If you had asked me whether I wanted children five years ago, I would have answered with a resounding no. I never had any childhood aspirations of becoming a parent, but now the prospect of beginning a family of my own fills me with excitement. Here's what I believe has altered my perspective:
1. I was worried about how pregnancy would affect my body
I was once proud of my physique as a runner and fitness enthusiast, and I was determined not to let having children ruin my toned abs. However, I continue to take pride in my body because it is healthy and capable of nurturing a baby until delivery. My self-image has evolved from being vain and self-centered to appreciating the incredible opportunity that I am lucky enough to have.
2. I needed to achieve mental stability
In the past, I was my own greatest adversary, as I struggled with untreated depression and anxiety for an extended period. However, since receiving the necessary support, I now relish the idea of having a child. Rather than facing endless waves of anxiety and dread, seeing a baby smile brings me immense joy. I am in a stable place to care for a baby, understanding what I need to remain calm and content, and I am ready for the challenge of doing so with a child.
3. I wasn't sure if I wanted a life partner or co-parent
I have finally found someone with whom I want to bring a child into the world. His enthusiasm for babies is contagious, and I am equally excited. Although he is the youngest in his family, and I helped raise my three siblings, we share similar parenting perspectives. This has motivated me to want a baby, as when I imagine our children, I see a reflection of both him and myself.
4. You can't exercise when you're pregnant… or so I thought
I used to believe that exercising during pregnancy and after childbirth was impossible. However, I was mistaken. Countless women continue to lift weights and run throughout their pregnancies. One of my inspirational figures, Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, is a professional runner who chronicled her pregnancy, her struggles with postpartum running, and her postpartum body. Being pregnant doesn't restrict your ability to stay active; in fact, it's advantageous for both you and your baby.
5. Babies are Not cute when they cry
As a child, I never found babies to be cute. I frequently uttered phrases like "Ew, they're drooling" and "Make it stop crying!" However, after watching my siblings have children and working as a nanny, I am eager to witness what my own baby is capable of. I anticipate the joy of seeing my baby roll over for the first time and take their first steps. The prospect of guiding them through these significant milestones fills me with excitement.
6. Do I really want to raise a child in such a scary world?
Life can be incredibly frightening at times. Although I don't know what the world will be like when I become a parent, I realize that I cannot use this as an excuse to avoid having children. There will never be a time in history where politics are entirely peaceful, laws are always upheld, and countries maintain harmony. Instead, I view it as an opportunity to educate my children about the difference between good and evil.
7. Babies are a huge responsibility and I wasn't ready until now
During college, I struggled to take care of myself, and later on, my husband. We then welcomed a puppy and a cat into our family. As time passed, we lost the desire to go out every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night and wake up with hangovers. It's been a gradual transition, but I am now in a content and stable place, prepared to take on the responsibility of caring for a little human.
8. I really didn't want to mess things up
Have you ever argued with a 3-year-old? You're almost certain to lose! One of the most valuable lessons you can learn is how to overcome the challenges that come with having a baby. They may cry incessantly or grow up to be just as stubborn as you, but you get the pleasure of solving their puzzle. It's a learning experience for everyone involved. Rather than avoiding it, I'm excited about the opportunity. I used to be terrified of the prospect of not being able to handle it and harming a child emotionally, but now I'm confident that I can do a great job.
9. I want to leave a legacy
I don't want to end up alone at 50 or miss out on the joy of having grandchildren when I'm 80. I want to raise a child and witness their growth, passing on everything I've learned. I want to create memories that I can cherish forever. I want my children to remember growing up in a home with a cat and a dog, with a mom who loves to run and a dad who enjoys riding motorcycles.