Friday, July 19, 2013

Reasons I shouldn't have children

This post by blogger Kate Harding is old, but I just read it, and it really struck me with how much I can relate to it.
"I envision myself being filled with barely controllable rage when a two-year-old behaves like a two-year-old. I envision myself sliding down a wall and weeping on the floor for an hour because I cannot get her to keep her socks on. I envision these things because, as someone who suffers from depression, I have been driven to the brink by much, much less than a diapering battle."
"Heather Armstrong of Dooce . . . describes depression as “the complete inability to cope with stress.” . . . That line rang a whole lot of bells for me. The number one reason I’m afraid to have kids is that I know I can be felled emotionally by the tiniest fucking thing — the kind of tiny fucking thing that, as far as I can tell, parenting is one long series of. And with a kid, the stakes are a hell of a lot higher than when you were only responsible for your own emotional well-being."
As for me, I've had this image in my head for years of me lying on the floor in a fetal position beside a crib and sobbing silently and praying for oblivion as a migraine tries to tear me apart and a baby screams inconsolable.

Kate goes on to write:
"I just read Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness, a fascinating (and very witty) book about why our predictions of future happiness are frequently so far off the mark. The book is stuffed with amusing and surprising tidbits about the human brain, including this one: the average person is way too optimistic, relative to the facts at hand. Meanwhile, the average depressed person has a pretty realistic view of how well things are likely to turn out, not an overly pessimistic one." 
"Fucking great."
There are other reasons, too, but this is the one I've always been afraid to confess, certain to receive dismissive and minimizing reassurances that my hypothetical husband would surely help with raising a baby. And reading this post validated and reassured me that I am not actually crazy and not wrong in this prediction.

1 comment:

  1. You see parenting clearly. It takes great wells of emotional reserves in exactly the way your post and those quotes describe.

    And I say that as the parent of a delightful almost-five-year-old.