Why I’m Half Terrified and Half Excited to Have Kids

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excited to have kids

I have a confession to make.

Pretty soon after I experienced the excitement of being pregnant, the fear set in. The fear is really heavy. It kind of weighs on me like a big winter coat. It’s there all the time. There are moments of excitement every day, and my husband and I are truly thrilled and blessed to have two buns in the oven. However, I look around at my pregnant friends and think, “Why aren’t they worried? Why aren’t they freaking out on in the inside like I am?”

What it’s really come down to is that I’m half terrified and half excited about having kids. Nothing more, nothing less.

Reasons to be Half Terrified to Have Kids


1. I’ve Never Changed a Diaper


I feel like I will be a diaper pro after having twins in the world for about 12 hours, but I still haven’t changed one. There’s no major reason why I haven’t. All the kids I’ve babysat have been 5 or 6 and out of the diaper stage. I know it’s not hard, but it’s just an unknown. I feel like I should have done this by now.

2. Twins Can Have a Lot of Complications


I’m worried about their health. These kids are sharing a small space. Twins often come early. I can’t imagine losing one of them or having one or both of them be very sick, but I know it’s always a possibility. I can’t even mention this to friends and family anymore because they are tired of me worrying. They urge me to be positive and think of the good things. “Worrying is bad for the babies” and all that. Seeing as none of them have carried twins and none are in my current position, I feel like I am allowed my thoughts. “Prepare for the worst; hope for the best” is sort of my mantra right now.

3. I Have No Idea What I’m Doing


How do you parent? No really, how do you do it? How do you make sure that they are good kids and not little demons? Furthermore, how do you balance a career with parenting?

Reasons to be Half Excited to Have Kids


1. I’m Financially Ready for Them


Even though I have no idea what I’m doing, I can at least control how much money I have in the bank. This has been a calming thought to me this whole time. Everything else is so up in the air and is so uncertain. However, I feel like I have enough money to feed them and clothe them once they do make their arrival. That should count for something.

2. They Are Going To Be So Cool

I mean, y’all haven’t really met my husband, but these kids are going to be half him. He is one cool dude. I can’t wait to meet them and see who they’ll look like, what they’ll be like, and what they’ll become.

3. I Get To Raise Them

For the last few years, I have been building a blog and writing business on the side. It has taken an immense amount of effort and many, many late nights. I did it all for them, so that I could be home with them and play a large role in raising them. I’m so excited and thrilled that things actually worked out. I have less then two weeks left at my day job, then the dream of being self employed finally comes true. It’s an amazing feeling.

So, what do you think? Is this half-terrified, half-excited feeling normal? Am I freaking out too much? Go ahead; you can tell me.


Photo Credit: Photon_De

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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families.


  • I am pretty sure no one has any idea what they are doing when they first have kids. I hope all goes well and they are super cool kids (with a rocking budget!)

  • liz says:

    I think your sentiments sound about right for first time parents! Hubby and I are hoping to start a family in the next few years so it is fun for me to hear about your experience. While kids are incredibly expensive I don’t think infants have to be. They really just need food, clothes, love and a clean diaper : )

  • Cat, I think all first-time parents feel this way. When I had our oldest, there were some medical complications due to doc error, and Rick, who’d never ever babysat, changed a diaper or even been around babies (he is the baby on both sides of his family) had to watch Maddie for 3 days, all by himself. He was FREAKING out, but it all worked out just fine. There is a certain amount of caring for your children that is simply instinct, and the rest you just learn. You guys will do just fine, I’m sure of it. And I love your mantra about prepare for the worst, expect the best. Learn all you can from trusted family/friends right now, and just know that the rest will work itself out. You guys are going to be awesome parents. πŸ™‚

  • Well I can’t really tell you because I’ve never had kids, but it seems natural to be half-terrified and half-excited. I know I will probably be more terrified than excited when I have kids, but I also think that can be natural. I’ve also never changed a diaper, though I watched Victoria do it once. I wasn’t impressed with it nor did it make me feel better!

  • Get ready for that “I don’t know what I’m doing” feeling for…oh…the next 18 years or so? Just when you think you have the parenting thing down, those darn kids go and move to their next stage of development. πŸ™‚ The thing is, each stage is exciting, fun, and new. I’ve LOVED every step of the way (kids now 14 and 11)…except potty training. WOW, could I have done without that….especially the incident where I had to tell a McDonalds worker they probably wanted to get a mop going for the puddle my daughter left in the middle of the restaurant.

  • Think of all of the dumb people you know who have kids. It really isn’t that hard!
    You will do fine. Just try not to set overly high expectations for yourself.

  • Matt Becker says:

    I think if you weren’t at least a little scared you wouldn’t truly be ready. The truth is that nobody has any idea what they’re doing until they’re actually doing it, and even then it will often feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. But you’ll figure it out as you go and while it will definitely be difficult and frustrating at times, you’ll be just fine and the good times will far outweigh the bad.

  • LifeorDebt says:

    It is terrifying, awe inspiring, amazing, and the truth of the matter is, even once they kids are here, you still won’t have any clue as to what you’re doing. You’ll get slightly more familiar with the routines, but each kid is so different!

    My advice would be to not have any expectations of what motherhood is and just love them like crazy. Don’t be hard on yourself and trust your intuition– no one knows your family or your children like you do. You are the only expert when it comes to your kids. Remembering that makes it all so much easier. πŸ™‚

    Congrats and enjoy this time. Pregnancy is hard but oh-so-amazing!

  • Congrats! And don’t worry! The fact that you worry this much tells me you’ll be a great parent!

    I was an only child with VERY limited kid-sitting (not baby!) experience when I had my first son. I had never changed a diaper… It was all okay!

    And then two years, I had twin boys…. and even though I felt slightly more confident, there were two of them who were DIFFERENT from my first son. There’s no better challenge, no greater joy, than learning to roll with the punches as you raise your kids! Enjoy! So much comes naturally (and if you fumble a lot, they’re too little to remember!)

    I’m wishing you a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery and happy and healthy babies!

  • Mrs. 1500 says:

    1. I’ve Never Changed a Diaper
    Yes, you will be a pro within 1 day, but here is a bit of advice I didn’t learn until kid #2. Before even opening the current diaper, slide the new diaper underneath the backside. Open old diaper, clean up (Costco wipes are the absolute best and worth the membership fee even if you buy nothing else there.) and remove old diaper. Fold up, and baby is already lying on new diaper, just connect the tabs. This doesn’t seem like such a wow thing, but if that baby then poops while the old diaper is off, the new diaper catches it, rather than whatever the baby was laying on.

    2. Twins Can Have a Lot of Complications
    Join a twins group. Google your city and twins club or mothers of multiples and you should find at least one club near you. Those women are Godsends. They have already been through it, and can answer your questions very thoroughly, and more accurately than your friends who only have one. Also, they usually have resales, and you can buy the stuff you need at a deep discount.

    3. I Have No Idea What I’m Doing
    Yeah, none of us do. Welcome to the club.

    Take one day at a time, even if there are less than ideal days. Precook several meals and put them in the freezer so you have something you can eat. The first time the babies smile at you, everything is worth it.

  • I don’t think I’d ever changed a diaper or buckled a car seat or any of those things before I had a baby. The fact that you are worried is probably a good sign you’ll do fine. I do wonder why they make baby clothes with all the snaps. It’s so hard to get them all straight in the middle of the night and you’ll get up the next morning and the kid will be all buckled lopsided, but it doesn’t seem to phase them at all. I recommend getting only zip up footie pajamas. No buttons and they can’t lose socks. I think that’s all we wore for about 6 mos. I might have worn them myself if they came in my size!

  • I’d never changed a diaper in my life either and I’m a pro now! Some hospitals and even some Babies R Us stores, among other places, offer a “Baby Basics 101” class to teach you how to change a diaper, bathe an infant, breastfeed, etc. if you really want to be prepared. I think the nurses often give you a crash course after the birth also. It’s normal to worry, every parent worries a little bit. You’ll be fine.

  • Although I don’t have experience with kids myself, I think the general consensus is that NO ONE knows what they’re doing, at just about any point! You learn and figure stuff out as you go, you adapt and make things work. I do think it is 100% normal to be scared and worried though – and you’re allowed to have those emotions, but don’t dwell on them!

  • I know nothing about raising children, but I have changed more than one diaper thanks to years of babysitting. In on horrifying instance, the contents of the diaper were a huge mound of blue goo, because the kid only ate blue Fruit Loops that morning. Dry heaving ensued.

    The fact that you’re worried probably means you’ll make a wonderful mother because you care so much! I’m looking forward to reading about your transition, particularly the financial factors. It’s great to hear you feel financially prepared. I’d imagine that’s one of the most important bases to have covered.

  • ChanceCallan says:

    Being pregnant is like riding a roller coaster – once you get on, the excitement and fear climb until you hit the top (think labour)….after that is relief and joy and exhilaration – the best feeling in the world!

  • It takes a lot of task and duties like cleaning the bottle, preparing milk in the middle of the night, changing diaper and etc. but its worth it. I have no regret of spending time with my two kids. The are my source of inspiration.

  • Michelle says:

    My sister was freaked out about having her first baby last year. Now I am amazed at all that she can do while caring for her daughter. Do not worry. You’ll learn. You’ll mess up. You’ll be tired. But everyone is! In the end, you are going to get two awesome kids with all the love in the world for you.

  • I think that you’re financially ready for them puts you ahead of the majority of expecting parents. Enjoy your excitement. Changing diapers isn’t hard at all πŸ™‚

  • E.M. says:

    I think your worries and concerns are perfectly normal. I don’t have any experience with kids, but I’m sure I’d be feeling the same way! It doesn’t help that I am a natural worrier. My cousins just had their first baby and they’re definitely learning as they go. I think the biggest issue they’ve been tackling is getting her to sleep for longer periods of time. You two will do fine, I’m sure! It’s obvious you care very much about them and want to be the best mom you can be.

  • I think all first time-time (and technically 2nd and 3rd time) parents are both terrified and excited to have kids. I remember feeling many of the same thoughts racing through your head now. And ummm… being hormonal just makes those thoughts even more potent. And that’s okay. The fact that you are terrified means you want to be the best mom possible, which I have no doubt that you will be a terrific mom. I’m sure there are groups online and even within your local community for parents of twins. They can probably answer your questions best about being a Mom to twins since none of your friends have experienced that. And diaper changing – you’ll be a pro by the end of day 1. And remember day 1 is at the hospital where the nurses will be there to help you.

  • It’s perfectly normal to be worried, but don’t let it consume you. Having these thoughts just shows how much you care! Children are a big – but wonderful – step complete with a roller coaster of emotions. You’ll learn as you go.

  • I’m in the same boat as you in that I’m excited but also scared of it. My wife’s not pregnant yet but we’ve already talked about how many and when we might want to start trying. I know in the end everything will work out alright, but the anticipation of such a big life change has kind of freaked me out just thinking about it.

  • I’m sure others will weigh in with better advice as I’m not a parent, but I imagine what you are feeling is totally normal!

  • Mackenzie says:

    All first-time parents feel a little bit of that “oh my gosh, I don’t know what the heck I’m doing” feeling. πŸ™‚ It happens to every parent, but I know you’ll be an awesome mom Cat!!!!

  • Christine Weadick says:

    If I might add my two cents worth speaking as the mother of three and grandma to one 4 yr old boy that calls me Moomah!!! The advice to join a twins group sounds very good, the been there and done that advice you get will be helpful. None of us knew what we were in for while pregnant, each kid is different.
    As for worrying about them being early, no biggie. I never made my due date with any of my kids. Kid number one was born at 37-1/2 weeks, my daughter was at 38 weeks and the younger boy was at 37 weeks. All were fine. A touch of jaundice but nothing major. The oldest boy had to be treated under the lights but then he has a different blood type than I do which was a part of the problem. His younger sister and brother are the same type as I am so it was no big deal there. I nursed all three and one thing I found was that re-gaining the birth weight was slow with all three …until we hit the actual due date, then they took off like a house on fire!!!!
    If you are having boys you will learn to be fast with the new diaper as there is just something about little boys the first couple of weeks. They feel fresh air on those little parts and they let it rip… will be hosed ……. it passes after a bit, but it does and will happen…..
    Oh… and congratulations!!!!!!!!! Times two!!!!! Enjoy those babies… they won’t be babies for long…..

  • Peter says:

    Those are all legitimate reasons, but all of those fades away when you have your own kid. It’s a weird deal. In any way, I believe you’re missing out in life big time if you don’t have kids.

  • Dear Debt says:

    You are thinking what every parent thinks I’m sure! I don’t have kids, but I wouldn’t have a clue how to deal with babies. Toddlers, I’m a pro with, but babies? Uhhhh?? You will do great and I am sure the kids will be cute and interesting. And financially responsible πŸ™‚

  • Don’t worry Cat, you’ll be fine. And yes I know by saying “don’t worry”, it makes you worry even more. Here’s the thing, parenting is like breathing…you just do it. You will make mistakes and its OK. But more than likely you remember a whole host of things that your parents did for/to you while you were growing up. If you think you turned out OK, then you are going to do a lot of the same things but maybe modified a bit for today’s environment. You will learn about your babies by just paying attention. They are very straight forward. If you find yourself laying down next to your newborns and the thought that goes through your head is “this is my life for the next few years and I like that.” then you are really going to enjoy being a parent. I do.

    • Cat says:

      Haha thanks Chad! Last time I checked I was doing alright, so that’s some good advice. πŸ˜‰ This was a really sweet comment that made me excited!

  • The Warrior says:

    Hey Cat –

    It can be tough (I’m a dad of a 9 month old), but it is all worth it.

    You will be tired, exhausted, frustrated and everything in between, but when they give you that grin, you melt.

    You will be a-okay. My only suggestion to parents-to-be is to try and take a small vacation prior to their birth since you will never be alone again and to go to the movie theatres as often as possible as you will never step foot in a theatre again for a couple years. πŸ™‚

    The Warrior

  • changing diapers isn’t hard. I worked at a church nursery from 14-18 and if they let me as a 14 year old change 6 month old baby’s diapers, by golly you’ll do fine.

    And yes, think of how cool your kid will be. I consider myself to be relatively self-aware, and I think that’s a great knack to have when rearing kids. I was a bit of a dorky kid growing up as my mom wasn’t the best at saying, “perhaps you shouldn’t wear that…” and I hope to be a much more “hip” parent than I had growing up. Don’t get me wrong, my parent’s did fabulous at rearing me but I think it’s the awareness of ways to improve that makes each new generation better at parenting. πŸ™‚

    • Cat says:

      Haha I keep telling my husband there is no way our kids won’t be nerds. With glasses. For sure. There’s no getting around it! πŸ˜‰

  • I’m so excited for you, Cat. I’ve always wanted twins (2 for 1 (ish)! You only have to give birth once!). You’ll be a great mother and it’s so wonderful that you’re financially ready for them and it sounds like you’re also ready in your relationship. Don’t worry, once you change one diaper, you’ve got it down pat.

  • You’ll do great as a parent!! None of us knew what we were doing and I can tell you I certainly didn’t ever change a diaper before, but you learn and you get used to things.

    You’ll be amazed that things that would have horrified you pre-kids will just become normal. That’s the way it is…

    Being a parent is the best job ever but it’s also the toughest. There are times when you can’t imagine being more stressed or frustrated, but it really is all worth it and you always have to remember that everything is a stage that they’ll eventually grow out of…

  • Evan says:

    Late to the game, but Congrats! Mine just turned 3 last week…SO AWESOME.

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