This list emerged from the vulnerable places in my heart sometime in 2010 – months before my first son was on the way. I simply came home from grad school one afternoon and what came pouring forth was real and naked. I cried with each word – both in relief that these were leaving me and in recognition of what was inside of my head and heart. Fear and the feeling of being alone are cousins – they work together to keep you close. But the light peaking through the shutters is the reality that there are many people who might feel this way prior to having children. My hope is that this list brings comfort.

I should also add that I shared this list with my husband that very night. He said, “These feelings are real and understandable.” My lungs filled with the breath of release and relief. I never felt a single one of these fears after my son was born. And in fact, I am so excited to have more children.

Romans 8:31-39

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Fear List

  1. I am afraid of feeling trapped
  2. I am afraid of resenting our kids
  3. I am afraid that I will get forgotten
  4. I am afraid that my opinion won’t matter
  5. I am afraid that I won’t be valued in the workplace
  6. I am afraid that I will loose my identity
  7. I am afraid that you and I won’t know each other anymore
  8. I am afraid that all we will have in common, because we’re so tired and busy, that we won’t get to know each other anymore and all we will be able to talk about is our kids
  9. I am concerned I will be bored and angry
  10. I am concerned that I will be stuck at home and miss out on everything
  11. I am concerned that my children will sense that I am not fulfilled by their presence, that I am bored, and that they will question their value
  12. I am afraid that we will argue because I will be selfish and tired and resentful
  13. I am worried that our home will not be peaceful anymore
  14. I am afraid that I will resent you because you get to go out and work and do presentations and go for drinks and that I will feel stuck at home
  15. I am afraid that you will be really good at this and I won’t because I won’t be as fulfilled as you
  16. I am afraid our children will feel you love them more because I am not fulfilled
  17. I am afraid that our children will know that you bring them great joy and that they don’t for me
  18. I am afraid because I love you and I so much want to give this to you because you will be an amazing father and I couldn’t be more proud for you to be the father of our kids, but can’t give you my joy right this minute. I wish this could be simple for you because you want this so much and have waited so long
  19. I am afraid that I will be alone
  20. I am afraid that it won’t be different just because its our kids – like everyone says
  21. I am afraid that we won’t get to go to dinner, we won’t get to laugh together, that we’ll miss this honeymoon stage, that we’ll stop talking to one another, that we’ll not have sex as much
  22. I am afraid that I will not feel beautiful anymore
  23. I am afraid that I won’t get to go out, to be your well-spoken valuable wife when you have dinners, that your colleagues won’t hear me or respect me because I’m just a mom
  24. I am afraid that I will be just a mommy
  25. I feel awful – I feel so selfish for feeling this way