The decision about whether or not to become a parent is one that most individuals will face at some point in their lives. Some people feel they have known the answer for their entire lives while others have considered this decision for years and still find themselves unsure of how they want to move forward. If this uncertainty feels familiar to you, it may be that you are experiencing Parenthood Indecision.
Parental Indecision occurs when one isn’t sure about whether or not they want to have children. Oftentimes those who experience Parenthood Indecision have attempted to find clarity but continue to feel ambivalent, confused, anxious, or overwhelmed at the idea of having to make a choice about becoming a parent or raising children.
There are a multitude of factors that make the parenting decision so difficult. The good news is that there are an increasing number of resources, including therapy, dedicated to helping individuals explore this topic and build confidence in their decision.
When is it time to consider finding a therapist who can help you navigate parenthood indecision? If you’re noticing that any of the following feel true for you, it may be time consider contacting a therapist.
You are continuing to feel stuck or uncertain even after you’ve explored this topic on your own.
Continuing to notice a lack of clarity after exploring this issue thoroughly on your own can be frustrating. You may start to wonder if you will ever feel confident about whether or not to become a parent. It’s important to remember that even though you may be familiar with the issues surrounding the decision to parent, you’ve likely explored this decision within the bias of your own experiences and perspectives. While your own unique experiences are an essential part of this decision-making process, sometimes your own internal narrative can keep you feeling “stuck” or make it difficult to consider outcomes that conflict with the experiences you’ve had. A skilled therapist can bring new reflections and insights that allow you to more fully explore the complex dynamics that influence your parenthood indecision.
You are fairly confident in your decision but are nervous about the impacts in other areas of your life.
The decision about whether or not to become a parent is a deeply complex and personal decision. The decision is yours to make, although you may be consciously including your partner(s) in this process as well. It may be that yourself or your partner(s) are confident in the choice you want to make, but are becoming aware that this decision is going to have some impacts on other areas of your life that may create conflict or discomfort. Perhaps you are making the decision to remain childfree but anticipate that your friends or family will react negatively to this news. You might be making a decision to become a parent but feel overwhelmed by the ways that this will impact your career, relationships, body image, sexuality, or free time. In addition to helping you build clarity about your decision to become a parent, therapy can help you to explore the impacts of your decision and build the awareness you need to make informed choices about your next steps.
Exploring the decision to parent is bringing up unresolved issues or unanticipated concerns.
You may have started this journey to answer questions like “do I want to have a baby” and found that the answer to this question was more complex than you anticipated. Oftentimes decisions about parenting are influenced by external factors or personal experiences that become clearer as you begin to navigate the feelings and perceptions you have about becoming a parent. As you further explore the idea of parenthood, you may notice strong themes of guilt, overwhelm, or anxiety that are tied to this decision. You may also notice a need to heal from past experiences or address difficult family dynamics before you feel comfortable making this decision for yourself. It may be helpful to explore these themes with a safe, non-judgmental therapist before making a concrete decision about whether or not to parent.
You’re not sure where to start.
It is completely understandable to feel unsure about how to understand such a complex, personal decision. When there are so many pieces to consider, it can be difficult to know exactly what to think about first or how to understand all of the differing perspectives you’re considering. A therapist can help you explore the issues that are most important to your decision and build clarity about how you want to move forward.
Still not sure?
As a therapist I am passionate about helping individuals build trust their decisions and consciously engage in reproductive experiences! If you’re not sure where to start or feel overwhelmed by making the decision about whether or not to parent, consider contacting me for a free 15-minute consultation so that we can talk more about if it’s time for you to consider therapy to help you navigate Parenthood Indecision.