Why I'm Afraid Of (Having) Children

July 22, 2013

Yesterday I held a baby. I didn’t want to hold the baby. I was terrified that I would drop the baby. This terror led to a vision… That one day I would have my own baby. While rocking the baby one morning, gazing lovingly out the window, a car would approach. As the car nears, the neighbor’s dog bolts into the street and in a moment of impulse I drop the baby and run outside to stop the car from hitting the dog. The dog would be fine, my baby would be dead, and I’d be spending the rest of my life trying to hang myself in a jail cell. Don’t tell me this isn’t going to happen. It COULD HAPPEN. Then there’s the terror ingrained in me from my past experiences with children. My mom took Jazzercise classes every Saturday morning when I was 14 years old. To make some money I would babysit the kids in the childcare room for an hour. Aside from the pain of watching the same Bernstein Bears video over and over again, the job was ok. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. Until these two little boys arrived, about age 7. That’s when I began to dread every Saturday. These two pint-sized (albeit strong) boys spent the entire hour kicking, punching, and biting me. Being beaten up repeatedly by two children made me vow never to have kids. During this babysitting phase I also watched my two cousins aged 6 and 3 on a few occasions. It took only a couple nights of being fiercely bossed around by the 6 year old until I vowed never to babysit again. And renewed my vow to never have children. I not only believed that I wasn’t good with children, but I also actually feared being alone with them. What do I say to them? What do I do? What if I do or say the wrong thing? Will their parents get mad at me? And my most embarrassing fears: What if the children call me ugly? Or dumb? Or boring? To be denied by a child seems like the most horrible thing of all. But yesterday, I held a baby. And it was rather nice. My friends said I had the baby sway down. And my boyfriend said I should get a dog.        

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