The thought of whether I want to be a mother or not has always weighed heavy on my heart and caused me a great deal of stress. All the pregnancy announcements and new babies in my life are only heightening my feelings about becoming a parent.
One minute, I’m making a list of all the things I love about being married and not having children, and the next minute, I’m having a full fledged breakdown (ugly tears included) because a friend sends me a cute video of her toddler playing in the yard.
Am I Being Influenced?
Not once in my life have I felt a longing to be a mother. So many of my friends always knew that they aspired to raising tiny hands and feet, but not me. I never felt that “urge” or that tug on my heart…
But maybe something is changing…
But then again, maybe it’s not.
Maybe I’m letting societal norms and what everyone else is doing influence my feelings on having a baby. It’s one thing to let your friends influence what jeans you buy, but having a baby, I just can’t wrap my head around that.
It’s a REAL, deep rooted fear of mine that I’m being influenced by those around me. How else would all my feelings change in a year? How would I feel if none of those people I’m close to were getting pregnant and having children? Why did THEY decide to have children?
It’s completely acceptable to ask people why they don’t want kids. Why can’t we ask them why they do?
A few days after we closed on our new house, I went upstairs and stood in what would be my office. I just kept thinking, “This would make the perfect nursery.” In fact, part of me didn’t even want to unpack the office boxes. That room didn’t feel like it was supposed to be an office.
These warmer feelings about growing our family feel like trespassers. They don’t belong in my head. I like the comfort of my OLD feelings before literally everyone around me got pregnant or had a baby (or two).
I used to see those iconic ultrasound photos and think, “Thank goodness that’s not me.” I love our life exactly the way it is with just the two of us and our two furry friends.
I like being able to go where I want, when I want. I love sleeping straight through the night, and I also enjoy showering and going to the bathroom in privacy. I don’t want to trade Wednesday night cocktails for soccer practice and romantic getaways for trips to Disneyland.
But lately, my reaction to seeing everyone grow their family is so different. I think, “Why them and not me?” Sometimes I feel jealous. It’s surprising and uncomfortable.
I think about how equipped we are to bring a little one into this world. We have a strong, happy marriage and so much love for one another. Careers that provides us financial stability and a beautiful, new place to call home. Support of family and friends and everyone else who surrounds us. We have SO MUCH to give. Wouldn’t it be a shame if we kept all that goodness to ourselves?
But I don’t want to be a mom. Or do I? I mean, everyone else is…
What About My Husband?
So glad you asked. Obviously, the decision to bring life into this world is more than just mine. My husband and I are having conversations about our thoughts and feelings on children almost every other day. We have landed on two “scales.”
One is readiness and the other is desire. At this point, we both feel like we are ready, but neither of us are there on the desire scale. Then again, my desire scale is like an emotional rollercoaster fluctuating between seeing baby bump photos on Facebook.
My husband is loyal and steady in every area of his life, including this one. He wants children, but not quite yet. Ideally, he would like to be out of fellowship and working as an attending physician when the baby is born.
The Choice is Ours
Sometimes I wish it would just happen by “accident,” so I didn’t have to make the choice myself. That would remove the pressure and the weight of the decision off my shoulders.
Thanks to modern birth control methods, the choice is ours more than ever. By continuing to use my current birth control method of choice (the Merina IUD, which I LOVE), the possibility of a pregnancy is less than 1%.
Meaning, I must make the very conscious, planned decision to walk into a doctor’s office and have my contraceptive device removed. That roadblock comes with pros and cons.
Praying for Clarity
In the end, we have no idea if we can even get pregnant, and IF we do, I know it could be a rocky road. I feel 100% confident handing that over to God, but I pray and pray and pray about whether we should try and never see a sign or hear an answer.
I don’t know what that means. I’m just waiting. It’s hard and confusing. Especially as everyone (I am not exaggerating here) around us is having children.
Every day, I scroll through Instagram looking at moms with their tiny humans and feel so far away from an answer for us. If we even want to TRY to get pregnant, I have to make a doctor’s appointment, and I’m not sure what would drive me to do that. I really don’t know.
And you can tell me that, “It’s okay. You are young. You have so much time,” but please don’t. I know I am young. I know I have time. I am SO grateful for both of those things. It’s a blessing, but neither of those things are helping me navigate these feeling as friends and family members move to the next stage in life (for them).
All I’m trying to figure out is if God is stirring up this change in my heart (to have kids) or if I’m being influenced by everyone around me. I’m not sure where or when the clarity will come, but I’m praying fiercely that it does.
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Ultimately, my husband and I will make this decision to try together. I’m so thankful for our communication and his patience with me through all of this. He’s always willing to listen to my crazy feelings, wipe away my tears and assure me that God has a plan. I don’t know how I got so lucky. He really would make the best dad one day.
Photography: Emily DeKoster