The Atlantic

Dear Therapist: I'm Scared of Having Kids

I feel a rush of longing when I see a cute baby, but I can’t tell if I’m ready to have one of my own.
Source: The Atlantic

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at

Dear Therapist,

I want to be a parent, but I am absolutely terrified. How do I get over this?

I’m 31 and my husband is 34. My husband has been ready to start trying for a while, and in my gut I know I want to be a parent, but I’m only getting more scared.

Part of the problem is we don’t have much exposure to kids. None of our career-driven, urban, feminist friends are parents, and I would also be the first parent well-informed at this point, about everything from postpartum depression to childbirth injuries to the fact that most couples see their marital satisfaction drop after the birth of a child. I know I can’t “have it all” (that dumb phrase!) because the U.S. lags far behind other countries in parental leave and support, and I want to keep my ambitious career even though the system is rigged.

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