There are few decisions in life that can’t be undone.
Say you…declare a major in biology, but then decide your passion is really studying English. It might take a few extra semesters – and some extra dollars – but you don’t have to spend your life as a biologist if you decide you don’t want to. (Even later in life, career changes are quite common. I believe the average person will have something like three different careers in their lifetime.)
Or maybe you find yourself dating – or even married to – someone you decide you don’t want to be with. You can break up with that person or get a divorce, and then move on with your life.
But once you decide to have a baby, there is no turning back.
Even if you choose not to raise the child yourself, but give it up for adoption, you can never undo the fact that you brought a child into this world.
I believe that having children is the absolute correct path for some people. For some, it just isn’t.
The trick is making sure that every person who ends up with children truly wants them. Too often people succumb to all kinds of pressures and find themselves following the crowd like lemmings.
If you are a perpetual fence-sitter, I think you can’t decide for a reason.
If you really wanted to have a child, the desire would be all-encompassing. You would be absolutely sure about it. You would have thought about it for a long time, maybe all of your life.
Nagging doubts are our psyche’s way of keeping us from doing something. Sure, sometimes those voices are just trying to make you “play it safe” and avoid unnecessary risks. A self preservation mechanism.
But sometimes those voices are trying to stop us from making the wrong decision.
It’s true that you might just be scared to take that plunge. But you have to ask yourself how powerful your thoughts really are. Here are some questions to consider:
How long have you been wrestling with the decision to have a child?
Is it possible that you have declared yourself a “fence sitter” to avoid making a decision either way?
Do you fear what the label “child free” might mean?
Are you biding your time, waiting for nature to decide your fate for you?
There are all kinds of reasons that people can’t decide whether or not to have children. But I believe that you shouldn’t choose to have kids unless you are absolutely sure about it.
And to be absolutely sure, you have to arrive at your decision independently of other people. That is extremely difficult to do. You have to shut out all of the forces that are working on you.
There are lots of reasons that “seem” like real reasons. But they aren’t.
Your mother is pressuring you for grandchildren. Not a good reason.
All your friends are getting pregnant. Also not a good reason.
Your husband wants to be a dad. No, that isn’t a good reason either. If this is the case, you are in danger of succumbing just to make him happy, without truly committing yourself to parenthood. (If this describes you, see the article “You Don’t Want Kid – But Your Significant Other DOES”)
If, in your heart of hearts, you believe you want to have a child, then by all means – go for it!
But if you can’t decide, you have no choice but to wait. Every child deserves to be wanted by BOTH parents. Indecision is a sure sign that you just aren’t ready to have a baby.