Top 5 Remedies for Baby Fever

Hungry? There’s a pill for that. Tired? There’s a pill for that. Don’t want to get pregnant? Well, we all know there’s a pill for that too. But what about a pill to prevent the urge to have a child? To date, there’s unfortunately no such thing. Even those of us who are extremely happy with their childfree lifestyle still succumb to Baby Fever.

When a close friend of mine and fellow blogger Jamie was trying for a baby, it was definitely an exciting time. I’m pretty sure I asked her everyday whether or not she was pregnant. She was only a few weeks along when she shared the news with me so I got to take part in the secret until she announced her pregnancy publicly. If I told you the thrill didn’t effect me, I’d be lying. I started picturing a similar life for myself. Would I have a boy or a girl? What name would Colin and I choose? I could even visualize our spare bedroom transforming into a gender-neutral nursery. A private Pinterest board was made to spawn even more thoughts and ideas.

To tell you the truth, it wasn’t very difficult to picture my life as a mom as being childfree was a fairly recent decision. The more I conferred with Jamie, the more sure I was about wanting a baby. I began to make excuses for each and every one of my reasons for not wanting to have children.

I then discussed this somewhat irrational plan with Colin. While he did chime in, he didn’t actually have to. As soon as I heard the words coming from my mouth, I realized they were foreign. I continued with my spiel for what felt like an eternity and it became obvious what had happened. Baby. Fever.

When it hits, it hits hard. Since there’s no magic pill to counteract the effects, I’ve prepared a list of my top 5 homeopathic remedies:

 

1. Talk to people with varying lifestylesTalk to people with varying lifestyles

Baby Fever is quite contagious so if you surround yourself with others who have it, watch out! That’s why I recommend spending some time with people who have made a variety of choices. When you can catch her, grab a cup of coffee with that neighbor who travels for months out of the year. Arrange a date-night with the older couple whose kids are now grown and out on their own. Get a well-rounded opinion of life with and without children and it should help you refocus on your own goals.

 

2. Draft a Pro/Con ListPro/Con List

I am a chronic list maker so this is something I actually did after talking to Colin. Fold a piece of paper in half and create two headings. I believe I wrote
“Babies” and “Anti-Babies” to keep it somewhat fun. I found I not only had a greater number of reasons (cons) in the Anti-Babies column, but the reasons also carried more weight. For example, one of my personal reasons for not having children is due to a health condition. That con outweighs the pro of “babies are so cute”…I’m not making fun, I actually wrote that.

If you have been committed to remaining childfree for some time, you may have already made a similar list. Hang it on your fridge or revisit it from time to time to starve that Baby Fever!

3. Babysit for a friend or relativeBabysit for a friend or relative

My very first job was at a daycare and I spent three years as a nanny before becoming an E.C.E. teacher. I obviously love children so I am not encouraging you to babysit to horrify you into remaining kid-free. Instead I recommend this because sometimes you may wonder what you’re missing out on. Babysitting is a great way to gain some perspective. You may find it to be a lot of work. You may even find it rewarding. But if you don’t ever spend time around children, you will never find out how you feel about it. Just like I told the kids in my class when they were served tuna noodle casserole, “You can’t say you hate it if you’ve never even tried it.” They hated it.

4. Adopt a petAdopt a pet

One symptom of Baby Fever is the desire to care for a living thing. But who said it has to be human? Adopting an animal is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly or made on a whim, much like having a baby. But if you are happy in your childfree or DINK life and can care properly for a pet, then by all means do so. According to the ASPCA, 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats enter animal shelters around the nation each and every year. Visit your local animal shelter and you may just come home with very own fur-baby.

5. Get out of townGet Out of Town

Being surrounded by the same houses, the same people, and the same routine day in and day out can cause you to think about changing things up. Baby Fever can result from Cabin Fever, after all. Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery. Not long ago, Colin and I came home from work after a long week and decided to book that night at a campground in a neighboring town just ten minutes away. Being out in nature has always helped us to regroup. Plus, spontaneity is one of my favorite reasons for staying childfree.

I’d really like to know your thoughts on these remedies. Do you have any suggestions to add? Let me know if the comments section below!

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Comments

  1. Reply

    Hi there I’m here from your comment on my also childfree blog: thanks for that! I love this piece. One thing I have noticed about living without kids is that it’s not all consistently one-way-or-the-other – you do have doubts and weird phases. I’m having one right now in the Christmas run-up: I suspect it’s hormonal and it has nothing to do with babies; I’m having a big ‘What’s the point of Christmas?’ thing mixed up with a bit of ‘I’m gonna die alone!’. Just seeing your comment and reading this made me feel better. I am surrounded at work by very, very similar people – very family-oriented types, mostly with children, and it can get blinkered and depressing. Your first tip is crucial for mental well-being: spending time with people who have made a variety of choices. I’m also a list fan and we made a huge pro and con list when we decided once and for all on whether to try and have children through fertility treatment or to relax and not have them. Ha – babysitting. For me, the antidote to thinking ‘I should have made a family’ is seeing other people’s kids: cures me straight away usually. The biggest thing that strikes me here is when you say ‘Being surrounded by the same houses, the same people, and the same routine day in and day out can cause you to think about changing things up’ – this is so critical, and it’s something I have to shake up myself as I’ve got into a rut, and yes, it does get you wondering what you could have done differently. Brilliant piece!

      • therin7_wp
      • December 19, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much for checking out my blog! I’m happy you found this post helpful. It’s true about doubts, and I’m finally learning that just because I go through periods of time wondering if I made the right choice, that doesn’t mean I regret my choice. Those pesky hormones! πŸ™‚

  2. Reply

    Hello – I just came across your blog from reading other child-free blogs. I love this post, so thank you for putting it out there. Also kudos on the blog name! Very well done. I look forward to reading more of what you have to say. Glad I found your blog!

    1. Reply

      Marilisa, I’m so happy you found my blog! Thank you for the compliment on the name as well. Baby Fever is just one of those things I feel like every childfree person goes through at some point. I’m glad you enjoyed the post πŸ™‚

    • Trish
    • December 24, 2016
    Reply

    I love that you put a name to this “syndrome” – baby fever. I have experienced it and not even realized what it was until now. I work in a school and have lots of colleagues in the childbearing stage of their lives, it’s rampant. Naturally it can make you wonder, why don’t I want this if everyone else seems to want it? And should I want it? But in the end I’m comfortable with the decision my husband and I have made. Blogs like yours are a lifesaver for me, so thank you!

    1. Reply

      Trish, I’m incredibly happy you found my blog helpful! Being in the education field myself, I realize it can put even more pressure on those who are childfree. Recognizing it’s totally normal to get baby fever every so often makes it easier to cope with, I feel. Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚

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