Mouths of Medusa: Is Parenthood For Me?

Dear Medusa,

Is it normal to have doubts about becoming a parent? How do I know if having a child is the right decision?

Medusa: Hiss! The very word makes me shiver and shriek. An innocuous word, so bland and feeble, yet still reducing our marvellous complexities to ‘must’ and ‘should.’

I will not acknowledge normal.

But to question becoming a parent is to touch the raw core of existence. It is to feel the weight of responsibility hang like the world on Atlas’ shoulders. It can be a vibrant star lighting your path with hope, or a starless sky casting a veil over your future.

To bring in a new life into this world can only ever start as an act for yourself. The decision is made by balancing your wants, and your needs. So how does your raw core – when touched by this question – respond to it? Does it quiver with excitement and possibility of a role and life to come, or recoil in all honesty at losing your identity, and the life you have now?

Child, you are beginning a pilgrimage through caution and wonder. But in understanding one’s truest wants and needs, doubt can creep. In the shadows it twists. This is always a dance of uncertainty. But hark, child – do not overlook the fear, the doubt, the lingering shadows. These shape the landscape of the soul. And they are valid, regardless of what they represent. They are your companions, telling you of your truest journey.

The journey you want for yourself.

Decisions born of desperation will never satisfy. A path chosen from fear instead of desire will never bring fulfilment. So listen your doubts and shadows, and what they are saying. I think you already know the answer, but alas you are the only one who can tell it.