As you probably know, I love kids. The last six years of teaching kids have brought me so much joy and laughter. Those children have made me so proud of their accomplishments and so happy for their happiness. However, those same children have also brought me stress, sleepless nights and challenges I sometimes felt I could never solve. In the next few years it will come time to have my own kids, and this really, truly scares me. Teaching is hard, and I know that being a parent will be so much harder. There are no vacations or long weekends from parenting. There is no saying goodbye to responsibilities at night, there are no lunch breaks. There is no saying goodbye at the end of a school year. From the minute I have that baby, there will be no break from being a mom for the rest of my life. I realize people take this plunge every minute somewhere on earth and that I am probably more prepared than some of those people to do this. But I still really, really fear it. There is a brief list of my baby related fears...
1. Sleep. I need it. I'm cranky and I get sick easily when I don't have it. Kids take it away. If it's not a crying and hungry infant, it's a sick and throwing up seven year old. If it isn't a "got in trouble at school today" fourth grader, it's a staying out way too late teenager.
2. Marriage. I once "joked" to Eric in a restaurant in Hawaii that kids ruin relationships, much to the evil eyes of the family next to us, oops. But in all honesty, Eric and I are really happy right now and I do worry that when we start losing sleep and having more responsibilities and less alone time, we will take it out on each other.
3. Work. I have had the pleasure of watching some wonderful teachers at my school become moms, and getting to know some already-mom teachers. I know it can be done and as far as full time jobs go, it's probably a good one to have with kids. But even still I worry about not being as good of a teacher, or as good of a mom. I worry about how I will react to dropping a baby off god-knows-where on my way to work. I worry even more about deciding not to work and surviving both financially and mentally as a stay-at-home mom.
4. Friends. I know it's unrealistic to expect to have as much time to devote to friends when you have kids and I'm okay with that. But I still worry, what if I can't maintain my friendships at all? What if my only friends become my kid's friend's moms? Or worse yet, what if I don't like any of my kid's friend's moms?
5. Kids. It goes without saying that the child itself is a huge fear of mine. Sure, I don't have any idea how to feed a baby, or really anything to do with a baby but I assume I will figure that out (aka ask my mom). I also don't really know what I'll do when my first grader's teacher calls, or my teenager lies to me. I truly believe I'd be able to figure out and manage all these "typical" situations, but what about the atypical? What if my child is born or acquires a real sickness? What if my child has a serious, serious behavior problem or autism or a delay? OR... what if my kid hates me? The possibilities are endless people...plus have I mentioned I am not good with throwing up? Kids always throw up... never in the toilet.
6. Tragedy. I'm not going to go here. I'm sure you can use your imagination. This scares me more than 1-5 put together.
I won't even get into my pregnancy fears.... but they definitely involve throwing up in the middle of teaching my students...
Wow, why do people do this again?
Anyone with me!?!