Ahh, that overwhelming, inexplicable desire to procreate and have a beautiful bouncing baby of your own. Nearly every girl has felt it at some point, and some guys, too. The Fever doesn’t discriminate, and it doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re in or the time on your biological clock. Admittedly, hormones can and do play a role in its spikes, but not necessarily. Sometimes all it takes is seeing a pregnant mother, hearing a newborn’s cry, or having a pregnancy scare that gets you thinking to the point of warming up to the idea.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about or don’t understand how such a thing could ever become distracting or overwhelming at times, I don’t have a clear explanation. The best way I can think to describe it is that it’s like falling in love. You think of that person all the time, little things remind you of him/her, and you’re just dying to be with that person again. Only in this case, the one you love just doesn’t exist yet.
Maybe it sounds crazy, but the word “crazy” is fitting, considering how we’re left feeling when logically there may be many reasons for us not to have babies quite yet.
As a chronic “sufferer” myself (common for ladies in their early 20s), I realize these phases can be both fun and annoying. So without further ado, here are some tips for handling Baby Fever no matter where you fall on the thermometer.
- Get it out of your system. Carefully.
The sudden, near-obsession with having a baby is like a bottle of soda that’s been shaken vigorously. Don’t just twist off the cap all at once! Let it be, then ease it open, little by little. What might this look like? It WON’T look like spending every day for the next week browsing through every fertility forum, watching every pregnancy vlog, or liking every single baby photo on Facebook. (Huh? I’ve never been tempted to do that or anything… nope.)
Instead, read a few articles. Look up something related to baby-makin’ or raisin’ that you legitimately don’t know. Learn something new, relish it, but then move on. (Think of it like a pick-me-up cup of coffee to get through your day, not a binge on double-shot espresso, Red Bull, and 5-Hour Energy all at once.)
2. Read about and/or watch labor stories.
Okay, bear with me here. First of all, if you’re REALLY baby crazy, reading about the less-than-glorious parts of labor won’t scar you for life, and you may end up more prepared for the real deal when the day comes. And if you’ve got just a moderate case of the Fever, hearing the scarier stories will certainly cool your ovaries for at least a few days. Complications and genuinely traumatic experiences are definitely not to be taken lightly, but this time period can be a good excuse for becoming healthily aware of them without becoming unreasonably terrified.
3. Borrow a friend’s baby. (You know, with permission.)
This suggestion should be approached with caution. We know how casual contact with babies for a few minutes is often what starts this whole cycle in the first place. But the adorable cooing and priceless little smiles are just one side of the beautiful life of parenthood. So instead, offer to babysit. Have fun cleaning that spit-up. Remember that stench wafting from the diaper, or better yet, coming from the diaper AND every other article of clothing Baby was wearing. Listen to that ear-piercing cry that won’t be soothed no matter what you try. Now imagine handling these things on three hours of sleep in the past twenty-four. Thaaaat’s it… still feeling warm and fuzzy?
Don’t get me wrong — these and many other aspects of having kids are difficult, but they obviously don’t make parenthood not worth it. We’ll even look back on the unpleasant parts with wistfulness when they’re all grown up and leaving the nest. But again: these suggestions are for those who are stuck with the rose-colored glasses. Talk to your friends who have kids and get a hearty slap of reality. Yay!
4. Appreciate the nostalgia of now.
To expand on the last point: time really does go by faster and faster as we get older. By the time you have babies, they’ll already be running around and talking and learning and dreaming before you know it. So live in the moment. Treasure the spontaneous date nights with your significant other, or hanging out with friends as long as you want. Enjoy sleeping in on the weekends. Appreciate that you can walk into a grocery store, get what you need, and get out without having to herd a bunch of little ones who keep sneaking things into the cart or running full-speed down the aisles just because they can. Have fun traveling. Start a new project. Parenthood’s irreversible, so make the most of now.
Got any other suggestions or thoughts on this phenomenon? Leave a note here, or tweet me at @thickrimmedgirl to share!