Deciding About Parenthood During the CoronavirusApr 28, 2020
Now, during the pandemic of Covid-19, is a perfect time to think about deciding if raising children or living a childfree life is for you.
Yes, this is the perfect time to turn your attention toward figuring out if parenthood is for you. The reason is simple: The process of deciding about parenthood is similar to the process of navigating the uncertainty of a pandemic. One needs to create internal spaciousness or at the very least keep your wits about you throughout it.
You’re likely preoccupied right now and think you don’t have the bandwidth to explore the decision of whether to become a parent or choose a childfree life. You are likely just barely hanging in there with managing your mental health, your physical and emotional well-being, your relationship, finances, and facing the fact that life has changed on a dime and will be forever changed.
But let me tell you why I think it is the perfect time to take a look at this decision if in fact you’ve been struggling with making a decision for a while.
Women and men reach out to me because they want clarity. They want to know which road to go down: The road of living childfree or the road of raising children or adding more children to their lives. And more than wanting clarity, they want relief from feeling tortured, scared, desperate, or anxious. This is not hyperbole. They’re tired of these feelings.
It’s rare that someone would reach out to me when they’re entertaining the parenthood question/decision from a place of benign curiosity and from a place of feeling relaxed
When women and men reach out to me, we start by creating internal spaciousness that allows people to relax a bit. It’s very difficult to think clearly when you’re feeling afraid or panicked. This is what you need right now in the face of a pandemic to stay feeling grounded and thinking clearly. So, we can create internal spaciousness so you can both find the calm to ride out the pandemic and discover your heart’s desire about parenthood.
What can you do right now?
Step One: The first place to start is to STOP
Stop thinking about indecision. Give your mind a rest. You’re not going to think your way out of this problem. But that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless – in fact the sheer dilemma of not knowing what you want or what you’re going to do can prove to be quite beneficial. What I mean by that is it forces you to stop and explore what’s in the way of you knowing your truth.
Step Two: Accept that you don’t know and stop trying to figure it out.
Give your mind a break from the torture of not knowing. And stop talking about it. Don’t interview people. The answer is inside of you not outside of you.
Step Three: Make a list of all your fears plus all of the things that you keep thinking about.
For some it’s their age or relationship status or level of anxiety they live with or the fact that they hate their job or love their job. Then fold up that piece of paper and put it away in an envelope for a few months. Then make a decision to NOT decide for now.
Step Four: Make a list of what you do know for sure.
List the obvious. For example: I know that I am loved, I have long hair, I’m funny, I love animals, I like who I am, I have a car, etc. This will help you redirect your mind. Also, think about two decisions that you have made in your life that felt right. Remember them and remember how they felt. That is the feeling you want to have when you have clarity about this issue.
Step Five: Make a journal entry dated one year from today.
Then pretend it is one year from now. Begin your entry with: As I look back on this past year I am pleased to notice… Then just write without thinking and see what comes to mind. This exercise will also help create internal spaciousness and give your mind a rest from the worry.