Monica Reyes resides in Vancouver with her husband and neurotic dog. A soon-to-be first-time mom who is excited and terrified about her new life. Follow along as she shares her pregnancy journey.
When I was younger I always thought I’d have kids like everyone else. It’s how society raises you: you grow up, get married and have children. I grew up and got married, but did I really want kids? The older I got, the more on the fence I was about it. It seemed more of a hassle than a joy. The pressure to have kids (family, I’m looking at you) was enough for me to tell them that I didn’t want children. If I was going to have kids, I wasn’t going to be pressured into it. My family wouldn’t be the ones enduring sleepless nights for days on end.
Some women know that they are meant to be mothers. My sister always knew that she’d be a mom. Family was important and she wanted to have as many kids as possible. I was always awkward around children and babies — I just didn’t know how to interact with them.
My husband was also undecided about having children. We’re pretty logical when it comes to making decisions and these were always our issues:
Having a baby is expensive: it can cost $243,660 from birth to age 18. Daycare is almost as much as a mortgage payment. The reality is that cost is an important factor in making a decision. I want to be sure that there’s enough money to offer a quality life. And if I’m going to be honest, the selfish part of me thought about how that money could go to other fun things like nice swanky vacations for the rest of our lives.
It’s life-changing: Once you have a baby, you can’t go back. I’ve seen moms who looked like they didn’t enjoy motherhood at all. What if I became resentful of my kids? It’s a tough job being a parent and life gets much more chaotic. I found it hard to hang out with parents because their schedules always revolved around the kids.
The responsibility: It’s a heavy weight on your shoulders knowing that you’re in charge of raising someone for a good portion of their life. Every time I saw a toddler throwing a tantrum, pregnancy became the furthest thing on my mind. I enjoyed my freedom and knew that I wouldn’t be able to do whatever I liked because of this tiny being. I was worried that I wouldn’t make a good mom. Parenting books can only take you so far. I may joke about being a bad mom, but I don’t actually want to be one.
How did we come to the conclusion on wanting to start a family? It wasn’t from all the parents saying that even though there are hardships involved, that it’s all worth it in the end. For some reason it didn’t sound believable enough. It sounded more like societal pressure. What sold us on the idea of children is that we truly could not see ourselves without them in 10 years. We had to look to the future in order to make a decision in the present. It’s an exciting and terrifying time for us as we wonder what our new lives will be like.