12.04.2012

Quarter-Life Crisis: Baby Fever

Hello! In case you didn't know, I recently actually got a normal job where I work 15 hours a week. I realize that it isn't a lot, but I work 11-2 every weekday, so it does take a chunk out of my "productive hours." So everything is pushed back a bit. I have a stack of things I need to photograph for my shop, yet daylight hours end at about 4 every day. Bleh. 

Anyway, my job is at a Child Development Center here in McMinnville and I work with 3 and 4 year-olds each day. This, plus what feels like a constant stream of pregnancy announcements appearing on my Facebook wall, have given me a pretty big case of baby fever. I find myself always going to the "Kids" category on Pinterest, checking on my favorite "Mommy Blogs," and slowing down whenever I walk past the baby section at department stores. 

I realize that my husband and I are not quite in a place in our lives where starting a family is a good choice. Since Justin is only working as an intern right now, we have no idea where we will be living or what we'll be doing in a year. So until we have some stability, we are waiting. And my logical side does outweigh my emotional side in this matter. No worries.

But I have mentioned this struggle to a few other people, most of them with children of their own. Many have been understanding and have offered to pray with or for me in this area, but some have been full of advice that I wasn't looking for. I usually just smile and nod and claim that I understand, but honestly, this type of response just kind of makes me angry. 

The type of advice or comments that I am talking about often sound like this:

  • "You'll wish you were without kids again when you are totally sleep deprived."
  • "My husband and I always wish we would have waited longer to have kids!"
  • "You can never take a trip or even go out to dinner without it being a big deal after kids."
  • "Enjoy your childless years while you can because kids stick around for at least 18 years!"
  • "Parenting is really hard and you want to make sure you have a steady marriage first."
  • "Just spend some time with my kid, then you won't want one anymore!"

None of these comments are given with the wrong intentions. And I understand that they all have some truth behind them. But it seems like a lot of people act like parenting is this secret club in which everyone just wishes they didn't have kids. 

I realize that children make everything more difficult. I'm not one of those girls that just wants a baby because they are cute a cuddly. I want a child because the desire to create, raise, and guide another human being is innate. It has been one of the only things I have ever wanted to do with my life. Ever since I can remember, the only consistent goal in my life has been to be a mother. 

I have been working with kids in some aspect or another since Middle School. I have changed poo explosion diapers, been peed on by little boys, rocked a crying baby for hours while chasing a two-year-old, been on the verge of tears because a tantrum seems to go on forever, put up with back talking and deliberate disobedience from children more times than I can count. I realize that experiencing all of this doesn't make me a parent, but it has to count for something. It has to matter at least a little because, even after all of these things, I still long to be a parent. 

So, often when I receive advice like the ones above, I have the urge to tell them that I understand at least a little bit of what I would be getting myself into, but that would, of course, be rude. I want to tell them that I know being a parent is not all sunshine and daisies. That it is more poop, pee, spit up, and crying than I can even imagine. But I don't tell them. 

Instead, I thrive on articles like this one. It seems that her experience is exactly like what I am preparing myself for. The downs are there, and they are real. But the ups are so much better and that children are worth all of the pain you might go through. 

Anyway, those are just some thoughts from a 23-year-old childless woman. If you know someone like me who is longing for motherhood and you are a parent yourself, just consider my words. Before you offer up your "terrible" kid as the baby fever antidote, get to know why they long for this and what they expect from parenthood. Then you can give them the encouragement and guidance that they need rather than the deterrent advice. 




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18 comments:

  1. I loved this post. Thank you!
    I am in the same position you are right now. And yes, sometimes I get frustrated for not being able to share 4 sentences with my bff before she has to run after her toddler, so we get that this is not easy, but I def think that some people make a big deal of all the 'downs' in this. And you know what? If you raise them right, and you focus on Jesus and your marriage, you'll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you understand. I mean, I know a few people whose kids throw extremely frequent and intense temper tantrums, so I can understand their frustration. But with most kids, you are exactly right with your last statement. :)

      Delete
  2. Great post! I totally get where you're coming from. I had a major case of baby fever myself for a while. Now too much is going on in my life and I'm distracted from it, but I long to be a mom sometime soon and I don't really understand myself why people seem to want to discourage parenthood. It seems to me that people need encouragement and support, and perhaps sympathy and a listening ear, but this cynical "babies ruin lives" attitude seems to me to reflect a self loathing of the human race. I know that sounds harsh, but what I mean is, we were all children once and when adults treat children as horror stories or obstacles to good things they diminish the value of the future generation. That seems fundamentally wrong to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! I don't think that is harsh at all. I can understand moments of desperation, but in general, raising a child is a privilege and a blessing!

      Delete
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