Often times I see children and feel no ticking clock or mommy instinct inside of me that wants to be a mother. There are many reasons why I am confused about having children. Can I even afford a child or will I be a good enough parent? I think I will I have to do all the work and be the only one putting in the effort to raising that child. I feel once I have a child I will not be able to fully live my life anymore. I wonder if am I being too selfish and just putting my needs first. But what I do with my body is my choice and my right, so why do I feel guilty?
Are these common thoughts amongst millennial women? (According to Pew Research, anyone born between 1981 and 1996 is considered a Millennial.) I was curious to if others my age are thinking the same as ,e, so I took a question to my social media, “Are there any of you scared of having children or do you just not want them? If so, tell me your reasoning.” There were several answers to my questions.
A 18-year old-woman, who is not a millenial, answered something very similar to how I feel, she feels scared to have children. Though she loves children, her fear is greater than her love. She said, “I probably overthink but I just think I will turn out to be a bad parent. I’ll literally be raising a human being. What if I don’t do that well? What if my children will turn out bad. What if, what if, what if… That is what really scares me.”
Many other women answered something all the lines of what she said. We are terrified of not being good mothers. Why are we scared, is it because we think our parents did not do a good enough job at raising us or our, we, as women, to hard on ourselves? Do us women think we are not a good enough person to raise a child? To be honest, if we want to admit it or not, raising the child is usually thrown on the women and that is something I am not ready to handle. Unfortunately not everyone can afford nannies.
I often think to myself that I am scared that if I even try to have kids, what happens if I cannot? One women who answered my question said she was scared to even try to get pregnant, just like me.
I know I cannot predict the future, I cannot control how my child will turn out, no matter how hard I try, they will still become their own person and I would want my child to be who they want to be. But what if that is not a good person? Then I would feel guilty. I would feel like a failure. A 23-year-old women my age answered me that, “I’m excited (to have children) but I don’t think I’ll ever have that gut “I’m ready feelings.” Myself, I often ask people, “When did you realize you were ready to be a mother?” Some say it is, “because I am getting older, so if I don’t have children now, then I probably never will be able to.” Maybe it is something that will come eventually but I do not know. Do you think you ever really know when you are “ready”?
A 29-year-old woman said, “I was always scared and wanted to adopt because this world is harsh, especially if you are a girl.”
A 24-year-old woman said, “I grew up in a family of 6 children. I am the eldest. So I helped my parents a lot. I’ve seen and felt the sacrifices that you have to make as an parent to have children. I don’t know if it is because I am selfish or other reason but that is what makes me not want kids. I also never had the “feeling” that everybody is talking about. So I don’t know.”
When I was younger, I wanted to have one child and adopt one, but things have changed in my mind since then because as we grow older, our way of thinking also changes. I am not the oldest of all of my dad’s children but I am the middle child and helped raise my eldest niece and little brother. My oldest niece is ten years younger than me and my youngest brother is 17 years younger than me. I am 25 now.
I saw the sacrifices my family made to raise us and they couldn’t do it on their own without my help even, how can I do it on my own? A 31-year-old-woman stated that, “Because the expectations today are so enormous and there’s no societal support for mothers. We’re expected to work, raise children, and be a housewife all together. It’s exhausting enough seeing other women go through it.” She continued, “I’m seriously terrified of the “mental load” carried on by women, especially after children. I can barely make it on my own, I don’t want to think about the stress of managing an entire household while still having a career.”
My mom used to joke and point at me and say, “these kids are your birth control,” to prevent me from having sex. Though I wasn’t sexually active as a teenager, that is besides the point. I do think what my mom said has part of to do with why I am scared to have children but not all of it. It is not that I don’t love kids, I do. I love them so much that I am scared to bring a child into a world like this. I see so many horrible parents too, I do not want to be one of them. I do not want to fail a little human. I see how society fails children. I see how politicians and world leaders are acting like bullies and killing innocent children. So I think to myself, time and time again, is this really a world I want to raise a child in?