I’m Scared to Have Children


Scared to have a baby

by Tamika Burgess

“And now we turn to breaking news…” I always cringe when I hear the evening news reporter say that phrase. I never know what kind of catastrophe they are going to report. The news is a constant reminder of the scary and troubled world we live in. After watching endless coverage of the Sandy Hook school shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing, I can honestly say I am scared to have children.

I didn’t always feel this way though. When I was a teenager I would picture myself married with five boys, no girls. But throughout my twenties that picture slowly started to change. Now at age 30, and given all the major tragedies that have taken place within the last couple of years; I have completely changed my mind. Raising a child is a hard enough task. But when you add in all the bad things of this world, the joy of having a child can quickly turn into a fearful situation.

There are several factors that cause me to be scared. But the main one is that I feel I would not be able to ensure my child’s safety 24/7. If I had a child I would be so scarred to send them out into this world every day alone. On a normal school day I would be frantic. I’d worry about them making it to school safely. And once they got there, I’d worry about them being bullied, having physical fights with students or teachers, or worse being shot by a classmate. How parents are able to function these days is beyond me.

And there is even more to worry about when they are not at school. Kidnapping, terrorist attacks, but it’s those random acts of violence that also have me worried. The constant news reports of kids, even toddlers and babies being hurt or murdered are out of control. It’s so sad that people have no conscience and can perform such heinous acts against other human beings, let alone children.

I constantly have to ask myself, “Do you really want to bring a child into this messy world?”

But there is another side to my fear. And that is the fear of not ever experiencing motherhood. And at this point I am not sure which fear outweighs the other. My friends that are parents tell me all the time what a blessing it is to have children. And how caring for them and keeping them safe is something that comes naturally once they are born. Overall, they express the amounts of joy their child have brought into their lives. And based on experiences with my Nephew and Niece, I can relate to those feelings. And that makes me wonder if my fear of having kids is based on fear of the unknown.

It’s that fear of the unknown that takes me back to my original fear of my child’s safety. How do you teach them about all the anger in this world? How do you explain major tragedies to them without scaring them? How do you tell them they are safe, when you don’t know for sure?

It’s a hard pill to swallow knowing that my kids would have to live in a place that seems to become worse every day. I can’t even put the words together to explain to my once wanted five sons that they could possibly be targeted or killed because of their skin color.

I know not everyone is evil, and there is plenty of good in this world.

But who knows what my future will bring. Although I am scared I don’t think I want to completely close the door on having children. Regardless of how crazy this world is, I may wake up tomorrow with a strong desire to be a mother.

I’m not sure what all this back and forth in mind proves. I just hope that when the day comes for me to decide to have a child or not, I hope I will not be as indecisive about it as I am right now.

Tamika Burgess is a freelance writer and a blogger. Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, Tamika was born and raised in Southern California. As a freelance writer, Tamika’s work has been featured on various sites, including The Well Versed and 212Access. Her work is also featured on her blog, The Essence of Me.