to Bring Children into This World
My generation has seen some ungodly things already in our lifetime. From the World Trade bombing and 9/11 attacks to school and church shootings to a number of different wars. It’s enough to make you not want to have kids for fear of what their futures might look like. When you hear of people being murdered, mugged and kidnapped, it leaves me in a constant state of paranoia that something might happen to me and I am sure that will be amplified if and when I were to have a child too. This is the world we live in and I’m terrified to bring another human life into it.
This is my confession: I am scared to be a mom.
I’m curious, are you scared to be a mom too? Or were you before you had your own child? If so, what scares/scared you most? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Role Strategy and Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.