My thoughts & fears about motherhood |

I would like to start out this post by first saying that I am NOT pregnant, for all you peeps who are freaking out that I’m getting married soon and won’t be able to fit into my dress. Rest assured; I repeat: I am NOT pregnant. (And I’m hoping that it will stay that way for a few years.)

Motherhood is something that has been on my mind pretty much constantly since I met Trevor. I’m not exactly sure what changed in me, but I think that when you finally find “the one” who you know will be the father of your children, you tend to think about these subjects more frequently. I think about being a mom every single day, and I have so many mixed thoughts, emotions, and fears behind the concept of motherhood that I thought I would lay it all out in a blog post to hopefully sort through my mind. (Bear with me while I word-vomit. Hopefully you can find something in this post that you resonate with so I don’t totally bore you!)

Born to be a Mother 

My own mother says that motherhood is her greatest accomplishment, and I feel that someday I will live by these words as well. I can’t wait to be a mother. I know that I cannot ever perfectly prepare for the role, but I am so excited of when the day comes. Last August I wrote a post about how I fell in love with the beautiful infant babies I nannied for full-time, and how it was the hardest thing to walk away from them when I started grad school. I can’t even explain to you my love for them. As my final weeks were counting down, I used to rock them and silently bawl my eyes out as they lay in my arms sleeping, thinking about how hard it would be to leave them. I’ve felt baby love before, and it’s beautiful. I think about how if I was that much in love with another couple’s child, how deep will my love be for my own?

The Timing

Trevor and I are getting married on 10/7/17. He will be 30, I will be 25. It’s funny how back and forth my mind reels with the timing of when I want to have children. There are some days where I think about how I want to start trying the second we are married. I always envisioned myself being the youthful, pretty mom who had the energy to run around with her kids. But then again, shortly after Trevor and I marry, I will be starting my career as a school counselor. In fact, I will be graduating from my Master’s program 2 months after my wedding, and job searching immediately after. I think about how I would like to be a few years established in my career before I tackle on motherhood. But where does that leave me? I’ll be nearly 30 years old, and Trevor will be 35.

Then there are days when I think about how I have so much left to accomplish and achieve in my life. How can I possibly achieve my goals and dreams when I have a baby attached to me, requiring my constant attention and energy? I think about how I’ve grown my blog this past 1.5 years into something beautiful, and how my ultimate dream is to see it become a full source of income for me some day down the road. That would require so much time and effort. I’m not sure I could do that with a baby, unless I was a stay-at-home mom. Even then, I would barely have any time for myself!

Which brings me to our next point.

Stay-at-home vs. Career Mom

One of my greatest fears is that I’m going to complete 7 years of school, have a Master’s degree, and then throw it all away to be a stay-at-home mom when my child is born because I simply cannot leave he or she home with other individual. To be clear, I have absolutely NOTHING against stay-at-home moms. My mother was a stay-at-home mom for nearly 10 years, and she loved it. (So did I, growing up). I’m just nervous thinking about the time, money and energy I put into my education, and how I don’t want to waste it. This is a decision that I truly believe I will not be able to gauge until I am a mother. I think that career will always be important to me, so I doubt I will be a stay-at-home mom for a lengthy time. I could see myself, perhaps, staying home for the first few years of my child’s life until he or she goes to school. Does that make me a bad person for “throwing away” my education? So many feelings and so much stress regarding this matter.

When talking about this with my own mother last week, she stated a wonderful point. She said that women who often wait to establish their career first sometimes wait until they are nearly 40 years old to have a child, and then they have trouble conceiving. At what point in my career will I ever feel like I am “established?” The answer is that I think that I will ALWAYS be striving for that perfect moment when I feel that I have “made it” in my career.

Giving up “Me Time”

I worry about how I will have time for myself and Trevor when I have a child. To be honest, I’m a pretty selfish person. I LOVE my alone time, and I LOVE our date nights and “us time.” It’s scary to think about how exhausting motherhood will be, and about all the things I’ll have to give up. When will I be ready to give those things up? Will I ever be ready? I feel like a selfish person even writing this right now.

I’ll be 24 years old in a few weeks. I know that I am still very young, but sometime I feel like my biological clock is ticking away. Will my fears ever subside? Will I be a selfish mother because I’ll be sad about giving up my own dreams? Will I have to give up my own goals and dreams? If I had to take a guess, I think that when I become a mother, I will form new dreams, for my child.

For all you mothers out there, I would love to hear your thought process and how you decided it was the right time to have a child. Is it ever the right time? Please leave me some feedback below!


  • Greta Hollar

    These are all important things! My husband and I are in the same boat. We’ve been married for four years but there’s so many things we want to do before welcoming a child into the world! But my friends have just said that when you know you know it’s right. Congrats on all the exciting events this year!

    Greta |

    • Thanks for reading, Greta! It certainly is a LOT to think about. It’s hard to imagine giving up those freedoms, but I’m sure it will be MORE than worth it when the time comes. You are right; I think that we will both know when the time is right. :)

  • This post is literally my thoughts and fears ALL WRITTEN DOWN! We’re the same age, I’ll be 24 in less than a month too and girl, I feel the same. As you said, career will always be important to me, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to the child behind. I also struggle massively with timing and selfishness– on the one hand I love travel and I love alone time and a glass of wine and a TV show and the fact if I don’t want to get dressed on Saturday I don’t have to. I barely feel like an adult now, when will I be ready for kids? But I don’t want to wait too long… Man, I have no answers to your questions, but I can say you’re not along because I sure feel the same.

    • Ah maybe we are birthday twins!!! haha. Isn’t it crazy how scared we become when we think about committing?! I never thought I was scared of commitment in my life until I really started to think about motherhood. I totally feel you with the travel and having that “me” time with my glass of wine- girl, we must be the same person!! But then again- will we EVER feel like adults?! 😉 I think when the time comes, we will be more than ready to commit.

      • Haha maybe?! I’m the 20th! And yes that is EXACTLY how I feel. I didn’t think I had problems with commitment at all, but the thought of motherhood absolutely terrifies me, but as you say, I think it’ll definitely feel different when the time comes. I think the fact that we’re thinking this is a good thing though, because it means we’re aware of our concerns and will be able to address them fully and effectively when the time comes.

      • Dang, not birthday twins. I’m 10 days older than you. lol. And I agree- I’d rather have these fears than not because I feel that they are natural and show that we are being mindful!

  • such a great and honest post. Part of my fear is having such an awesome mother and seeing all my friends awesome mom’s I worry I won’t be able to keep up like they did. I especially love the disclaimer at the top 😉
    xx, Lauren {}

    • Aw Lauren! That just means that you had amazing examples and role models in your life. I’m sure you will be an exceptional mother. <3

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! I share a lot of these feelings. I’m honestly not sold on whether or not I want to have kids (and Dave feels the same way). But I have the same anxieties about being an old mom versus a new mom, a working mom versus a stay at home mom. Then there’s the fact that the second we got married, family started asking when we’d start having kids. It’s stressful enough without others putting added stress on the situation!

    • I’ve heard from many people that they got asked if they were having kids right after marriage! That is so much pressure. Ultimately, it’s YOUR decision, nobody else’s. :)

  • There’s definitely never a right time to get pregnant. I’m a strong believer that it will happen when it’s supposed to happen. I didn’t meet my husband until I was 30, so I felt that pressure to have kids right away when we got married. However, we didn’t actively try because we just weren’t sure. Well, it ended up happening anyways! We got married in October (the 3rd) and I got pregnant in February. I also had my Master’s degree, and was working in a management position, but in December got downsized. So, the timing all worked out because I was so sick, I couldn’t work when I was pregnant. In between kids, I did have a chance to work again, but only part-time. I couldn’t leave my oldest all the time, and I was totally OK with it.
    So, what I’m saying, is that it’s OK to not know, and just give it time.

    • Thanks for reading and sharing your experience! That is super encouraging to know that everything happened in God’s timing with you and your family. I really do believe that for myself as well. I think that when the time comes, I’ll be ready. And if it happens unplanned, I think my life will change instantly and my heart will open to change.

  • I have so much say to say and I don’t know where to start. First, <3 <3 <3. I could have written this; that's how much your words resonated, and it's funny because I didn't really think about seriously having children until I was in my late 30s and now it's not really panning out and it's incredibly discouraging. I don't think there's ever a right time (I do however feel that there are certain benchmarks you should achieve for yourself it they are absolutely THAT IMPORTANT to you).

    The career–I'm finally established in it (took long enough, lol). But would I trade it for a little one? Yes. At this point, 100%. Previously? Heck no.

    I think that our wants/needs change all the time…. but it sounds to me that you are going to be a wonderful mommy, whenever that day may come :) Enjoy the heck out of this ride, and your upcoming wedding, and all the other goals you have set. You don't have to think of it as putting off motherhood; but perhaps, it will find you, when you are ready. Or not, but that's the excitement in life :) XOXO

    • Aw your response gave me the chills. Thanks for being so open and honest with me, Charlotte. I really do believe that it will come when the timing is right, even if I don’t necessarily “feel” ready!! I hope that whatever your heart wishes for, works out for you, lady. And thank you so much for your love and support.
      <3 Hugs!

      • Thank you so much, Chelsea–really appreciate your sweet comment. Hope you enjoy the rest of your week! XOXO

      • You too, friend!!!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this and being so honest. I have the exact same feelings. I am turning 25 years old this year and have been married three years. So many people ask when we are having kids (not their decision) and I get so annoyed by it. I’m nowhere near ready to be a mom bc of all of the reasons you mentioned – career, selfish, love my time with just my husband, etc. I know I want to be a mom and have one baby before 30 but when will I ever feel “ready”? I really appreciate you voicing your opinions and thoughts bc it makes me feel normal!

    • Of course! You are totally normal!!! I think that we live in a day and age where we are almost prolonging starting a family because we DO want to start a career, and that may be hard for our family members of older generations to understand. I’m excited for you, when the time is right. For now, enjoy time with your husband and yourself. xo

  • Oh girl, you raise some completely real and valid points! I wish I could sit down for coffee (or cocktails) with you and just chat about all this. The piece of advice that everyone gave me when I raised these same fears (and that I didn’t fully believe until Selah was born) is this: you just figure it out. That said, while you may never be fully prepared and there may never be an exact right time, I do think it’s so smart to be thinking about these things and choosing to wait to start a family until certain things are in order. For me that meant changing careers from education and being firmly established in my current position in publishing. I wanted to be established enough to go back with certainty and confidence, but not wait too long. I had many of the same thoughts as you about work — I’m still paying off my student loans, so I didn’t feel right about not going back to work and basically throwing away my education while continuing to pay for it! I guess it helps that I really wanted to return to work too. And 30 is a great time to have baby! Unless you want like, 17 kids, it’s not too late. 😉 Thanks for being so honest about your reflections, and I really admire that you are not taking this lightly! You’re asking all the right questions, and I think you’ll know when the time is right-ish. :)

    • Aw how I WISH we could sit down for coffee and discuss these things! I’m a firm believer that we will indefinitely make it happen (cross my fingers) someday! Thanks for your thoughtful response, love. I do believe that I’ll never feel “fully prepared”…no matter how many books I read about motherhood, no matter how “established” in my career I feel…I think at some point, you just have to take the plunge!! I resonate with you so much that I want to be “established enough…but not wait too long.” Because I feel like if I keep waiting…it may never happen, and then I won’t be able to get pregnant (greatest fear EVER!) Seems like everything is going absolutely perfect for you. Selah is picture PERFECT. I can’t wait until she is old enough to realize how internally (and externally!) beautiful her mama really is. <3

  • Chrissa – Physical Kitchness

    You will NOT be a selfish mother if you feel sad about giving up your dreams. Promise. I am a stay at home mom with a diverse career background and I too often wonder if my experience is pointless now that I’m not in the work force. BUT my friend, motherhood will change your perspective on everything. Yes you will feel conflicted emotions about career vs mom, yes you will feel like you want to be selfish again, yes your free time will be at like ZERO. But when you’re ready (and you may never feel ready – I certainly didn’t), it will happen and you will figure things out, day by day, what’s best for you. xoxo

    • Thank you SO much for your perspective!! It was super helpful to hear from a previously working mom who decided to stay home now. I think that I will never be fully prepared for how difficult it will be and how much I will have to adapt to change; I think I will just have to dive into it head first. And I totally agree; I’m sure my entire perspective will shift. Thank you so much for reading and commenting such a heartfelt response. <3

  • Chrissa – Physical Kitchness

    PS one last thing, motherhood is HARD and CHALLENGING and will completely throw you for a loop in your identity crisis, BUT you will never ever ever ever ever ever regret it or wish you didn’t have that child/children. It’s the best job – truly

    • THIS made me tear up!!! <3 I'm sure you are an absolutely amazing mama.

  • Aileen (Aileen Cooks)

    I completely understand! I never thought I would give up my career to be a stay at home mom. My mom always worked full time and so did my mother in law. My mindset changed and I did end up being a stay at home mom. You will know what’s right for your family when the time comes. It’s all of the unknowns that make it difficult. :)

    • Love this!!! “You never know what’s right for your family until the time comes.” I almost feel like all of my worrying is pointless because I truly won’t know what the right decision is until that day comes. <3

  • These are all valid concerns and motherhood is hard but once you have your babies in your arms they will all be worth it!

    • That’s what I’m guessing will happen!! 😉

  • I’m with you on so many of these hard decisions.

    • Right! Adulting is so hard! lol

  • Girl, I’m totally with you on all of this! I want to be a successful career woman, but I also want to be the best mother I can be, and to me that means being there for my kids. It makes me nervous about being a SAHM because I wonder how hard it will be to get back into the working world once my kids are old enough for me to go back

    • Oh exactly. I totally resonate with wanting to be the best mom and feeling like the best thing I can do would be to stay at home with my kids. I just can’t imagine letting a stranger raise my children….I would only allow myself to take care of my children, family or super close friends! I truly don’t know what will happen until I have kids.

  • I’m pretty sure I thought about every single one of these things before becoming a mom! I wrestled a lot with not wanting my education to go to “waste” and wanting to make sure I was using my intellect, even though I felt very strongly that I needed to stay at home with my kids. As I adjust to new life as a mama, I’m trying to figure out what it looks like to use my mind and my education, whether that looks like using it with my littles or doing something on the side like blogging, leading women’s groups, tutoring, etc. It’s definitely a huge adjustment but it’s also so, so sweet and I’ve grown to love my hubby in whole new ways as I watch him parent. I totally agree with @brittanybergman:disqus below…I’m just figuring it out as I go along and trying to take it day by day! I’m excited to follow along with you all as you get married and am so glad you’re taking the time to think through and process all this. You are going to be an amazing mama!

    • I loved reading your response, Lauren! I love the part you said about how it’s so sweet seeing your husband as a dad..I think that’s what I am most looking forward to, seeing Trevor as a father someday. I definitely will just have to take things day by day. I’m sure it’s messy but it will be MY beautiful mess. Thanks, dear. You are an amazing mom to Caleb! He’s so lucky to have you!!

  • I love, love this Chelsea. I actually feel shocked that I haven’t struggled with these questions like (from the comments) it seems most women have or do. Am I weird? haha. I don’t have a super crazy career or anything, but I have callings and believe in whatever season I’m in, God will provide ways for me to fulfill that. I could never be just a stay at home mom…because I LOVE working. I’m not saying that being a SAHM mom isn’t work, but I love having outside projects to work on, even if that’s my blog. I’d ideally like to be a WAHM. :)

    • Ideally I’d love to be a WAHM as well!!! I completely agree with you and think that if I ever do stay home, I won’t be solely parenting; I’ll have something else going on as well. I’m just like you; I love having different projects going on, and I’m a workaholic. I totally can relate to you!! Thanks for giving such great insight. I think God’s timing is the right time, whenever that will be.

  • I agree on all fronts with this post. I am really terrified to give up my freedom to have a baby but I know I do want one at some point :)

    xoxo, Jenny

    • It’s going to be tough, but I think I’ll know when the time is right!

  • I have SOOO many of these same fears so I am totally with you on that! Especially with recent life events, everything seems to be thrown off for me right now. I can’t speak from experience of being a mother, but I’m a firm believe that when the timing is right it will work itself out. Just be patient! You’re young and have plenty of time! Love you girl!

    • Love you too, chick. I know things have been difficult for you lately. I really do believe that everything happens when it is supposed to. <3

  • I never wanted kids. I hated kids to be honest. When you ask my family they could tell you “We never expected Jasmine to have kids, she couldn’t tolerate them”. lol When I first found out I was pregnant, I was shocked. I was upset and scared. I just knew that i wasn’t ready for it. I also knew that I didn’t have those “mom feelings”. Eventually I got them. I didn’t plan neither pregnancies. They were “oh shit!” lol But I think that “you’re never ready”. Cause it’s still a learning process.

    • And look at you now! You’re an amazing mom! And you adore being a mom, I can tell. It must be completely life changing :)

  • I think we can all relate to these fears! I think about all of these things constantly too, so just know you’re not alone. If anything, I think I will be one of those people that just has to throw myself into it when I think I might be ready, and then figure it out from there. The good thing is that as long as you have good intentions, I don’t think there’s a wrong way to be a mom. Thanks so much for this post, Chelsea!

    • I completely agree with you. I don’t think you can go wrong if you have good intentions and you are a good person. I think it will all work itself out when it’s supposed to happen. Thanks for reading!

  • Justine Y

    Although I’ve never really felt these feelings myself, I know many women who have and I think it’s very natural. As a stay at home and “work at home” mom myself I would like to say that although I see what you’re saying about your degree, I don’t feel like I “threw away” my own degree because I haven’t done anything career-wise with it. There have been so many times when I have been pleased or even surprised that my education provided such a great background for X, Y, or Z with my children. Education is never a waste and I plan to go back and work outside the home someday when my kids are older. But everyone has to do what they feel is right for themselves and I also think that you’ll reach a point where you know when the timing will feel “right”. Or at least, as right as it will ever be. :) Thanks for this post, really enjoyed it!

    • Completely agree with you and I should re-word that in my post. Any education is NEVER a waste! I think about that with blogging as well. If I don’t actually pursue counseling down the road, my Master’s won’t be a waste because I learned so much about myself in the process. Thanks for reading, I really enjoyed your perspective!!

  • Amanda K

    When my husband and I were dating in high school I wanted kids, but now that we have been married for almost two years, I have changed my mind. I do so well with children, but I just want to focus on getting school done, and doing a lot of traveling. Maybe later on, I will change my mind.

    Amanda ||

    • There is nothing wrong with that! Take the time for yourself. You will know when the time is right :) xo

  • Lindsay Katherine

    These are all excellent, valid points and questions, Chelsea. I never really thought about this stuff until a few months before I got pregnant – maybe even, like, two months lol, so it’s great that you’re thinking and planning ahead! When it came down to thinking about actually trying (which I thought would take two years and it took one month), a lot of the same questions you have held me back. I worried about starting a family when I didn’t have these answers solved, and when I got pregnant right away, I realized we would figure it out. And we did. Things worked out better than I could have dreamed of. I think it’s good to ponder these things, but ultimately, don’t stress about it too much because it doesn’t matter. Your thoughts and feelings will change from year-to-year, not to mention when you actually get pregnant and have that baby. There’s no predicting how you will think or feel or how your situation may help guide you to the right choice for you. Wonderful post, dear Chelsea.

    • Aw thanks for the encouragement, friend! I couldn’t wait to read your comment about this one :) I am almost positive my mind set will change the second I get pregnant. I know that my priorities and world view will shift almost instantly. <3

  • I am going to be a terrible mother if it ever happens to me. I am scared of kids. I find them annoying. And honestly, thanks to my health complications – I can get so tired that I can barely even carry a kid… So yeah, if my kid needs to be held, I am not even sure I can do it! 😮

    • LOL. And that is perfectly fine! At least you know yourself!! haha.

  • Brittney Martin

    Chelsea, I feel the same way and have the same fears! I long to be a mother.. in fact, my husband and I have been trying for about a year to conceive (I’m turning 26 in July). .My career is somewhat established but not quite, and I have a lot of student loan debt so the idea of staying home gives me anxiety about all the time I’ve spent in school. I wish you luck and guidance in your motherhood decisions. Every month I’m saddened to find I’m not pregnant, but then a little piece inside of me feels relieved, because I’m terrified! It’s a battle.. This post will resonate with me for a long time I imagine, as I am going through the same feelings! Thank you for sharing and allowing me to understand that I’m not the only one.

    • Hey Brittney, thanks for stopping by and sharing your story with me! I really am crossing my fingers for you that you get pregnant soon! You are definitely not alone, and I am sure that when the time comes, you’ll be an amazing mother.