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Inconclusive: On The Fence About Motherhood

October 3, 2011

When a woman is ambivalent about motherhood, mothers will reassure her it’s “worth it” and it’s the choice for her. On the fence women and men may have a hesitancy towards motherhood or children based on their careers, social life and freedom, relationship status, age, lack of maternal instinct or a culmination of all factors and more. They are not essentially childfree but they hold the question open. I’m not going to try to convince any woman to not have children. That is a deeply personal choice for every individual.

“Birth. Imagine pushing a grapefruit through your anus. Imagine it taking ten hours. Imagine that after ten hours of trying to push a grapefruit through your anus and failing that doctors cut a big hole in your belly to remove the grapefruit. Don’t believe anyone who says that they forget all about it in a few months”. -Jacob Davenport

It is perfectly logical to ask the question: Do I really want to have kids? Any reasonable person would look at the pros and the cons, as well as their own personalities, lifestyles, relationship and support systems. It is unmistakeably expensive to have a child in Canada, with many websites such as reporting the cost of a child to be between $11,000 to $13,000 alone in the first year (less if breastfeeding). But then again, the on the fence mother may want to have a little one because you know you’ll fall in love with the little guy and his chubby cheeks.

But then you remember you weren’t all too gung-ho on the idea because it will be stressful on the marriage, a harrowing birth, and of course loss of freedom and money. Of course, when you spend time with your friend’s children–you picture yourself in a similar role. There are people who peruse both childfree sites and parenting sites trying to decide which role suits them better. The best thing to do is find out as much as you can and if having a baby is worth all the sacrifices and the inevitable changes in your life, your relationship-everything. . Ask yourself if you may regret not having a baby 20 or 30 years down the line.

See the world through new, unjaded eyes”

Even childfree folks get “baby rabies” the way they get the flu. The quick, instantaneous desire to suddenly procreate and have a child (also known as baby envy). The best thing to do is wait. You  may feel relief awash over you in a week when you hear a screeching baby on the train and wonder what drug you were on to even cogitate this notion. If you still feel a strong need and your baby rabies isn’t going away, it’s probably your maternal clock ticking. When you picture yourself with a kid on an everyday basis are you fearful, taut and miserable….or happy, smiling and serene?


From → childfree

  1. It’s the part about envisioning everyday life – every single DAY of it – with a child that makes those little “aw” moments pass without thoughts of trying to get pregnant. I once had a very powerful dream about motherhood that stuck with me for days. I even felt a little sad about my choice to not have children because that emotion of motherhood (in the dream, at least) was surprisingly beautiful. But moments are just moments, and they certainly aren’t enough (for me) to build a life around.

    • Yes, it is vital to understand how much of a responsibility it is, and how time-consuming the role of being a parent is. Nobody says it is a decision we don’t have afterthoughts about, and being conscious of the decision is what sets us apart. It’s good for you to acknowledge that those cute short moments aren’t enough and the fact is, we are pacified with it. It isn’t always black and white, is it?

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