I write very little on here about John Paul and I's plans for children. The reason for that is simply that there are a lot of varying opinions on the subject in my family and it is something I think is better left for personal one on one conversations. John Paul and I are on the same page about starting a family and it's not something that is completely in our control right now, but I think we're doing the things we should be doing at this point. And as far as the when and whys, I'll just leave it at that. You're welcome to talk to me personally about it if you are intrigued.
That being said, this is in fact a post about babies! I've said before that John Paul and I both want kids and are looking forward to parenthood. We will be very excited when I get pregnant (she says ambiguously with no clues as to when that will happen).
People talk often about getting "The Baby Bug." The Baby Bug (also known as Baby Fever) is the infectious desire to have a baby. Sometimes it comes from being around other peoples babies, sometimes it's spontaneous, but whatever the reason you can't knock the delirious feeling of wanting to conceive. The fever hit me hard back in February as I started reading baby and mommy blogs, birth stories, etc. Yes I am admitting to wanting to have a baby. However, that's never been a secret. The "secret" is when I will have a baby, and truth be told, I don't know the answer to that question. But even so, I've been unable to help myself with some daydreaming and light "planning."
Of course, there are also many days when I feel like I'm not ready at all for that stage of life to begin. I am very aware of the realities that come with motherhood. I know that this time of being married without kids is precious. Becoming parents will change everything. We won't be able to be involved in and do as many things, we'll be tighter financially, our dynamic with each other will change and our relationships with others will change. I always find myself torn between excitement and wariness when it comes to entering the world of parenthood.
Over the last year, I've realized that I have some fears about becoming a mother. There are definitely children in our future, but I thought for today I would share my fears. I think they're good and healthy in a lot of ways. I should clarify, they aren't things that will keep us from having kids. They are just things that I've found I think about often. To be honest I'm kind of looking for some kind of validation or encouragement that my fears are normal and okay.
So here are five fears I have about having a baby...
I want to be able to have conversations with my family and friends about my feelings on having kids. I want their feedback and perspective, I really do. I feel like I have been keeping those feelings bottled up out of an anxiety that no matter what sorts of decisions we make, we will never be able to please everyone. It's not really that I feel we have to please everyone. At the end of the day, this is between us and God. It's just that I love every member of my family so much I can't stand the thought of being looked down upon. Now, this fear isn't entirely fair. I know that our families love us and respect our decisions. I also know that they will all be incredibly supportive and excited whenever we get pregnant. But I do care about their opinions and I know there is no timing that will make everyone happy.
2. New York
Okay, I know it sounds silly but I'm referring to my unfamiliarity with my new state. I have very specific desires for the birth and care of my child and a strong feeling that I will have to fight for those desires. I knew how things worked in NC legally, the best places to have a baby, the doctors that wouldn't hassle me about my decisions. But here, I'm clueless. I've been trying to do some research to ease my fears and make me feel more prepared for when that day comes, but so far it's been pretty difficult to navigate. I really just don't want to have to fight with my doctor or explain the same things over and over. I wish so much my mom was here to help me (or rather that I was in a state my mom knew the ins and outs of), but at this point it seems far more likely for me to have my first child in NY.
3. The Impact on my Body
This is much more than being worried about weight gain. My body is absolutely not ready for pregnancy right now. I'm very out of shape and exhausted all the time. I think if I got pregnant right now, it would take its toll on my health. If I have no energy now, I can't imagine being pregnant and then trying to care for a newborn after having just given birth. I really want to get my body ready for motherhood so that I can be the best mom I can be, and have energy for it. I know I'm not there yet.
You know when people say they don't want to have kids because they don't want to bring them into such a bad world? I totally get that. I still want to have kids, but I get it. When I think about how emotionally invested I am in my family, and how much it hurts when they make poor decisions that I can't control, I think of how much more I will care about my children. I will do my best to raise them well, but at the end of the day they will be their own person and make their own decisions. I won't have any control and that is terrifying when I know I will love them more than I've ever loved anyone.
John Paul and I are in a phase of social flexibility. We have both married friends and single friends, but none of our closest friends have kids. I do have friends with kids, but not in town and not in my circle of friends that I interact with regularly. I guess a lot of days I'm impatient for everyone else to catch up. If our best friends aren't even married yet and we're already thinking kids, won't that separate us even further?
Of course I can't rush anyone, and I wouldn't want to. They need to let their lives unfold in its natural timing and enjoy each stage as it comes. It would also be ridiculous to base when we had kids on anyone else around us. We can't sit around waiting for everyone else to catch up when that could be years and years and has nothing to do with us. Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of moving into a new phase of life, but I guess I don't want to leave anyone behind by entering it. I'll probably make new friends that are moms, but I can't knock the sinking feeling that motherhood will separate me from the close friends in my life right now. Maybe that won't happen. Maybe it won't matter as much to me as I think it will. How can I even know?
Well, there you have it. These are the kinds of things that are on my mind lately. Maybe next time I'm brave enough to blog about having a baby I will write about the five things I'm most looking forward to! :)
Alright, I'm going to hit publish before I change my mind about this post...ready set go...