Babycrack: when wanting a baby gets weird

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smelling baby

My name is Ariel, and I was a babycrack junkie.

I’ve mentioned babycrack a couple times here before, but I realize that I’ve never fully defined it. Babycrack is my way of explaining that at-times irrational urge to procreate.

Readers who have had experiences with addictive behavior will understand that there are times when the little voice in your head (that voice you normally trust; the voice that reminds you to pee, eat, or sneeze) does you wrong. Sometimes, that little voice suggests that you do another line of coke, drink another bottle of wine, play another game of blackjack or WoW, or take another toke off that crackpipe.

Your conscious brain sits there and says, “Oh no: that’s not what I need right now. Not at all,” but the hungry little ghost inside says, “Oh yes it is! Just one more line/sip/etc! Bet the farm: it doesn’t matter…just hurry up! Grab the mirror and the razor blade! Pick up the glass tube pipe! For godsake — the time is now!”

That, my dear friends, is what being in my mid-20s felt like. I wasn’t stupid: I knew that it wasn’t the time to have a baby. My conscious brain said things like, “Gosh, I barely made rent and am totally emotionally unstable right now — probably not a good time to be thinking about reproduction,” but babycrack brain says, “BUT LOOKIT LITTLE WIDDUM’S CUTIE WIDDLE BOTTOM!”

Before I had a baby, sometimes hanging out with friends’ infants felt like doing a big fat line of quality-grade baby.

And now that I have a baby? I’m in a state of chronic overdose. And I like it!

Comments on Babycrack: when wanting a baby gets weird

  1. Conversation that happened just yesterday:

    Me: “So… what do you think about maybe trying to get pregnant starting in March?”
    Husband: “Wow, that’s about what I was thinking! Although probably April or May would be better.”

    Seriously, what is this crack and what has it done to my rational brain?

  2. Gosh, I can totally relate to you guys, but in my case it’s the weddingcrack (or marriagecrack). I’ve been dying to marry my honey for more than two years, but he’s just not in a good place now and I don’t want to pressure him, because that would just make it worse. But I can’t help myself, I think about marrying him ALL THE TIME.
    I don’t want to think about the babycrack junkie I’ll become went I start wanting babies.

    • Ever since I was 16 I’ve been reading a lot of self help books and marriage was always something I wanted to be prepared for but wasn’t in a rush for. Then halfway during being 23 the marriagecrack appeared (after reading Harville Hendrix). I followed his advice and did lots of utilitarian dating (dating widely instead of prejudging people while avoiding commitment until I met an “imago” match) and when I found chemistry with my current fiance I told him up front that after about a year of dating (“learning experience”) he should know whether or not he wants to marry me or whether he wants to set me free (no way was I going to settle for an indefinite relationship when my goal was marriage, if he didn’t want to marry me then I wanted to be free and single so the next imago match could have that option). Luckily he chose to propose (when I was 24), but I was totally prepared to be broken up with also.

      My baby clock hasn’t started ticking yet (I just turned 27) but weirdly over the last year I started becoming obsessed with finding out how to not screw kids up (now that I feel I’ve done plenty of reading on how not to screw a marriage up). I guess now I’m just waiting for that moment to hit where it stops being a “want a baby one day” to a “want a baby ASAP” … I always told myself I would start trying to conceive at 29 before my fertility dropped as otherwise there’s a chance I’d be one of those people who all of a sudden at age 52 suddenly went “hang on, I do want a baby after all” and it being way too late. So now recently I’ve started trying to get us into a financial position where it would be an option at 29, but I’m not sure whether that’s the smartest idea given that my biological clock is still completely silent. If we are in a position where I’m prepared (from my obsession about reading about other people having children) and our relationship is still as amazingly stable as it is now and we’ve spent two years saving, is that a sufficient enough reason to go get pregnant just so that I don’t suddenly wake up at age 52 with regret?

      Something that baffles me even further is all the mothers I know that have grown up kids being desperate for grandchildren (despite all my preparing I’m still worried that my own kid would be a mountain of hard work let alone someone else’s, even if they are related). I guess I’ll find that out as soon as I have a child.

      However yeah my marriagecrack was helped by me being up front with the person that interested me. If he had said “I don’t see marriage as something I want in the near future” then I would have tried to keep it to a few fun dates and leave it at that without becoming too emotionally invested.

      Interestingly though my marriage obsession was never about the wedding … I was just desperate to be part of a lifelong team, the sooner and quicker and easier the better. It’s fascinating to read about the majority of women whose biological clocks are louder than mine though and given my marriagecrack I do understand how uncomfortable it must be to want something more than anything yet have to try to be patient and respectful and sensible about it.

      • I can relate a lot to your posts Naomi. I am also a huge researcher/planner. Was researching relationships/marriage techniques etc before finding the guy – then once I found the right guy, the marriage crack hit me hard!

        I’ve been researching babies/kids etc for about a year and a half now, which was before we decided when/how many.

        I’d always known that if I was going to have kids though, that I wanted to be *finished* procreating by 30 years old. I’m not a high energy person and I know running around after toddlers in my late 30’s/early 40’s is not for me. I knew I wanted to be young enough to party with them when they were older, not have a huge generational gap between us and have a long time with my grandkids.

        A few days after our wedding, I thought “well, we’ve got the house, decent income, stable jobs, great support network, hubby has the babycrack, so why not? Not getting any younger.”

        If we sat around waiting for *me* to feel the baby cravings or biological clock ticking we might be waiting forever.

        So now I’m 26 years old, 30 weeks pregnant with our first, and even though I’ve never felt the babycrack, I’m happy and excited.

        I dont think you need to be obsessed with babies or cooing over tiny socks to be ready to start a family. Your reasons to start at 29 (regardless of babycrack or lack thereof) sound as good as any to other to me.

  3. So *that’s* what it is –! My hubby has been smoking some baby-laced crack pipe! I knew it…

  4. ahhhhhhhahahhaha this cracked me up. I am such a junkie. Yeah I have baby names and and all the furniture and decor picked out for nursery. I scan the net looking for awesome baby blogs and clothes and… yeah. I am so happy I am not the only one. I feel somewhat psycho sometimes and yeah I do HIDE it like an addiction! ah well. bring on more crack.

  5. I had an abortion 4 years ago, and I’ve had serious baby-crack issues since then- really nothing has changed- I’m still studying, still poor, still don’t have a real home and now I’m single. It feels an injustice to the babies I said I couldn’t have to have another in the same circumstances. My mindset has changed recently, I realised that if I did get pregnant now, even though the circumstances are bad, I would not have another abortion- which has put me in the frame of mind of “well now isn’t ideal, what do I have to change first”. I feel a lot better about it, although obviously the babycrack hasn’t gone away as I’m here on offbeatmama when I should be writing essays!

  6. You know who has been snorting the babycrack in my family? My parents. They have been bugging me for years to have a baby, like when I was single and about to start my surgical internship. Super bad time to try and have a baby, by the way. Now that I’m married and almost done with residency and 8.5 months pregnant, my parents couldn’t be happier. In fact, I’ve never seen them so excited in my entire life.

    • HA! that sounds familiar — i’m 4.5 years into a 5 year ortho residency – had zero interest in kids until i woke up one day a couple months ago and my body just said NOW. like, all concern went right out the window. and now that i’m nearing the end of residency and life/rotations is/are a little more calm, (applying for fellowship now — there is a light at the end of the tunnel!) we’re going off BC in april. :O

      • Another physician on OBM! I’m an anesthesia resident at the UW and am doing an OB anesthesia fellowship next year. Good luck finishing up residency, getting into fellowship and getting pregnant. Just don’t forget to double lead. By the way, double leading is really heavy and just might make nausea worse in the first trimester, especially if you wear a thyroid shield.

        • yeah i have a lightweight apron and will add a wraparound/skirt for the bottom on top of that. makes for a long case.

    • My mum is a total babycrack addict!! She had 5 kids and is now obsessed with getting more grandkids (4 so far is not enough).

      When I was 23 (and single) she would always remind me “you know, I had 3 kids by your age…you dont want to wait too long”

      One time at the airport there was a mother struggling with luggage and a baby – does my mum offer to help with the luggage? No, she insists on taking the woman’s baby for her! Lucky the woman didnt mind, but I thought (while watching my mum smell the baby’s head deeply) that she was a crazy woman.

      Somehow I’ve never felt the babycrack calling me and I’m pretty thankful for that.

    • My husband’s stepmother asked my father when we were having kids at our wedding! My parents were a bit dumbstruck. We got asked directly at Thanksgiving too. Give us a little time. (And don’t remind me of my babycrack addiction) Not yet… Not yet… Not yet… Oh please!!!! I want one.

      So yeah I understand parental babycrack addiction. (I think it is the great-nieces and nephews that have been showing up recently in their family)

  7. I am definitely a victim (willing participant?) of babycrack! My husband and I are waiting until our income levels more closely match our education levels. Just about everyday I have an urge to tell him, “That’s it. I’m done with birth control. Let’s make a baby”. It is also frustrating to see LOTS of people around me procreating without regard for the very things that make me cautious- it only adds fuel to the “Let’s make a baby” fire.

  8. This is me, we’ve been working on it for a while so to quell the addiction I have been obsessing over cloth diapers. It takes my focus off of the real stuff as I’m so impulsive we would have a nursery by now. Instead (due to my semi self control) I know everything there is to know about cloth diapering including how to make them and the best pattern to use. It’s like using nicotine patches.

  9. The other day, a friend of mine asked me what it was like to want to have a baby–she’s not there yet and was curious to find out about my ever-worsening omglookatthatbaby–maybeicansmellitsheadjustforasecond? psychosis. I likened it to wanting a cigarette–but the craving doesn’t go away after ten minutes. Glad to hear that lots of other mamas-to-be (and mamas!) are having the same feeling. *twitchshaketwitch*

  10. Reading this post and comments has been very interesting. I have never felt the babycrack vibe, not in my teens, not in my early or mid twenties. I’ve hit my late twenties now and still haven’t felt it. I enjoy working with kids (do that as part of my job) I enjoy hanging out with with the kidlets in my life and love being an auntie and godmother, but I’ve never felt the desire for my own. Maybe that will change, maybe it won’t. Oddly enough, reading these posts helps me be at peace with my current decision not to have my own children. Knowing that some people have a strong desire to have babies and that their desire is valid and okay to feel helps me own my own feelings while still respecting where my mama-friends are coming from. This one of the reasons I love Offbeat Mama! That and all the great child-rearing/crafting/life advice/maternity photos…helps me be the best auntie I can be and support my mama friends 🙂

  11. My name is Cortney and I have been a babycrack addict since…. childhood. I’ve always been what my mother lovingly called “a little mama”. I went nuts with baby dolls, I babysat younger cousins & every other kid in the neighborhood. I was just biologically engineered to be a mom.

    Now, a financially unstable art student, unmarried & in a long distance relationship with another broke artist on a separate continent, and a very vigilant pill popper, I am not having babies any time soon.

    My fix? My brother’s almost three year old daughter. That girl is my safety net, the thing that keeps me grounded. Nothing wakes you out of your babycrack delusions of names, cloth diapers, and home made babyfood faster than a 3 year old throwing a huge temper tantrum. God, love her. <3

  12. Thank you so much for this post! I’m only 21 and dealing with this so much. I’m not even in a stable relationship (long story, “seeing” ex’s best friend but I’m still in love with my ex) and I’ve noticed the babycrack since about the 5th month into my previous relationship. It drives me crazy, but if the right man comes along and when I’m done undergrad, I’m willing… That’s my hope right now!

  13. I had a baby at young age. She’s now a preschooler. I want another baby so bad though I know now is not the right time or place. I want to at least wait until Hubby and I finish college before having another child but sometimes that is hard. So yeah, I know the feeling.

  14. Well, I was having a baby crack free day until I read this post. Now my eyes are welling up cause the desire to have a baby is sometimes like a physical ache.

    I didn’t understand the whole biological clock thing at all until about two years ago. I was on the fence about having kids, until one day I was laying in bed with my fiance and I heard my DNA speaking to me. “Have his baby!” cried my genes.

    Sometimes my rational mind can shut them up for a bit, but it’s getting harder. My rational mind knows that we have a plan and the plan is to start trying next spring… First we want to get married, go have a rocking time on our honeymoon, move to a bigger place so it’s not all stressful moving while I’m preggers… But it’s hard. Especially when my mom reminds me you can’t plan everything (I was an accident, as was my sister).

    Just gotta keep popping my anti-baby pills. I now get my fiance to remind me via text half an hour after I’m supposed to take them, just in case I miss my phone alarm. I’m so paranoid I’ll miss a pill after somehow missing one last week.

    Just keep breathing… One more year…

    • Birth control pills suppressed my baby-crack for quite awhile, BUT IT’S NOT WORKING ANYMORE! I commiserate!

  15. Hi, my name is Elisabeth, and I’m a Babycrack addict.

    Married since November, and barely making rent. BUT OMG BABY. I MUST HAVE ONE. I hate going to work (granted, I didn’t like my job to being with), I’m looking at my friends who have babies and are stay at home moms and I’m like “D’awwww I waunna do that! Or.. work part time and do that! I COULD TOTALLY DO THAT”. And I *WANT* to do that. With my amazing husband who I believe will be an amazing father! My family was all kinds of screwed up, and a huge part of me is craving a loving, stable, wacky family of my own.

    SO, most of my brain is saying hold off, until we’re, you know, making rent comfortably. Then I see little tiny socks in a store, and…off I go!

    I think maybe we’ll get a puppy first. Corgi’s are a whole lotta cute…

  16. Aw man, I have three and at least once a month I look at my husband with a big doe gaze and say, “we should have another” But then I step in milk, or get a headbutt to the labret, or break up a fight over the spiderman mask, and it passes… 🙂

  17. um THIS.
    I have always had a strong maternal instinct. When I was thirteen I saved up two hundered buks for a life like-weighted baby doll.
    My senior year of high school they had the robo baby class. I got sooo attached to robo baby that once i gave her back i started dreaming about her, thinking i heard her crying in the middle of the night. I had withdrawls. I asked the teacher if I could do it again. the answer was no.(baby girl was name ‘misha’ a nod to my fav series and character “hannible lecter/silence of the lambs”)
    NOW I still need a baby. but I know i shouldnt have one, We aren not finacnially stable enough and we are trying to do this whole wedding thing, and id like to have a few married years under my belt.
    Thats my rational side, but my unrational side makes me cry sometimes for the longing to have a child.

    Sometimes I miss the feeling of having a child on my hip, even though ive only held one child like that.
    I daydream about being up late in the middle of the night waiting for Andrew(fiance) to come home so kiss his child goodnight.
    But I HAVE TO wait, so i can be as good a mother as i can 🙂

  18. our baby son is 4 1/2 months old and what do I do on my weekly baby free bath? i read name books to find out how to call number 2. (which is soooo not due until another two years, but still… I´m thinking Iris, btw. 😉
    also scared the hubby to death when he walked in ..

  19. I have a 17 month old and a 2 month old and I already hear that little voice telling me to do it again!!! I know it’s not rational but there is something addictive about giving life. I have to keep telling myself that maybe you want lots of babies but you don’t want lots of teenagers 🙂

    • Haha yes! That is always how I get myself off the babycrack. I just think of my baby as a teenager losing their virginity or taking crazy chances or any of the number of things that made my parents sad (which annoyed me at the time), and then I’m like “Okay no babies ever!”

  20. I can totally relate to this!!!! AS a matter of fact, It wasn’t until I went to see a spiritual medium, for a totally unrelated reason, who told me not to have any babies for at least two years that I finally accepted that it wasn’t time. I was heartbroken of course. But after I truly accepted it and started to look forward to things w/o baby that within a couple of months……I was pregnant!!! Wasn’t even trying…

  21. I’ve been feeling this pretty bad since I found out my sister-in-law was having a baby a few months ago. About fifteen minutes after I read this article, my other sister-in-law called to tell me she was pregnant! I don’t know how much longer I can hold out!

  22. I never suffered from baby crack until we already had our first baby. Mainline time for me is when I stop breastfeeding them. Hormone hell makes me NEED another baby. Yes, NEED one. I finally have this semi under control, after feeding the need 3 times. Yes, that means four bubs. Our eldest is 10.
    Our youngest is now 3, and I have been ‘clean’ for 2 years. The pangs still hit at times, but I can now call myself a recovering baby crackaholic.
    The further I get away from changing bums and being chucked up on, the better my recovery gets.

  23. ah!! i thought I was alone too! For the past two years everytime I go to a store like target or past baby stores I hold my (nonexistent) stomach and pretend to be a month or two pregnant so no one gives me weird looks :0) even my fiance gets into the act by going into the crib section and rubbing my stomach. silly kid.Im pretty sure he has more of a babycrack addiction then I do! makes it difficult to plan sensibly to wait a few years after marriage when he gets all puppy dog eyed about the whole thing!

  24. I am definitely experiencing babycrack. My mind is constantly on babies. I just need to wait a little bit longer so that I can get maternity leave from work…

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