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AIBU to think I'll never be a good mum

(13 Posts)
teacherandguideleader Thu 03-Jan-13 11:08:25

I spend most of my time with children in a variety of capacities, but don't have one of my own.

It is getting to the time when I need to start thinking about whether having children of my own is what I really want. I sometimes feel that as I do so much for other people's children (I don't mean at work but outside of work) it would be a shame if I didn't have my own to do those things with.

However, I often read things on here and think 'what's the big deal' - I don't mean that nastily but I just don't get when people say they couldn't leave a 3 month old to go out for the evening - I keep thinking to myself I would be more than happy to leave a baby with my mum or MIL. There are other things on a similar vein but I can't think of any examples right now.

I obviously like children, otherwise I wouldn't spend as much time as I do with them but I do worry that I actually don't have a maternal instinct. I do care very much about the children I look after but I got called heartless by one of my Guide helpers last year on camp when I wasn't giving a homesick girl enough attention (my helper has the luxury of being able to do this - I had 49 others to also ensure were ok).

It really concerns me that I will have a child and not bond with it properly. Do these feelings just come to you, or should I already be able to understand why people can't leave their babies on their own or leave them to cry? (ps, I don't judge people who won't leave their babies etc).

Tailtwister Thu 03-Jan-13 11:13:08

No, your feelings aren't unusual. Feeling unable to leave your baby is something which happens once they are there iyswim and it is hard to appreciate that before you have your own child. I wouldn't worry at all about not bonding. If all is well it's usually something which happens on it's own. Sometimes there are issues, but these can be identified and addressed with the proper care.

I think you are over thinking it tbh. You never really know what being a mother is like until you actually are, at least that was the way it was for me.

TheMonster Thu 03-Jan-13 11:13:23

I have no maternal instinct. It didn't just appear, as my mum said it would.

honeytea Thu 03-Jan-13 11:17:38

I felt the same as you, I work with kids and people had always said "oh honeytea you will be an amazing mum, you are so good with kids" I wasn't so sure I would, I too didn't understand the way people would say they couldn't leave a baby with anyone or hoe people say how interesting their baby is.

I have a DS who is 2 weeks old and I worry about leaving him with my DP so I can go to the loo. i think every tiny thing he does is amazing. I think it is hormones because it isn't logical.

WillYuleDoTheFandango Thu 03-Jan-13 11:18:46

I have never been broody and can't stand other people's children for long periods of time. But the second that I held my baby I loved him more than anything and wanted many many more. For me the bonding was instant and I can't even leave my baby to go in the bath. Before I had him I thought like you - that people worrying about leaving their DC were precious. Hormones are a funny thing grin

Nuttyprofessor Thu 03-Jan-13 11:22:54

I was going back to work after DS was born, loved my job wouldn't give it up.

He is 12 now and I went back part time after 10 years, but only when he was in school. I couldn't leave him.

PeazlyPops Thu 03-Jan-13 11:24:22

I didn't think I'd have a problem leaving my baby over overnight, or going back to work, but it's easy to feel like that when a baby is an abstract thing.

Now I don't want to let him out my sight!

Tee2072 Thu 03-Jan-13 11:29:40

I love my son. I also left him for the first time with his daddy when he was just over a week old to go see a show with my mother.

Not everyone has trouble leaving their children in the care of someone they trust. Perhaps you won't. But there's no way to know until you actually have a child.

Lilliana Thu 03-Jan-13 11:35:59

Don't know if this will help but I felt the same as you and could have written your post a year ago.

I'm a primary teacher and have always been told I am good with children. I thought I would have one at some point but it never really felt like the right time. Eventually did get pg and still had very mixed feelings -what have we done often went through my head. I worried it would mess up our lovely settled life, the impact on time me and DH had together, stopping us from doing what we wanted, sleep deprivation etc etc. Basically I felt I was too selfish to have a baby.

My DD is now one month and all my concerns were rubbish! I would happily do anything for her and do not feel like I'm missing out on anything. She goes where we do; we've been out shopping, for meals with friends, to a carol concert, walks, coffee, days out.

The bond with her was so natural and she has changed me already - I never really understood before how people had patience when their lo was being a pita!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 03-Jan-13 11:41:30

Think of something different. The hysteria surrounding some people's weddings never afflicts others. The major fuss around Christmas that affects some families never happens with others. The uproar some put themselves booking a week long foreign break whereas others emigrate with less hoohah.

If you worry that your notion of parenting and raising children doesn't mesh with that of others, who will judge you? If you asked many women who have had children whether they regarded themselves as "natural" mothers beforehand, or even remotely broody or child oriented, chances are that you will find plenty (myself included) who had no experience of babies or small children at all, but assumed they'd wing it when the time came. I know others who decide that having a baby won't impact on their usual lives at all, and more than a couple who freely admit to not enjoying the baby years at all, much preferring when their children reached 4 or 5 or in one case, 11.

Just don't go along with the idea that everyone has to be a parent to be fulfilled. I didn't want to procreate just to have a mini-me or ensure someone would care for me in old age. I honestly didn't hanker after starting a family until I met the man who became my DH. Next to settling down with him, it was another leap of faith.

noblegiraffe Thu 03-Jan-13 11:46:52

Hormones! I was never interested in babies, or young children. When people brought their babies into work I didn't want to hold them or even see them. This worried me a bit when I got pregnant, but blimey, your own kid is completely different to other people's.

catgirl1976geesealaying Thu 03-Jan-13 12:04:02

Before I had DS I was convinced he would just slot into my life and I would do x and y but never z. Convinced

It' a leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetle different now he is here grin

I also still don't find other people's babies cute or other people's children that fascinating as rule. Mine on the other hand is the most adorable, fascinating thing to ever grace the planet smile

You are normal, promise.

HairyGrotter Thu 03-Jan-13 12:08:07

I don't like children, I actively avoid the company of them, I am not maternal toward them, but I have my own DD (happy accident, as I never intended to have children) and can honestly say she's the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I adore her, we have a great relationship, I still have nights out, go to festivals, have fun with my friends, but also have fun with her! I'm a lone parent, and it's healthy for us (DD and I) to have time apart sometimes plus she gets to hang out with others who adore her.

I don't wish to have any other children and I still consider myself not maternal. You may well be surprised, I thought I'd be shit, but turns out, I'm alright at this parenting lark.

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