Relationship and Pregnancies

Updated on May 11, 2018
S.S. asks from Binghamton, NY
12 answers

Hello Mommas and some Daddies,
I have an issue I have been struggling with. I am planning on taking the plunge into the dating world after a 7 years(roughly) hiatus. My issue isn't with dating its what could possibly come after. I'm not exactly opposed to being pregnant again but I'm not busting down doors to get there either. My issue is with the idea of getting pregnant. I have a son who I was single when I found out I was pregnant with and well lets just say it wasn't an enjoyable experience for me (on top of being alone and pregnant I was also harassed by my exs mom) Looking back I wouldn't change anything but I worry that if I ever got pregnant and this time its an enjoyable experience how do I deal with the guilt? Because of all the stress and everything I never got a chance to do the typical pregnancy stuff, announcements, maternity pictures or even a baby book for him. I know this is a "future self problem" but it affects me to the point where I will purposely sabotage dates so it will never get that far. I just feel so guilty for wanting to give another child things that I wasn't capable of doing with my son. I feel guilty for wanting to experience what a happy and healthy relationship feels like. This is the first time I've actually put this into words so please be nice :-D

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answers from Seattle on

I got pregnant with my first and the father denied him. He didn't help at all. Gave me no money. Cheated on me. Gave me an STD. Was verbally, physically, and sexually violent.
I lived in a home for pregnant and unwed mothers.
He left, in the middle of the night like a coward. I did not hear from him for 3 years.
My pregnancy was easy!! My LIFE was falling apart.
I have never...not ONCE...felt guilty about my first pregnancy being less than enjoyable. NEVER.
I have a FANTASTIC 15 year old, a loving husband, two more kids, and life is good.
You got this.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

i gently and kindly suggest you get some counseling. seriously. you have baggage you need to shed before you remotely consider getting pregnant again.

sabotaging relationships because you feel guilty about not enjoying your first pregnancy and projecting this guilt onto some future pregnancy that you're already feeling guilty about is a mental and emotional quagmire that needs to be sorted out.

this degree of guilt and future fantasizing is not healthy for you, nor for the fantasy baby, and most of all not for the child you already have.

i wish you the best of luck and hope you can get a handle on all of this guilt. it's not only sabotaging your future happiness, it's tainting your present experience and that of your child.


7 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Guilt is no good for anyone.

Why don’t you try to look at it as...I did the best I could. Your best changes depending on where you are in your life. Isn’t it a good thing that your best now would be an improvement over where it was previously?

Also, since you are purposely sabotaging dates then I think you need have a lot of work to do before your ready for a relationship with anyone. Not sure if this will help you but one of my favorite quotes is by Abe Lincoln and goes something like this.
...”folks are generally as happy as they make up their mind to be”. If I were You I would Just decide I’m not going to feel guilty anymore.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think there are 2 issues here:
1) Dating and your feelings about it, and the jumping ahead to thoughts of pregnancy when you haven't even met anyone.
2) Unresolved feelings of guilt about your son. These have to be resolved whether or not you go forward to #1 above.

Please see a counselor. You are not healed from your pregnancy and relationship experience. You deserve to be okay emotionally, and your child deserves to be raised by a healthy mom, whether or not the issues relate to back when you were pregnant with him. I hope that makes sense. What I mean is, no matter what issue is weighing on you for years, you need to deal with it.

You deserve to be happy. That should not produce feelings of guilt in you. Please get help to heal yourself. There's another factor to consider as well: your son will learn a lot about women and parenting and love from you - so those lessons need to be balanced and based on healthy emotions so that he chooses a mate wisely when it's his turn.

Sometimes we do better with a second pregnancy or a second child. Or a second marriage, for that matter. We're more experienced, we have better judgment, we don't sweat the small stuff and we prioritize better. When we know better, we do better. That's normal for all of us. Please don't beat up on yourself because things weren't perfect (or worse, because you were abused or harassed) when you were younger. The point is, you can take steps to get better.

But being afraid to be happy is a really sad state of affairs and I hope you will treat it like anything else that isn't quite right (like a bad job that requires a change or a medical condition that requires treatment) - you just go do it, and you keep working at it, and you rely on someone else's expertise to help you get there. That's what strong people do.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

This sounds like something you should be discussing with a counselor through regular sessions until you have your answer.

Taking a step like dating is one thing.
Thinking already about a possible pregnancy - and then feeling guilty about it - is putting the cart way before the horse.

Ideally - you have a friendship and relationship with someone you love and trust - who wants to be a parent to the child you already have - and then maybe eventually you decide you want to enlarge your family.
Please put your current child first.
You and he are a package deal - and anyone who comes into your life is going to have to accept that - and love you both as a package.
So many mothers pick horrible boyfriends that destroy their kids - you don't want to throw your kid under the bus.

Your possible future guilt isn't a parenting issue - and I think you need more help than any advice from strangers can give you over the internet.
Get a counselor and good luck.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

In some of your recent posts, you have written about your mother spoiling your son, about building a climbing wall in your son's bedroom, and most recently a few months ago you wrote that you are now giving your son a $50/month allowance. So, it sounds like your son has had lots of nice things in his childhood! Also, you mentioned starting a baking business, so your son has maybe even gotten to see you start a business and follow your passion that way.

I think you just need to keep moving forward as you've been doing, building a great childhood for your son *now*, and don't worry about things you were unable to do in those beginning moments.

If your son is 9 years old now, then by the time you have another child (if you do), he will be close to his teenage years. You can continue to help him grow up well and get prepared for college with a bright future - that will be a better gift for him than any maternity pictures!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I too have struggled with guilt.

I went through a period of time in my life when I wasn't well, and I wasn't there for my kids - like most moms are.

What I have learned to do, is to say "You know what? I did the BEST I could under the circumstances". That's a very powerful statement. Because it is true.

You did the best you could. You were a single mom. You provided the best love, care and support for your child. You were stressed, you were alone, you probably had some hardships mentally (stress from your ex's mother..) and feeling crappy you didn't have a dad for him ... all that takes a toll. Be gentle to yourself. Forgive yourself. Lady - you did your best. You were a great mom. So what if you didn't do the typical pregnancy stuff - announcements, maternity pictures or a baby book. Do you honestly think that matters in the grand scheme of things?

I did that for one of my kids. The other ones looked at it the other day (were going through boxes) and they just went "Oh.." and that was that. It really is not that important.

The thing is, some day, if you want, you can make him a special scrap book. That can be a healing experience for you. When you feel like it. Go back and make it about something else. Doesn't have to be a baby book. Lots of people lose those things - in fires, etc. They are just things. You loved your son. He's probably a great kid, because he had a great mom. Focus on what you did give him - the important stuff. Those other things - not important.

You did the best you could - and that was more than enough. Just keep repeating that to yourself. No one is asking you to have done any more than that. Plenty of people had it all and don't love their kids any more :)

As for dating, etc. Maybe you lack trust in yourself. I think forgive yourself, love yourself, build up your self confidence about yourself, and feel you are deserving - and it will come :)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

When my oldest was born I was so stressed out. He wasn't a great sleeper, and that was so hard for me. What I realize now was that I might have contributed to that by being stressed. I wish I had gone to the mall more and just pushed him in the stroller. I wish I had gone to the book store (which I just loved to do) and read a book while he slept. There are so many things that I could have done differently!

So when my youngest was born I did all the things that I didn't know I could have done with my oldest. I took him shopping and took him to the movies a few times and was just super relaxed! It was so much easier.

Those two boys are now 9 and almost 12, and they don't know the difference! The only they care about those first few years was that I loved them and cared for them and played with them. The don't care about announcements and baby books (I don't have either ... I don't even remember their first words).

You're worried about things that don't matter to kids. Just love them and keep doing the best you can with what you have. Kids need to know they can depend on you to love them, feed them, clothe them and provide for them. The rest you have to just make up as you go along.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Hi S.,
First of all...that was then - and this is now. You did the best you could with the tools you had, and the situation you were in, at that time. I don't think sending formal announcements or having maternity pictures are a big deal at all. A baby book is a wonderful keepsake for your child, but its never too late. As for now...I think you should make an awesome book of your son's school years. There are a lot more milestones coming up for him. On the first page of this scrapbook I would include a letter in your words, of how much you loved him as a baby and a toddler, things you would do together, include any memories, early words (doesn't have to be the first), 1st steps around the age of etc..., and pictures you have...and keep it only positive! Then let the guilt go. If, or when, you may decide to have another child, do the best you can with that new experience.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I try to restrain myself from throwing down the therapy card too often but I really think that something like this is where a few counseling sessions would really help you move past something that's impairing your life and preventing you from living your best life.

I don't really see what you feel guilty over. My first pregnancy was a nightmare - I broke up with my then-boyfriend, who was bona-fide nuts, I was 22, alone, working two jobs, and dealing with someone who stalked and harassed me and faked having cancer (seriously who does that!) until he moved out of state with someone else a few months before my son was born. But I never felt guilty about it, I made the best of a lousy situation, and it didn't affect how I parented him. Your lack of an enjoyable pregnancy doesn't affect your son in any way - the shower, announcements, baby books, etc. are for US, not them. They're in utero and don't know or care about what happens before they were born. So can you see that framing this as guilt about depriving your son of something is irrational? That's where I think therapy could be helpful - I don't think the issue is what you think it is (pregnancy) but you've got something going on (fear of change, fear of commitment) and should figure out what it is and work through it. You deserve to be happy too.

FWIW, my pregnancies with my husband, whom I married when my oldest son was 5, were also difficult because they were surprises. My first and only truly happy pregnancy was when I was a surrogate and got to go through the whole process of trying to get pregnant, wanting a positive test, sharing the news, and getting really excited about helping another couple realize their dream of having children. An unusual way to fulfill my desire for a joyful pregnancy but I never felt guilty about my prior ones being stressful.

Finally...I hope that when you're thinking about pregnancy that you're thinking about marriage (or an equivalent lifelong commitment if you don't believe in marriage) first. You and your child deserve the commitment and stability of a great relationship before any future children enter the picture. It sets off a bit of a red flag that your question focuses on pregnancy while just barely touching on the relationship that goes with it and how that will affect you and your son.

You deserve to be happy, and your happiness in a healthy relationship will benefit your son. Talk to someone and find out why you think you don't deserve this so that you can free yourself from guilt and move on. You've got good things in store for you!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

What B said-- It sounds like you need to work h*** o* staying in today and just enjoying the time which you spend with someone. Consider how small are the chances even that a first date with someone will feel like a good enough fit for both people to want to do a second one! So just focus on spending time with someone who seems to be a good, interesting human being and leave the rest to the future. Counseling would be very useful too, I suspect.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

These are all things YOU feel guilty about. Your son probably will never even question.

I had a similar experience with my 1st, I was very young, we were not together at the time I found out. We did get back together after he was born. But I didn't have a shower, was very emotional during the pregnancy etc.
When I had my 2nd child 13 yrs later my oldest was just excited to become a brother. he never questioned all the differences, I don't he think even thought about any of it. When and if you do have another child, just involve your son as much as you can. Don't feel guilty about being happy!!! You being happy will only benefit your child!
And why not go get a baby book and fill it in now? I'm sure you remember most of what goes in there. And to be honest, I have had them with all three and have totally forgot to fill things in over the years, so sometimes, I wing it!

2 moms found this helpful
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