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Understanding your desire to have a baby

Becoming a mother is a life-changing decision. The desire to have a baby results from unconscious motivations, which vary across women. Understanding your desire to have a baby is often an essential step towards being fully prepared for motherhood.

Want to have a baby?
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The birth of a child is usually the realization of a deep and intense desire. More often than not, it is also the product of a love story between a man and a woman. Sometimes, the wish to have a baby arises from deeply unconscious aspirations, which depend on the life experiences of each woman.

Find out about the three most common reasons for wanting a child and learn to recognise the fantasies of pregnancy to be better prepared for this momentous event.

A love baby

You love your partner and having a child together seems the most natural thing. In this case, the desire to have a child is part of a broader aspiration to give love and provide your man with an offspring. “The birth of a baby is perceived as a gift, which can even add to a couple’s harmony” writes French paediatrician Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern in her book “La Naissance d’une mere” (Birth of a mother).

A great many women wonder if they’ll be able to love their babies, or if they’ll love him enough. To others, it goes without saying that they’ll love him unconditionally. They’ve arrived at a time in their lives when they know how to love and be loved back. They don’t ask themselves existential questions, like “is this the right time?” or “is he the right father?” Those women, however, should beware not to find themselves completely engrossed by their newborn babies. Though being a mother, a woman and a lover all at once may be challenging, you need to make sure that the father doesn’t feel left out.

The baby you never were and the mother you never had

If you feel really anxious to become a mother, you need to uncover any underlying reasons for this. Your desire to have a child is very strong and you already know what kind of mother you’ll be to him: loving, attentive and, above all, different from the mother you had. We haven’t all been loved the way we would have liked as children and those who haven’t received enough love from their parents know this child will love them no matter what. “Though all parents instinctively place hopes on their children, they need to understand that they shouldn’t expect their progeny to make up for the parents they had themselves” the paediatrician explains.

And what if your child doesn’t live up to the role you cast him in? Maybe you should await this child more serenely, say, by wondering about your real motivations and trying to identify those influenced by your relationship to your partner on the one hand, and those connected with your childhood on the other. Of course, you can just decide to do things differently from your own mother, but she’ll always be somewhere in the back of your mind, serving as a counterexample. Becoming aware of this is in itself an achievement.

Desire to have a baby, a part of an ideal life

Your professional life is going well, so is your relationship with your partner and getting pregnant would make you an accomplished woman. Remaining childless, however, would be a considerable disappointment, even a failure.

At a time when organization is indispensable to avoid feeling overwhelmed, it becomes increasingly common for motherhood to be planned as well. Why not, as long as you don’t find yourself wanting to control everything in this department, too, as you would run the risk of idealizing the birth of your child and envision your family as the perfect one, which is fantasy, not reality.

Imagine how disappointed you’d be if you’d dreamt of a little angel and your baby turned out to be almost impossible to handle. You’d best prepare for what he’ll be, and not what you want him to be.

Psychoanalysts recommend exploring and understanding the true reasons that make you want to have a child, and most importantly how you imagine him to be. This will make the adventure of

Posted 01.09.2010

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