I’m 31 & Terrified of Having Kids

With my first wedding anniversary just days away, the same question is getting asked exponentially more often…

“So when are you going to have kids?”

My husband is ready. He’s BEEN ready. Heck, he was ready even before we got married. He’s always loved being the “cool uncle” and is GREAT with kids in general. I have no hesitation when I say, I know he will be an amazing father. A few years ago he had a serious case of baby fever. He would randomly send me pictures of cute babies throughout the day. I know that he is absolutely ready for a little miniature version of himself and to finally be called ‘Daddy.’

I’m 31.

I’m not ready.

I’m TERRIFIED.

I’m not talking about just a small fear of the unknown. I become paralyzed with fear when the train wreck of what-ifs start invading in my mind. I keep thinking about work, taking maternity leave and how that will affect my career plans. I’m at a crucial point in my career and I don’t want my plans to be derailed. I fear that for those few weeks that I am off work, changes will be made, or my supervisors will decide that I am no longer needed or that I don’t contribute as much to the organization as I feel I do. I know these are my own insecurities, but they make me very uneasy.

I understand that by law, my job is protected for 12 weeks. This is the Family Medical Leave Act; however, this only applies to the terms and conditions of your employment. Your employer may place you in a different role if it is considered “equivalent” to your role prior to your leave. Here is a link where you can find more information.

The fear magnifies when I consider planning and caring for a child.

I constantly fret over the cost. Let’s face it. Babies are expensive. It does not help that child care in the United States is extremely expensive. I look at our budget and wonder how we will fit in child care, diapers, food, medical costs, etc…

Millions of financial questions start rushing through my mind… How will I afford the furniture, car seats, playpens, rocker, etc…? How will I afford boxes and boxes of diapers? What if I can’t breastfeed? Formula is so expensive, how will I pay for it? What if I can’t afford the daycares that I find suitable? How can I afford to be on maternity leave with no income?

Pregnancy. I don’t think I’m so terrified about that. I have seen my sister and my friends go through their pregnancies and I have learned a little bit from each one of them. I know that there are risks with every pregnancy and every woman’s experience is different. I know that I will have to take care of myself and make many health changes to make sure I am doing the best for unborn child… But what if that is not enough?

And now… The Selfishness.

I’ll be honest. I feel horribly guilty because I keep wondering “what about me?”… Will I have time to myself? Will I be waking up multiple times every single night? Will I have any time to myself? Will I be able to have a few quiet minutes to read a book? How much help will my husband give? Will I be overwhelmed taking care of a baby while my husband is at work? How will this affect my body? I’m not healthy enough, what changes do I need to make?

Then I start feeling or anticipating inadequacy. What if I’m not a good mom? What if I lose my patience? Can I still be a good wife? How will I still be able to juggle cooking, cleaning, and maintaining the house? What if I have a breakdown?

Pure anxiety.

The anxiety is crippling, and honestly, prevents me from making any plans to start a family. Now, when anyone asks, I just say that my husband and I are looking forward to celebrating our first anniversary and will “consider” it for next year.

I’m just buying time.

As more time passes, the more I feel as if I am not being a good wife or woman.  I feel that I should be excited about starting a family. And as of right now, I can’t even have a conversation about it, let alone begin planning for one. The conversations set off my insecurities and the downward spiral pattern of my thoughts. When I start getting asked the questions, I just deflect the conversation elsewhere.

I’m too scared.

Help.

If you, like me, are looking to see if anyone out there shares your fear, please comment below. Let us support each other, and know that we are not alone…

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Mommification

How often do you see them? A mess of lopsided pony tails, yoga pants, loose-fitting shirts, and diaper bags. Fabric literally engulfing them to the point of looking like a walking pile of laundry. Sneakers or flip flops carrying them from errand to errand until they collapse at the end of the day. I call them Mommies. Or should I say us? I call US Mommies. Sure, we’re blessed with beautiful, bouncing bundles of joy. But along with those bundles comes Mommification – when you realize that you’ve somehow slipped into a state of perpetual “blah” when it comes to clothing, shoes – just style in general.  We don’t mean for it to happen, but it does. Your appearance is secondary to the little life you’ve created. Comfort and mobility are crucial if you’ve got a toddler to chase after. You’re just. too. tired.

There are some of us that seem to do it all while still maintaining an impeccable appearance. But as for the rest of us – we need help! The first thing you need to remember is that they’re just clothes! We shouldn’t dread getting dressed – like, putting on ACTUAL pants. But what if things just don’t fit like they used to? They won’t. And that’s okay! But please don’t resort to that drawer full of workout clothes, or worse – lounge wear. Listen, I’m all for spending a day in your pj’s, but if you’re leaving the house in something that’s meant to be worn Sunday mornings relaxing on the couch, then we have an issue. Find pieces that fit well and make you feel put together. For new moms, choose pieces that are easy to clean and are made of a good quality fabric (for all the extra washes they’ll have to go through). Hang these items in the front of your closet. When you start to get a handle on life with kids and you’ve created a schedule for yourself, find the time to inventory the items you have that can be added to this new section of your closet.

Now, I’m not going to tell you what to wear – wear what you like! If it makes you feel good, go for it. The more put-together you look, the better you’ll feel. One of the reasons new moms go through postpartum depression is because of all the changes that just happened to their bodies. Dressing in a manner that accentuates this feeling only makes it more pronounced, causing a vicious cycle. I’m not saying that if you get all dolled up post-baby you’re guaranteed to eliminate postpartum depression. There are many other hormonal and environmental factors involved as well. But it’s a drop in the bucket to work towards feeling like yourself again – which is the main goal.

The most important thing every mom (new or not) needs to know is that just because you’ve become a mom, it doesn’t mean that’s all you are. You are much more than just one piece of you, even if it’s a really huge piece. You are also a daughter, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a student, and anything else you want to be. And if you loved getting all dolled up pre-baby, then you’ll definitely still love it post-baby (you just have to play around with the pieces a bit).  Being a mom is another part of you, another hat you wear, and you should pair it with a great outfit!

Melissa

Being the Mrs. – Part One

Saturday – January 10th, 2015

It has been quiet a while since I’ve written. Life’s many distractions got in the way. (Oh do I have a lot to write about that! Next post maybe?) For now, I find myself searching. I am on a day-to-day search for normalcy, with a little bit of routine mixed in there. For example, I’m writing my draft of this post on the Pages app on my iPhone. I never wrote on my iPhone before. I would always begin writing on my office PC during my lunch breaks at work. I would also write and edit from my laptop at home. Yet, here I am… On the go, and my neeeeeed to write has me clicking (tapping?) away on my iPhone.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about my life one bit! I’m just trying to adjust to allllll of the changes that have happened in a relatively short amount of time. This time last year I started going in a bit of an emotional downward spiral. I was engaged, trying to figure out how to manage some personal relationships gone sour, still living at home, trying to get pre-approved for a mortgage, adjusting to a new position at work (with a lot more responsibility), planning an engagement party, stressing about my weight, just getting past my sister’s wedding (that I planned in 2 weeks), and just trying to keep my stress level below “total meltdown” level.

Even with a lot on my plate, my days had somewhat of a routine to them. My Monday – Friday didn’t vary much. Being that I still lived at home with my family, my household responsibilities were extremely reasonable (as they were shared among other adults in the house). My weekends were for accomplishing things on my to-do list… For the most part, I didn’t constantly feel like I had no control of my day-to-day. (((Hold on, meeting up with someone to sell them the river rocks I used at my wedding.)))

Monday – January 12th, 2015

TWO DAYS. It took me TWO DAYS to get back to this. UGH. Anywho.

Going from living at home with my family and being engaged, and then finding my first place with my new husband, and getting married, all within about 45 days was a DOOZY. The adjustment period was virtually non-existent, since we spent those 45 days trying to make our rental livable (we had NOTHING. NO furniture, but tons of great kitchen stuff!). We also were scrambling to finish those last-minute wedding details and errands.

I immediately took on the roll of inventory manager. What do we need from Costco? Is there toilet paper in the house? Do we have anything in the fridge to eat tonight? Yes honey, there is soap under the sink. I wasn’t used to keeping all that information in my head. Then there is grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking. Those responsibilities were shared at home with my family. Now, those are on me. ONLY because I won’t share those responsibilities. My husband becomes a 5-year-old when I go grocery shopping with him. (Think: Pretending a roll of paper towels is a football and passing/throwing it to me in the middle of the store.) Also, his definition of “cooking” is making a bowl of cereal or a grilled cheese. Thankfully, he has taken over BBQ grilling duties!

What has made being the Mrs. and living with my husband WORK is that although I may own some of the responsibilities, he’s all about doing his part too. This man CLEANS. Let me be more specific. He cleans without me asking him to clean! Blows. My. Mind. For that I am eternally grateful. I am not a fan of cleaning, but I WAS raised to have pride in my home and to keep it tidy and presentable. He helps to keep our home neat and clean. Are we perfect at all times? Nope! But I love sharing a home with him.

Yet, cooking, cleaning, running errands, and spending time together was all erratic! I could barely plan ANYTHING. We moved the beginning of October, got married the beginning of November, came back from our honeymoon to the holiday crunch. Now, after the New Year (YAY for 2015!), we are ready to settle into some steady routines. Nothing that won’t allow us to be spontaneous… But something that will give us the ability to ENJOY our home and ENJOY our new marriage!

Happy 2015 everyone! Let’s make it an amazing year!

And then he came along…

I’m 30 years old and do not have any children… Naturally, I have had small spurts of Baby Fever where I melt inside when I see a newborn – and I think about how much I want one of my own… The Baby Fever comes and it goes…

Well… On Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014… at approximately 7:20pm… Baby Fever hit me like a ton of bottles of formula.

Baby Fever

This gorgeous young man was born to my sister Tracey… He looks exactly like her (YAY!) and my sister’s natural maternal instincts are amazing…

From the moment I held him I changed a little bit. This Baby Fever was different. When I held him, it wasn’t some stranger’s baby that I saw randomly, it was my nephew. The feeling of holding him was more personal. He felt so delicious in my arms, and I knew then that I absolutely wanted one of my own.

The small heart break is that my fiance and I are still planning our wedding and still planning our home purchase. Until our home is set up there won’t be any babies for us. So for now… I’ll need an antibiotic or something to fight this fever…

Thanksgiving Day Shopping: an Attack on the Family

Black Friday has been an un-official American holiday for years… The Black Friday I used to know was when people across the country would wake up at about 4 or 5 AM the morning after Thanksgiving and hit the malls and stores for the best bargains and sales in holiday shopping.

I have never been a participant in Black Friday shopping… I’m more of a Cyber Monday online shopping fanatic. Last year my holiday shopping was mostly done on Amazon.Com… I just can’t get out of my all too warm bed the morning after a major family feast…

Yet, in the past few years a major trend has begun and it has me incredibly concerned… Stores are now opening early on Thanksgiving day. By early I do not mean 11pm at night. No. They are opening the morning of Thanksgiving and staying open most, if not all, day! My local craft store, Michael’s, is opening at 11AM and closing at 5PM on Thanksgiving. Local malls and major stores are opening throughout the day.

What has happened to cherishing one of the few family-centered holidays that we have? Thanksgiving is not based around a religion, so all Americans have the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. I look forward to cooking with my mother and grandmother. I look forward to seeing my sister who now lives hours away. I look forward to chatting and sitting around a table. I look forward to having the positive social interaction that the family structure in America is losing, lacking and in need of rebuilding.

My hope for rebuilding the family-centered, quality, positive interaction is now being thrown out of a window.

Families are now being broken up on this holiday when members of the family are required to work. Trust me, I understand that there are those out there that need the extra day of pay, but the country-wide impact of this day is accelerating the decline of the American family.

Without getting into the history of the holiday, Thanksgiving at the least gave an opportunity for loved ones to gather and for generations to interact. With busy work and school schedules, such a day does not come by often. We did, however, have a day where America took a break from the busy day-to-day to gather and spend time with those we love.

Now? Now, we have family members working at the local mall when they should be with their loved ones. Now, we are teaching the youth of America that it is OKAY to skip on family time to run to the store for a sale. Now, we are teaching an entire country that family is not important anymore.

Is a miracle going to happen that reverts all the damage that has been done? No. What can happen is that we each focus on our families. Teach the youngest members the importance of family. Be the positive example for your family! Show them that THEY are your priority.