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(30 Posts)
FunkyDiamonds Thu 01-Aug-13 14:01:15

Hi MN I'm fairly new, I've lurked for a while but never been brave enough to actually say much! 
I don't have any friends to talk to about things or ask for advice and I would really appreciate opinions on this as I genuinely don't know if it would be fair.

I would LOVE to be a mum, I have always wanted children and am great with them, I know it's hard work and stressful but I think I would be a good mum and believe it's completely worth all the sleepless nights and tantrums to have children to love and care for. 
The trouble is I suffer with social anxiety and I find it difficult to talk to other people.

I have struggled for many years now and I avoid social situations and find even general chit chat and small talk very stressful. I don't have any friends but am so lucky to have a dp.
I know when you have children it's all part of the deal that you'll have to be around and speak to different people, right from pregnancy and birth (midwives, health visitors etc) to teachers, other parents at the school gates, play dates, kids parties etc. I don't think I could handle being around and talking to all these people and my dp would probably have to do things like that instead of me. 

I also don't work due to this which I know isn't a great example for a child- nor is my anxiety around other people. I wouldn't want my children to grow up as social outcasts with no friends because of me! My dp works for himself and can be flexible with his hours so could do school runs etc if I couldn't cope (I feel so silly and embarrassed saying all this). 

Do you think It would be unfair on any children to have a mum like me, I have improved a bit and can actually leave the house/go to the shop/for a walk alone so the child wouldn't be completely housebound when they're alone with me. I could take them for walks or to the park, it's just being around other people I find it hard to cope with.

Wibu to have children? I wouldn't want them to be socially isolated because of me sad 
please be gentle, I am way too sensitive and am so anxious even writing this post, that said of course I would like honest opinions from you wise MNer's and would love to hear any experiences too. I just want to know if other people with an outsider view think it would be U of me to TTC knowing I have these issues and whether people think my anxiety would have a negative impact on a child? I would never want my child to think this is normal and end up like me!!
Thanks for reading and so sorry if it's too long or doesn't make sense, it all sort of blurted out and I think i might have babbled blush x

FunkyDiamonds Thu 01-Aug-13 14:03:47

Wow that turned out really long, I'm sorry, it's not like it's even very interesting! Just ignore this if it's boring!! blush

BeKindToYourKnees Thu 01-Aug-13 14:07:21

Actually OP, I think your post is very interesting!

You say that things have improved a bit, do you think they will continue to improve?

Mittensthekitten Thu 01-Aug-13 14:08:04

I have mild social anxiety.

To be totally honest I do think YABU to TTC in your current condition. You CANNOT simply give up and accept that this how you will be for the rest of your life and say that there are things you can/cannot do. This is the only life you're going to get, and you need to find a way to live it properly.

You need to sort out medication, CBT, psychotherapy, counselling, stress control courses or whatever it takes to help you get on top of this before you think about having a child.

When you are feeling a bit better, then I think you will find that having a child changes you in ways you can't imagine - your desire to be a good mother to your child is stronger than your fears. You will want to take her to playgroup so you will make yourself go. Also, having a child makes social situations easier as it takes the focus of of you and onto the child!

TantrumsAndBalloons Thu 01-Aug-13 14:09:08

Are you getting any help for your anxiety at all?

Dahlen Thu 01-Aug-13 14:09:24

Well you're not going to make it easy on yourself that's for sure, but it sounds to me as though you've given this a lot of thought and have already started making plans as to how you'd get round the issues your anxiety may present. That's no different from someone with a physical disability choosing to have a child and having to problem-solve, and no one would dream of suggesting that disabled people should not procreate.

I think any child you have would do well to have a mother who has put so much thought into ensuring her own problems do not negatively impact on her child.

Good luck.

Dahlen Thu 01-Aug-13 14:11:15

THe only thing I would add to that is that you take steps to really ramp up your MH support when pregnant, as you would be at a much higher risk of PND.

ExBrightonBell Thu 01-Aug-13 14:11:16

Oh, I think the fact that you have thought so much about it means that you will be able to cope, and no I don't think YABU to want children!

You may well find that being pregnant and having a baby help you with interacting with others. Although I would point out that only you can do the midwife appointments, not your DP!

PearlyWhites Thu 01-Aug-13 14:16:51

Yanbu at all , you have put a lot of thought into ttc sure you will make a wonderful mum.

Beautyatethebeast Thu 01-Aug-13 14:18:40

I couldn't agree more with everything mittens has said.

My df suffered with agoraphobia and anxiety and I have to admit it was very restricting, he didn't take us out anywhere and didn't come to parents evenings, do the school run, it's something that's nor easy for a child to understand.

Are you getting any help to overcome this.

FunkyDiamonds Thu 01-Aug-13 14:23:32

Wow thank you all so much for reading all that and for all the kind messages and reassurance thanks it took me ages to work up the courage to post this so thank you! Sorry I should've said in the op, I have been seeing my dr for CBT, which is how I managed to make progress so far. Before seeing my GP I struggled to even leave my house, so I have made positive changes, however, I worry that I won't ever get to the point of being able to make friends and be comfortable around people and I'm afraid I'll never be good enough to have children. I think my depression is playing a part in this negativity too but you have all given me a boost, and I feel like there is hope thanks

FunkyDiamonds Thu 01-Aug-13 14:29:17

Thank you again so much for being so kind!!

Beautyatethebeast that's what I am worried about I would adore my children but I wouldn't want to spoil their childhood or them to feel embarrassed of me.

HandsomeEddy Thu 01-Aug-13 14:29:59

I have very similar problems to you OP. My OH has to take days of work for school concerts, appointments etc as I cannot go alone and my friends and family are also in work so can't help me. The majority of his AL is used up on silly things like this to help me out.

I will say, I have found it harder than I thought I would having my DC (and had my times of complete despair). I couldn't go to play groups etc when DC was a baby and I was judged harshly by some arseholes people who did not understand. I got alot of "surely you can do it for the sake of the baby?!" I'm looking at you bitchy HV!

But if you have good people in your life, who understand your issue, and a loving DP then I have found you can "hide" it from your DC most of the time. I don't know if that is "right" but it's how I have to cope.
My OH is very outgoing and I find this really balances out our parenting iyswim. In DC eyes, Daddy is loud and Mummy is more reserved around people, I suppose. I honestly think we have been able to raise him as a well balanced, happy and actually very outgoing child.

I would say get professional support though. We've had some horrific times that could have been avoided if I'd had proper help from the get go.

Good Luck! And sorry for the essay.

Apileofballyhoo Thu 01-Aug-13 14:30:29

Hi there

I've had social anxiety. Is it something you feel will ever change?

I think that your anxiety and thinking about having a baby are two different issues.

FunkyDiamonds Thu 01-Aug-13 14:38:12

Thank you HandsomeEddy I really appreciate hearing your experience! I do have a loving family who are supportive (well, most of them) and it is so brilliant to hear that your DC is actually outgoing and balanced! It is something to think about though, that not everybody will be understanding of my situation. Thank you!

BeKindToYourKnees Thu 01-Aug-13 14:39:36

OP, you said how writing your AIBU made you anxious, but you were brave enough to post it smile And you'll be able to talk about this at your next CBT session. Could you have done this prior to having CBT? If not, look how far you've come!

You sound like an eloquent, thoughtful and caring person - good qualities for a mum.

Owllady Thu 01-Aug-13 14:41:22

have you tried any psycho dynamic psychotherapy?
I had about 10 months worth when I was depressed/anxious and it was really good and well worth it. I had also become agoraphobic and it helped me get through that.

I would try and get yourself as well as possible if I were you. You deserve to live your life to its potential and to develop some self esteem. You seem like a really likable person and you deserve to be liked by others. Look after yourself x

FunkyDiamonds Thu 01-Aug-13 14:41:55

Hi Apileofballyhoo although I have made some positive changes, I really don't know if I will ever completely change how I am. It's been so long, I am worried that this is just who I am sad

Beautyatethebeast Thu 01-Aug-13 14:46:50

funkydiamonds I did not say that to pur you off. My childhood was mine and it doesn't mean to say it would be the same for everyone.

Only I'm sure that as you've probably discovered, people aren't always so sympathetic to mental health problems as they might had you a physical disability. People find it difficult to understand.

Having a child could help you but it also brings its own challenges and you could spend the next year or so really focusing on your health with TTC in mind.

I wish I knew you in rl to offer some support.

FunkyDiamonds Thu 01-Aug-13 14:47:57

Thank you so much BekindToYourKnees I would never have been able to post this before CBT thank you for your kind words and for helping me see some positives smile x

Owllady I've never heard of that, only CBT, so I will read up about that, thank you! And thank you for your kind words too x

I really am so pleased I posted here now, you are all lovely supportive people, thank you.

FunkyDiamonds Thu 01-Aug-13 14:52:43

Oh no, Beautyatethebeast I didn't think your post was discouraging, I appreciated hearing your experience! I understand what you are saying and really thank you for the support on here, even if I don't know you in RL!

thecakeisalie Thu 01-Aug-13 15:42:54

Wow I can so relate to your post. I have suffered with depression and more recently social anxiety for many years now since a bereavement of a close relative and leaving home. I now have it under control enough for me to be around strangers and push myself into situations that make me uncomfortable. Before I had kids I was signed off work for a time and struggled to leave the house.

I think yanbu to consider ttc. Since having my eldest (3.5yrs old) my life has changed so much for the better. My kids give me that reason to get up in the mornings and force me to face the world. When ds1 was born I literally felt such a sense of contentment and purpose that my life had lacked before. Before he came along I was just going through the motions of everyday life.

I would say my anxiety is mild now so it has little effect on my kids as it mainly just leads to a bit of over thinking about things but I can usually vent to my DH which helps put things in perspective. I'm still quite introverted and happy in the company of my family but I can function in the real world.

You might find that having a baby is a missing link between forcing yourself through some of your issues. Equally you might find it more difficult with all the changes to hormones, sleep deprivation and so on. Its not a decision to take lightly but judging by your post it certainly does seem like you've thought it through.

Good luck with your decision.

HerculePoirotsTache Thu 01-Aug-13 15:55:25

I have found that having DC has given me more confidence as some other posters have said but your anxiety sounds quite limiting to what you can do. I do feel you need to work more on your recovery before TTC. It is such a big life change, not just physically but mentally too. I found it very hard at first and suffered with PND. I went into pregnancy with rose tinted specs on and it wasn't anything like I imagined it to be.

ForgetfulNameChanger Thu 01-Aug-13 16:05:23

I would be worried that the pregnancy would increase your MH issues if I were you. When I was pregnant, my MH problems went through the roof and I didn't leave the house for three months except for midwife and doctors appointments. Looking back, I probably had ante natal depression alongside my usual problems increasing. If you TTC, make sure you have good support in case that happen.

I do think though when your baby arrived that your social anxiety might improve just because it has to really iyswim? I do stuff now that I never dreamed I would be able to do because I look at dd and realise if I don't, she will have no life. I've been to baby groups, health visitor clinics, the library - simple things but things I never thought I could do. There is so much support available too if it doesn't improve. Practical support like people who could come to baby groups with you so your child meets people but you have someone with you.

The thing about getting better before you TTC is the pregnancy could just trigger it all off again anyway. I wouldn't let the MH stuff hold you back because there will be a way your child can socialise even if you are rubbish at it (like me!). Its just a case of recognising what you struggle with and finding the support smile

specialsubject Thu 01-Aug-13 16:29:23

good for you for thinking of all this. And even better for you for considering how it would affect a baby.

I think the answer with TTC is 'not yet'. Your partner cannot be around all the time and it would not be practical to put all the social interaction on to him. You need to resolve this first. Yes, I realise it is not that simple!

I wish you further progress and a very happy outcome!

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