Pre-Parenting Questions, Doubts, Longings: Are They Natural Or More Than Just Cold Feet?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about having kids – a lot. I hear that very loud clock only getting louder and since we don’t have about 200k lying around (what it takes to have A – as in one – kid naturally) I start to wonder if it’s ever going to happen. And at the same time I am plagued with these thoughts that surprise me because they come dressed up as doubts, hesitation and they leave me wondering if I am more in love with an idea than the reality.

Here is the reel playing on repeat in the last few days:

Will I be a good parent? Will I have what it takes? Am I really ready to have my life no longer be about me and my husband? Am I ready to be that tired? Am I ready to never have free time? Writing time? Hobbies? A life? Will I completely fuck it up? Will my child love me? Will I love/feel the same attachment to my child, knowing that it isn’t (biologically) mine? Are we ready emotionally? Should we travel the world first? Do I really want to travel the world in today’s political climate? Am I ready? Am I ready? Am I ready? Do I know what I’m getting myself into? Do I really want this?

See, I’m smart enough to know that having kids is more than just a game-changer – it’s a whole new game!

I’m a very “together” person. Friends tell me I’m more Monica Geller than Monica Geller. I broke my back in three places one morning in 2008 at 7:20am. I was at work by 11. I keep house, run a business, fulfill my personal obligations and on occasion write and plan for the future. My life is orderly, lists and spreadsheets. I cook. I shower. I can take a personal day (okay not day, more like an hour or two) if I need to. If I’m sick I can focus on getting better and distract myself from the misery I’m feeling (with pre-existing medical conditions I cannot take ANYTHING – no antihistamines, not even a damn cough drop). It’s not too late for my husband and me to finally go on a honeymoon (we never did).

But having kids means no personal time. I’m not allowed to be sick because parents don’t get a sick day. Forget lists, spreadsheets or even ten minutes to myself. And traveling? Yeah that won’t happen until about eighteen years later (we’re talking abroad, not cross-country). My life (and house) will be in utter chaos 24/7. Stains will decorate me, my clothing, the furniture and carpet. Things will get broken. My clothes will be ruined (well knowing me, I’d shop for a whole new wardrobe, as in pants and shirts that I don’t give a damn about, so the entire thing will be under $80, I’m good at saving money). My “together” life will be all over the place and my “together” person will be “preoccupied with children”.

But aren’t these thoughts and doubts and fears normal? I mean it doesn’t mean I’m not cut out for it, or that I don’t actually want to have kids – it means I’m thinking, and not blind to the reality of having them. I won’t ever completely “get it” until I do, but I get it as much as a childless adult can. Right?

I think about kids, having them, and I still feel a very heavy pang. I’ve always wanted to have a big family, like I never considered having less than three or four kids (hey, I’m Irish, in my family three or four kids are as low as it starts in terms of number of children 😛 ). I always wanted a minivan. I always wanted to be a mother hen with several charges. I wanted my kids to have siblings to laugh and cry with. Play with, to pick on each other, to fight and make up – the whole thing. The idea of not being a parent, never knowing what it is like to have a child… well that breaks my heart a little. So is that the answer?

I do want kids and the one thing I don’t doubt is that they will be worth it. I just wish I was certain about everything else. Or at least to know that my questions above (ALL OF THEM) are perfectly natural to feel. Because I’m a very focused person. I know what I want and I work hard to make it happen. I‘ve never had “cold feet” when it came to getting married or moving or choosing schools. So the cold feet thing is new to me. (Relatively at least, I can’t say I’ve never had a single doubt in my life, but when it comes to this kind of thing, yeah, I’m usually just sure.)

I also wish the very large clock would shut the fuck up. And I wish we won the lottery (not even the jackpot, one or two million should do to make our family) because while we can afford having kids now/once they are here, we can’t afford getting/creating them in the first place.

Anyway that’s my headspace right now. Kids, the reality, the questions and doubts, and the very loud clock that is doing its best to tick away at my sanity. Oh well, I guess I can just take a personal hour. Since once I have kids – there will be no such thing!

-DMW

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