When I see babies I think they’re super cute. When I think of having my own children I suddenly have to search for air. The thought of having kids is really scary. I babysit all the time and every time again I think: I don’t know how they do it. I don’t know HOW they can take care of a child 24/7! Saying that raising kids is a challenge is an understatement of the same level as saying the universe is small. Is that really what I want my life to be about?
I have to admit, when people say they don’t want kids I feel relieved. I don’t think they are selfish at all, because they know being a parent means they have to be 100% dedicated and they don’t feel they’re up to that challenge. Kids don’t always fit in a lifestyle and the fact that people realize that is only a good thing. Bad people don’t seem to be worried about messing up their kids with horrible parenting. These are the selfish ones; not the ones who choose to save their kids from disaster.
To be honest, I don’t think I’d mess them up. I’m just scared and very realistic about the challenge. I keep thinking of all the horrors and things I’d have to give up.
The horror it begins with
First of all, I’m a chicken. To me, labor is one of the scariest things on earth. The word ”stitches” says enough. I also have a feeling going through labor in the Netherlands is messed up. You will basically have to do it without pain control unless there is a strong medical reason. In other countries an epidural is pretty much standard. Heck, you can even choose to have a c-section! Here you have to fight to get an epidural and a c-section is never a choice; it’s only an option in case of specific medical need. Upon timely request you can get an epidural, but they’ll try to talk you out of it. It still doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed an epidural, because that’s only possible in specific hospitals during specific hours. It’s not like you can request an epidural while in labor.
I know it has risks, but I’m pretty sure this country is not as advanced medically as other countries, so I know they’re not trying to be careful. They just want to save costs. The fact that they send you home after two hours (if there are no complications) proves that costs matter more to them than these women. May I also note that this country has almost the highest infant mortality rate of Europe? Giving birth is already scary, but having to do it in a country with crappy pre and postnatal care makes it even scarier.
No more carefree life
Responsibility will haunt you every second of the day and that is a very, very big sacrifice. Nothing is about you alone anymore. You can just say bye to freedom and spare time. Seriously, you have to keep an eye on little kids the whole time. You can barely find the time to eat, pray and shower. Shopping in all peace will be a vague memory of the past. If I feel exhausted after a day of babysitting, then how will I manage to take care of a child 24/7? You can’t sleep a night straight again and you can forget about those eight hours to gain any energy. Being a mother = sleep deprivation. And I didn’t even mention all the worries that come with the package. The cries at night are temporary; the worries are forever.
Superficial though real reasons
And then there are superficial reasons that are, nonetheless, in the back of my mind.
- Bye-bye nice body! Ever seen what happens to the belly after the baby gets out? In case you don’t know: it will never be the same again.
- Bye money. You really need to make sure you’re financially healthy before you dare to come close to your husband.
- Hello poopy diapers and milky puke.
- And hello cries. You will have to hear the sound of screaming, every day, a million times a day and it will drive you nuts.
So do I want to be a mother?
With this horror in mind… I’m still up for it. Yep, you read that right! Motherhood is simply in me and the fact that I said yes while aware of reality means I’m serious. Reality also means it’s best to wait a little, but it doesn’t alter the fact that it’s in my heart, my blood and my soul. I feel like there is an inexhaustible source of love and patience inside of me, waiting to burst and be poured over my own chubby-cheeked little humans. The unconditional love my mother had for me, along with all its warmth and worries, I want to pass that on to my own children. I want to do more than my best to be their support. I want to be the best caretaker I can be. I want to show my love even if that means I have to give up every sense of carefreeness. I am a mother. I just don’t have the kids yet.