I’ve decided to write this post anonymously as I am sure there will be quite a few people who know me who could be a little offended to read what follows…
…I have really tried but I don’t like other children!
When I had my baby I thought I would instantly love all children. I thought maternal instincts would kick in and I would know how to talk to children and would stop having mini panic attacks when faced with being in a room with more than 1 child. The fact is I don’t and nothing has changed.
I love my baby, I love my nieces and nephews and I like my friends kids. That’s where it stops. I really wanted children but I also really wanted a career and to be successful. In my late teens and twenties babies never crossed my mind, I used to believe I wouldn’t have a child until I could afford a personal trainer, my priorities were very different.
I have never spent a lot of time around children, there were never any kids in my family growing up. I don’t think I held a baby until I was in my 20’s and then it would have been for a brief moment before hurriedly handing them back.
Fast forward to my thirties and with a baby in tow, we attend baby classes, but I am very selective about the ones we visit. Not to much singing, no rowdy kids and they need to be small scale. Walking into a playgroup brings me out in a sweat, all the noise, the chaos and the children that run up to you with messy hands! Dropping my little one of at nursey is running a gauntlet, you have to pass the older kids room and they always want to chat, I don’t, I just don’t know what to say to a 3 year old!
I don’t think of myself as being stand offish or better than anyone else, the honest truth is children I don’t know terrify me!
I blame my mother for my aversion to children, she worked in a school and has always loved kids, she volunteers to read the stories at play group and will jump at the chance for a newborn cuddle. I remember visiting her at work on my birthday and being dragged into a classroom full of thirty 5 year olds all staring at me. They wanted to sing happy birthday, yes yes I know – ‘how cute’ you all say. However Happy Birthday was 3 verses long! The longest Happy birthday I have ever heard and I wanted to run. I tried my hardest to seem pleased but I’m not sure I got away with it.
I feel I am flying the flag for lots of women who want children and a family but are terrified at the thought of having to be around children. There isn’t a switch that automatically turns on when you have had a baby that makes you confident around them. I thought it would. I thought I would turn into Mary Poppins and instantly be a natural with kids. I suppose that although lots change after having a baby, some things stay exactly the same.