Hi all i'd really love some advice,I have been with my partner since i was 15 now 28,we are planning on getting married and in the next couple of years hoping to start a family BUT.....How do you know when your ready??
I suffer from chronic anxiety and panic attacks and every now and again have to spend a day in bed just doing nothing to keep me sane,lol,but theres no way i can do this with a child.I am so confused,we both know we really need to start on this road but i just feel nothing but trepidation,also what makes me worse is most kids seem to annoy me after a while,its not that i dont like children but some of the habits my friends children have drive me mad!! Am i cut out to be a mum?? It seems the right and natural thing to do and i have never envisaged my life without children,but i just seem to keep putting it off,any advice is really very much appreciated.
Possibly you are waiting for answers from the ladies? Well, I am a man, but I am a father as well, so I may have something useful to share with you.
First I would ask why you don't try to heal your anxiety in a most natural way possible, that is, without medications, but rather with diet, exercise, relaxation, sleep, meditation, talking therapy, etc... It may be expensive and time-consuming, but it's very important for you to be relatively healthy when you have small kids.
When are you ready? When you have found the right partner, first of all. You never should have a kid alone, for a kid needs both mom and dad. And a first-time mom needs a lot of support, especially from her partner.
Don't judge your future kids by the kids of your friends. Yours can be completely different from them. And maybe it's only an impression, but when you have kids of your own, you can become a lot more tolerant of and patient with kids. It is something only motherhood and fatherhood can teach us.
Anyway, if you have a stress-free pregnancy, a stress-free delivery, if you are able to breastfeed your baby and all that, it's very probably that he or she will be a very calm baby and won't drive you mad. Education from conception onwards is maybe all they need.
But I am not telling that having kids is like paradise. It is not. You will never be the same again and you will have less and less time for yourself. Without kids, however, something may be missing from your life.
Hi Pendulam,thanks so much for your insight.I refuse medication for my anxiety as i believe this only masks the problem,i try to learn the coping stratergies to deal with them which i think is more important.
I am sure about my relationship with my partner,he is a very special person and is extremly supportive and i dont think i'd want children with anyone else.
You've hit the nail on the head with your last comment,my sister left it too late and now she regrets her decision not to have children,thats not something i want.
I do want children it just all feels very very scary,there are so many questions it throws,will i be a good mum? What if i'm not naturally maternal? and so on but its very kind of you to answer me.
Hi Danni - I completely agree with the other poster. Try to heal as much of your anxiety as possible now, while you have time to concentrate on yourself and your needs. You can do so naturally, or use meds. for some time if need be, although you would probably want to be free and clear of them before you start considering trying to conceive.
I have nine children, eight boys and one girl, seven biological and two adopted, and yes, you better believe there are crazy days, and times when one (or more!) of them are not acting the way my husband and I hoped to raise them, but they are the center of our lives, and we love them all to pieces, and wouldn't trade them, none of them, for the world.
All that said, I think you will look at life in general completely differently when you have your anxiety under control. Deal with that first, and see what you think. I, too, have suffered with anxiety from time to time throughout my life, and I know how tough it can be. Be good to yourself...invest time, now, while you're young, in figuring out how to be the best "you" you can be, and then approach the issue of children again.
I think you are "good mum" material already just for thinking so much in advance about what kind of parent you will be!
Hi Danni - I think we posted at the same time, so I just wanted to quickly add that I am not trying to "force' the idea of meds. on you - I posted that before I read your second post. Just wanna be clear - I don't like telling anyone (except hubby & kids! ) what to do!!!
Also, maternal "instinct" is not all it's cracked up to be- just like your relationship with your partner - it takes WORK - you can be a good mum if you want to be!
Just a thought. Kids are like baseball games. You might get 15 minutes of greatness out of nine innings. But those minutes are totally worth it!
There are many other people, including myself, that suffer from far worse problems & illnesses than what you suffer from. For the first year of my sons life I was having such a hard time just breathing, I could hardly walk! This is do able! You just have to take care of yourself. I have an illness where I have to take meds for the rest of my life. I have bad days, but my husband does help out when I need him.
Next, you should see how your b/for whatever he is, acts around kids. You want a man that is going to be your partner, not just a sperm donor. He needs to be a part and active part of the child's life. Just b/c he's there is not good enough!
And remember: You will never be 100% "ready" for your child, no parent is I don't think.
Marirose: I think I am crazy for having 3 kids (1 boy 3, and pregnant with twins!), wow, how do you do it?!?
I think the advice everyone else suggested was great! I never thought of myself as a mother. but then my husband and I got a surprise 9 months before our wedding date!! I was due the day we were supposed to get married! We've now been married for 4 years and am pregnant with our third child. I sometimes think back to that carefree person I once was and think "I really miss all the things I used to be able to do". Then my kids pop in to my head and I realize that I would NEVER change a thing. Kids WILL change your life. I never have a minute to myself because there is always someone attached to my leg, but I love it so much! I wouldn't worry too much about being a good mom. To me that's a sign that you will be a good one. As to not really liking the habits of other kids....I don't always like my kids "habits", but their mine and I love them! My nieces and nephews can drive me batty, but I always seem to be able to deal with whatever my kids dish out. I always had anxiety, but was able, like you, to control it without using medication. Good luck and congrats on your upcoming wedding!!!!!
You are never ready, you will be over whelmed with joy and awe and emotion. You will also become a mother/father and have 9 months give or take to adjust. If you are stable and willing to try.. start trying.
You never know when it will happen. In my case, I was told you are infertile you will need to go to a fertility specialist when you want to try by my OB at my yearly appointment.. I wasn't ready.. not interested in pregnancy and said, "No problem." We were taking all the possible precautions.. BC, condoms, well...
Four weeks later I am sick as a dog.. vomiting 24/7 for days and days.. crawled to my GP, for aide. With one thought make it stop. My Gp grinned and asked could you be pregnant.. I laughed and said I was infertile. And wasn't pregnant 4 wks past at my OB's.. well a quick blood test and the hormones showed I was very pregnant.. with multiples. My GP said I would say you are very fertile. I take it as my body and the powers that be thumbing its nose at my OB. I always responded well to reverse psychology.
I was all natural in line for identical and ferternal twins.. I was in shock, told my boss and apologized to him before telling my husband. I praise the powers that be now that of the three, two were readsorbed and now I have a healthy, smart, stubborn, independent sassy son out of the ordeal. I don't know if I could have handled three of him.. but knowing how I adapted to him.. I am sure given my great in-laws and family we would have made it.
Good luck and Best wishes.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.
Hi there! I think that your honesty is what is going to help you be a great mom. Your not denying the fact that you have some issues etc. We ALL do, and we are all parents ( so far that have posted). I as well have pretty severe anxiety. I thought the same thing as you when I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified of having to take care of someone else when I can barely take care of myself on some days. I have gone the medication route, and am not taking something now, and feel crappy sometimes. That's the way it is with anxiety, you can't predict it. However, I have found that my son (who is 2) helps me with panic and anxiety tremendously! I feel so much better when he's with me.
I also, was never really into other people's kids. They annoyed and skeeved me to tell you the truth! But when you have your own, it's so different! You might not feel maternal now, but something will just kick in and throw you into parenthood. You will have to give almost every convenience and luxury up for a long time, but as the other poster said, it is worthit. You may, no, you WILL have days that make you more crazy than you ever have been in your life, and angry too, but it just takes one smile or funny thing they do to wipe it all away. I never thought I could think this way....... I guess what I'm trying tosay is your NEVER ready, no matter your age, income, etc. But as long as you have a loving partner that you can also invision being a good role model, and you are able to financially support yourself with out too much trouble, then don't be afraid. Your'e going to do a great job.
most kids seem to annoy me after a while,its not that i dont like children but some of the habits my friends children have drive me mad!! Am i cut out to be a mum??
Don't base your decision on that. I have two kids and I love them to pieces... but I can't stand most of my friends' kids! That probably sounds horrible, and I'd be insulted if one of my friends said that about one of my kids - but, well there you have it!
Marirose: I think I am crazy for having 3 kids (1 boy 3, and pregnant with twins!), wow, how do you do it?!?
Hey Keisha- Believe me - a LOT of people think we are crazy for choosing to have a big family - me included at times! We have some advantages that have made it easier for us - my husband inheritted a farm with a big house from his parents- so we have plenty of space to spread everybody out, and my husband works the farm, so he makes his own schedule and is almost always at home (even if not in the house with me) and those things help alot!
We try to just take things one day at a time, and literally not sweat the small stuff, as they say. We are also firm believers in prayer and find a lot of sanity in praying together daily.
Also, as of late last summer, we had six kids. Then my brother died, and we adopted his two children, and just a few weeks later, found out that I was three months pregnant! So we jumped from six to nine rather quickly!
Of course there are days when I would like to crawl under the covers and not come out, but I wouldn't trade my life for anything. In fact, even though my husband and I have both recently turned forty, we are hoping for #10!!!!
Good luck with your little boy and the twins on the way, Keisha!!!
Hope this was a help to you Danni!
Last edited by Marirose; 05-04-2007 at 11:41 AM.
Wow thank you all so much for your amazing responses,its helped me to see that i'm not that different from everyone else.I'd never thought of the fact that because i'm thinking through things now probably means i'll be a good mum,i just thought i was a chicken,lol!!
Mairirose,i think you are a totally amazing person to do that for your brother and his children i am sure he would feel very happy with what you have done.
Once again thankyou all so much for your very kind words.
My dh was reluctant to have a baby, because of his depression problems. I was the one who was pushing him. Right now he said it would be tragic not to have this intelligent bright girl (she is only 4). Unfortinately, we unlikely have more, which we may regret.
It is different when it is your kid and somebody elses. I love her and she drives me crazy at the same time.
After you hit 30 I wouldn't suggest you to postpone anymore. I had hard time to get pregnant even none of us have any phisical problems. It is an age.
First and foremost on the list of preparations for a baby...can you afford to have one? Will you be living in poverty with that extra mouth to feed? I know quite a few young couples will dive right into making a family without considering the costs - not saying this is you, but I've read and heard from many couples who started young (in their twenties) with baby-making and then bleated about six months into parenthood about how they didn't know it would be so expensive.
Second...can you function with little to no sleep for about five years? I think many mothers will agree that you won't be getting much sleep when you've got a baby, especially if you choose to co-sleep (which I, personally, would not recommend considering the risk of rolling over onto the baby, especially if you or your partner are heavy sleepers).
Third...can you accept the fact that there will always be a chance your child is born with defects? Even the most flawless pregnancies can result in kids with deformities.
That's cool if you've chosen not to take meds to treat anxiety - that can get extremely pricey. Besides that, if you were to get pregnant and you were on any medications, you'd probably need to stop taking them so they wouldn't harm the fetus or baby if you chose to breastfeed. Also with the panic and anxiety attacks - you have to really ask yourself if, during your worst attacks, you could handle a baby crying or a toddler banging on your door screaming "Mommy, mommy, mommy!" because they don't want to be alone. Can you handle those dreaded 'terrible twos', which sometimes extend into 'terrible threes'?
As far as not liking your friends' kids...some people hate everyone else's kids, but love their own. Some people dislike other kids, think theirs will be different and have one, and then dislike their own kids too. Also, why do you feel you need to start on the road of parenthood? I hope this doesn't come off as being mean, because I promise, I'm not trying to be mean...but having children is not an obligation of a marriage, dating, or even adulthood. Kids are an option, so definitely don't ever feel like you need to have them - if you want them, then go for it. If you have qualms about anything from finances to staying sane when Junior screams every hour at night, I would really suggest holding off on having kids. Defenitely do some reading and research about being a parent - learn what you'd need and what to expect. Check out parenting forums.
I'm not trying to talk you out of having kids, but a lot of people tend to go about starting families thinking it will all be easy, or little more than a soiled nappy here and a bottle there. I can't really tell you if you're ready for parenthood or not - ask yourself the questions I presented, and if you answered 'no' to any of them, then you're probably not ready just yet.
Just remember - when they're your kids, you can't give 'em back at the end of the day.