If you feel like you’re the only woman in the world (or at least the only one on Facebook) who has mixed feelings about having a baby, know this: You’re not.
If you often imagine your future self as a joy-filled mother in one second and as a sad, trapped parent in the next, you’re not alone.
If you sometimes see the future you as a regretful woman with no children, and other times as a strong, child-free individual who loves her life, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
It’s exhausting, I know. The indecision. The risks. The crappy feelings. I was on the fence for several years, and it was not a comfy fence.
When I was up on that fence, I remember just wanting to want kids. I wanted to want them with my whole being, so badly. And I’ve heard other women say the same. Because if we could just want kids, the fear of regret would go away, right? No more painful confusion. No more guilt or pressure. Just the smooth sailing of certainty.
It doesn’t matter that we’re smart enough to know that no one gets smooth sailing in life. Doesn’t matter that we’re smart enough to know that every woman who feels confident in a motherhood decision no doubt struggles with fear and uncertainty in some other area of her life. Doesn’t matter. We still tell ourselves that if we could just have that same certainty about motherhood, all would be fine. All would be easy.
But you know what? After going through the process of making a decision I love, I say screw easy. The experience of ambivalence, of pressure, of pain—I believe that all of it happens for us. Here’s why.
Why Mixed Feelings About Having a Baby is a Good Thing
1. We can use this to learn how to deal.
The worst part of a crappy situation (like utter indecision) is, at the end of the day, how it makes us feel. It’s guilt that keeps us up at night. It’s fear of regret that keeps us distracting ourselves with more food. It’s shame makes us hide from the world. Crappy feelings are the worst—until we learn how to process them.
Ambivalence about motherhood brings up all the feels. But when you process the guilt you feel for not giving your parents grandchildren, or the fear you feel about giving birth, or the shame you feel for not fully wanting something that so many other women want, you take back control of your emotional state. Even better, you realize you were in control all along. And moving forward? Come what may—you know how to get through it with far less time spent licking every last crumb of chocolate off the wrapper. 😉 You can feel anything, which means you can do anything.
2. We can learn how to love ourselves.
We all hate on ourselves for a colorful variety of reasons. Having mixed feelings about cute little babies is like a razor-studded invitation to hate on yourself.
Something is wrong with me.
I’m a disappointment.
Why can’t I be normal?
I’m supposed to want to be a mother more than anything.
I’m all alone in this.
Any of that sound familiar? Here’s the beautiful part: When you work through your uncertainty and reach a decision you love, you pick up a thing or two along the way about how to treat yourself. You learn to go easier on yourself. To have your own back. And to to take care of yourself.
It’s all a part of the journey.
3. We can learn how to love other people.
When you do what you need to do to work through your ambivalence about having children, you come out the other side with boatloads more compassion, for yourself and others. You truly take to heart the fact that happiness has to start with you. You stop blaming others because you realize how disempowering it is. You stop acting out in ways that harm your relationships. You become less defensive and less angry because you no longer have a reason to feel that way.
And through all of this, your relationships grow deeper. Those sweetest things in life—they get even sweeter.
4. We can learn how to get perspective.
Tackling your uncertainty about whether you want to become a mother will force you to look at things you’ve been avoiding. Things you’ve told yourself you don’t know, or are confused about. Things that, at first, seem scary, but later prove to be the exact things you needed to see in order to find your truth.
When I work with women on their motherhood indecision, we use coaching tools to dissect the seemingly small things that are ultimately causing them an immense amount of pain. We pull apart the things that have balled up in the deepest corners of their hearts—because that’s where the magic is. That’s where the peace is.
5. We can learn how to make decisions we love.
Big decisions will come up in life again and again. Working through your motherhood decision with a coach like me will help you gain the skill of making decisions you love now and always. That means less time spinning in confusion and more time spent moving forward with a life you love.
I’ve been where you are, and I believe that I had to go through the pain of uncertainty to figure out who I am in the world. To understand my own strength. And to learn how to love, deeply.
We are women. We don’t need easy. We need life circumstances that challenge us and push us to see the beauty. To remember the truth of who we are. To come home to ourselves.
So tell me, why were you picked to have this experience in life?
Your uncertainty over motherhood is an invitation to do some digging and experience the growth that comes with finding your own answers. I’d be honored to join you on your journey. Questions about how coaching could help you work through this? I’ve got answers.