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. I’m not alone! *weeps in relief*. I’m 21 now, engaged,finishing up undergrad,and looking forward to grad school. And developing a growing addiction to wedding and baby shows and websites. The crazy thing is I’m terrified of becoming pregnant at this very moment, but I still can’t help wanting a baby…

  2. I agree! Everyone is having babies and it makes me want one too! I can’t wait to get married and hopefully we will have it together enough to start a family! 10 months til’ the wedding! 🙂

  3. This is driving me slightly mad. I work in an office where I’m pretty much expected to stop and drop what I’m doing to entertain little kids who come in with their parents.
    The clock is definitely ticking, as much as I hate to admit it. I haven’t completely come to terms with wanting a child right away – we planned on waiting so I could work on some sort of career – but it looks like we can’t wait anymore… Taking it one tic-at-a-time for now.
    I really enjoyed your post it made me feel really.. … … normal.

  4. Totally what I’m going through! Our first pregnancy was a complete surprise, now that we’ve been trying NOT to get pregnant for 2 years I’m having that tug-o-war in my head.. “I want my kids close, I want to be a young mom, If I dont do it now I never will..” and the other part saying “I want a house first, I want to be able to pay the midwife out right etc” UGHHHHH

  5. Holy crap yes.

    I’ve been fighting Baby Fever for way too long given that I’m only in my early twenties. I have decided that the best way to treat the disorder until I have, I don’t know, a place to live and steady income of some sort, is to try to get as healthy and fit as I can to prepare my body, and to start a hope chest filled with lots of little baby things (I can also pilfer as needed as friends and family have babies–that way I can make super girly frilly things as well as more neutral things).

    • sounds like a perfect way to deal with Baby Fever – try to get your body as healthy as possible, start a baby savings account (I’m personally too overcautious to actually start accumulating baby things in case I end up being infertile), read Offbeat Mama and other websites and books to inform yourself … that way you will be in a position where it is “sensible” to have a kid much much sooner

  6. MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY. 25 and I finally got my baby, and oh my god I look at her face and freak out. Not just a baby! My Baby! How did I get so fantastically lucky!?! She’s 11 days old and I’d like to start having more… right away. Ack, baby crack.

    • that’s the only scary part about the comments in this thread, that apparently having a baby doesn’t solve the craving 🙁 (not blaming you at all, but yeah you would hope it would be more like other addictions where you have a bit more space and relief and peace before your next craving hits).

      My biological clock is not ticking yet and I hope to only have one child if any, but I am worried that not only will I understand baby cravings once I have one but that my pre-decision of only having one (which I feel is all I could handle) will fly out the window.

  7. I have been trying to keep mine underwraps lately. I used to talkn about it with a wistful look in my eye, BUT whenever I talked about no one ever had the answer I wanted you know “you should totaly do it now” or “honey I agree lets try to have a baby now, I’m sure you can finish your masters in voice performance give a senior recital and audition for opera companies with a gigantic baby bump, of course” yeah so I’ve been silent. Silently of course given my husbands desire to have a happy accident but reluctancy to plan I think I’ll plan on getting prego in august lol crack baby crack

  8. Oh, me too! I dream babies. Its awful. Now is not the time! Married 4.5 months and we have plans next year that do not involve babies. Maybe after that, but I am not convinced that we can have me in grad school (and actually finish) and him working his job (supposedly flexible, but he works 60-80+ hours a week and I don’t actually see him cutting back) have a baby and stay sane and married. And the biological clock is ticking. I’m 28 and I am totally with the “Tick Tock Motherfucker, Tick Fucking Tock” crowd.

  9. I have a daughter who is 6 months old and i feel very strongly about only having 2 kids. I am really struggling with desire to have another baby soon vs. the huge desire I will probably feel after the 2nd when i am “done” having kids. I’m pretty sure if the world weren’t already way too full I would have at least 5 kids.:/ belch

  10. Im a babycrack addict as well besides I feel that now is the PERFECT time! My husband and I have been together for 5 years, we have money in the bank, are homeowners and both have steady careers…..We’ve been doing the deed w/o protection for 9 mo now and actively trying to conceive for 4 of those….and it hasn’t happened yet!

  11. I think wee need a babycrack support group. I was married in August and we just bought a house in December. I have been with my husband for 5 yrs before we were married. I knew we needed to wait for kids and we did. Over the last year the babycrack has taken over. I would like to stop Not-NOT trying, however the hubby wants to wait till we are more settled in. (He’s a worrier) Good luck to everyone trying to stay away from the babycrack, keep strong.

  12. I’m a reader that doesn’t have children and has chosen not to have any. I find the site to be a great, supportive community for parenting. I think the tone of acceptance and openness is what makes me curious to see what’s out there. (And the site is a great resource when I have to throw showers, attend bday parties, give gifts, etc.)

    Anyway, this blog entry left me feeling a little… put off. I think I felt this “baby crack” when I was in high school, but I account a lot of that to being a very busy baby-sitter and “I thought that’s how life is supposed to progress” naivete. I’m 29 yrs old, financially stable, done with school, and in a committed relationship. Conditions are perfect for babycrack. But since high school, I have never felt that urge again.

    This post and the comments that follow… they make me feel like something’s wrong with me.

    • I’m sorry you feel that way, Val. I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with you, and the intention of this post certainly was not to say, “if you don’t feel this way, something’s wrong with you.”

      In fact, that title of my post refers to babycrack as “weird.” If anything, my goal was to point at the irrational desire to have children as the “otherness.” It was a very foreign sensation for me.

    • it is “weird” but that’s ok. Val, no one is saying because you don’t feel the same us all these crazy ladies (me included) doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you nor is it implied.

      There are all kinds of offbeat situations featured here on offbeat mama, I think what is nice about a variety being featured is that every once in a while you go OOOOHHH thats so me! You don’t feel like there is something wrong with you when you don’t connect personally with the other articles, do you?

    • Dont worry Val, I’m 26, currently pregnant with my first (planned) and I have NEVER in my life felt clucky or the inklings of this baby crack.

      My husband is the clucky type but I decided having kids was right for me from a logical, thought out place rather than an emotional one.

      We may not be in the majority of women, but there is certainly nothing wrong with us!

      • i appreciate your post, jesscar. after i put up my comments, it became a subject of conversation among a few female friends and with my partner.

        a couple of people asked if it was an issue of being able to relate or not relate to the article and commentators. my partner asked me “why on earth are you reading this blog in the first place? you’re not a bride or a mama!” in part, it was an inability to relate, but i didn’t want to dismiss my feelings. relate or not relate, there was a definite reaction to it. the consensus was though baby fever or no baby fever… no matter what side of the fence, it’s all normal.

        i guess it became a question if there was a chemical (something biological) that was missing b/c i’ve always known there is the emotional chip that could take me as far as “oh that baby is cute” but never to “I must have one” (shoes on the other hand is all emotions – I MUST have them all).

        i’m glad to see someone identified the biological and emotional drive to wanting babies… or lack there of. i think it’s a good thing to examine regardless of where you find yourself.

        all the best to you, your “clucky” husband, and baby to come.

      • Personally, I am trying to distinguish between my actual logical desires and the hormonal drive…it’s hard. You aren’t just having a cute little baby, you are bring another PERSON into the world. The logical side of me was able to arrive at “do I want kids?” by first considering if I wanted adult children, then teenagers, then preteens, etc. This all happened (luckily) before the babycrack, so I think my logical brain made the decision.

        As a logical person blindsided by this babycrack, I have to say that I think the logical decisions are more sound than the hormonal ones…but the hormonal ones still influence your life daily!

    • Nope nothing wrong with you 🙂 I’m supposed nearing period before my fertility starts its slow decline (late twenties) and my body still hasn’t kicked in any sort of biological desire.

      I am obsessed about reading about how to not screw kids up though (not sure why exactly) … though still weirdly this doesn’t translate into any sort of strong feeling of wanting one of my own. I am thankful that Offbeat Mama has prepared me with real birth stories and real information about breastfeeding and forcing me to consider important topics that would have never occurred to me so that hopefully I will be well prepared if an accident or biological clock suddenly decides to make itself known.

      And having had a case of marriage-crack I understand desperately wanting something more than anything else ever before while trying to be patient and sensible and respectful to my partner. I think that’s why despite being straight I’m a big supporter of homosexuals being allowed to marry (I went to a course on how to better campaign just this morning) – I love everything about marriage and hate the idea that they don’t have the choice to have their marriages recognised by society as as valid and special as my own.

      • >I am obsessed about reading about how not screw kids up though (not sure why exactly) … though still weirdly this doesn’t translate into any sort of strong feeling of wanting one of my own.

        As am I Naomi! I think a lot of it is to understand myself and how my parents how child-rearing translated into who I am today. I think a lot of it is my friends, peers and collegues are on that road, so I can’t help but want to investigate what parenting methods are out there. And then I think the last part of it is curiousity and my own sense of responsibility to my community and society. I mean it does take a village, right?

        Yet… don’t have any of my own, and don’t see a future with that desire either.

        By having this discourse (here and with other people), I think I’ve gotten past the initial “am I not normal for not hitting the babycrack?” and I’ve moved on to “why are people hitting the babycrack?”

  13. Count me in on this one. On paper, it even seems logical: she’s 25, he’s 27. Been together 5 years, both have solid careers, a happy home, disposable income.

    Luckily, there’s an equally loud voice in my head screaming, “YOU ARE SO NOT EVEN REMOTELY PREPARED TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR A HUMAN BEING!”

    But they’re just so cute…

  14. The whole reason I read this site is babycrack. I had hoped it would quell my desire to have children RIGHT NOW, but no. It just makes it worse.

    • I am with you! I read this site so that my want for babies can be soothed until we start trying to conceive this November (planned around work things). November seems FOREVER away, and I just want to read all I can. I think my husband is getting scared at my obsession lol

  15. Sounds exactly like me. I got pregnant at the worst time and could not be happier about how it all worked out. My daughter is a gem and I can’t wait to have another one.

  16. I am about to turn 24 in eight days and have been non legaly married to my husband for almost eight years now. (he just turned 24 last month) I have been a stalker on this and other pregnancy websites for a little over a year now and I have been a babycrack addict this whole time!(duh!) We live in a one bedroom rental home with a large yard and a semi working vehicle in a small town in a small valley. We are both disabled but nothing life threatening or baby making challenging. I just stopped my birth control last month and went to my preconception checkup a couple days ago(they didn’t do any blood work or anything though, weird?) I already knew everything she told me because of all my researching. We are going to try to wait a couple months to let my body chill out and get all the nutrients from my prenatals but it is hard!! I realy want to get pregnant and start our own family! Damn Clock, Damn babycrack!! We are in debt and shit and will be pretty crowded here but I have read lots of stories of lots of different ways to raise a baby and pregnancy stories so I feel we can make it work. But still… Damn ticking and addiction!!

  17. I am so glad you posted this. I have always thought I was a total weirdo for being so “baby crazy” for the past few years. I find myself browsing parenting websites, shopping online for baby things that I will “someday buy,” and sneakily looking in the baby section at department stores, prepared with the alibi that I am “just looking for a friend of mine who is having a baby.” TOTAL LIE. I’m looking for my “someday baby.” This post made me feel like way less of a weirdo for wanting a baby so badly.

  18. yeah, I have had an intermittent babycrack problem for a while now. It was really bad a few years ago (when I had fairly dire finances and no hope of becoming a home owner for the next 20 odd years), died down a little for about 6 months and just came back full force! I’ve been married for 2 and a half years, have career prospects, husband has a job and we bought our first home 4 months ago, perfect timing? It would be if I weren’t in my 2nd year of a 3 year degree funded by my employers so that I can get qualified and move up in my job (a degree that I have to be working in practice basically full time to be eligible for whilst doing weekly assignments and spending 2 2week blocks a year away at college) which leaves me with limited spare time. Am I grateful for the opportunity to do this? Do I realise how lucky I am to be funded? Absolutely. Do I wish I’d never started the damn course so I could be holding a baby right now instead of having to wait for another year? You’d better believe it! Logic and babycrack definitely do not go together well.

  19. Hi Ariel! First I wanted to say thank you for using my picture 😀 Secondly, I also was hit with babycrack syndrome… my boyfriend (now fiance) and I were no where near “ready” to even think about having kids… but we NEEDED one!! Now here we are, happy as can be and loving life and sniffing our babycrack every chance we get.

  20. I think i’m a double super baby crack addict. I’ve been ttc for 7 *fucking* years now so both my rational and unrational brain are constantly screaming “babybabybabybabybabyBABYBABYBABYBABYBABYMOTHERFUCKINGBABYGODDAMNIT!”

    I’m a nanny and postpartum doula so I get regular fixes but, like most addicts, i’m developing a tolerance and need more & more baby time to get my fix.

  21. You have no idea what a relief it is to see this posting and all these comments. I am approaching 25 and I hear the “MUST HAVE BABY NOW!!!” voice screaming in my ear daily. I have had the desire to be a mom since I was very young and have spent a disturbing amount of time picking out the perfect baby names starting in jr. high. My husband is in school until May of next year so we have planned on waiting, but I still find myself looking at my calendar every day while at work and daydreaming about when our baby would be born if we got pregnant this month! (P.S. I am a full time nanny…you’d think I would have had enough! It’s so different when they’re not yours…) I feel psychotic!
    Anyway…we just decided we are going to start trying soon-ish and I am over the moon excited and hope everything goes okay.
    Thanks SO much for this and helping me feel a little less like a huge weirdo 😀

  22. I feel confused.Me: 29 yrs old, have masters in art. Husband: 30 yrs old: musician and illustrator, no college degree. Money situation: very unsteady income, some debt, long time renters. Relationship: very good, together 9 yrs, married 2. Heres my conundrum: On the one hand I tear up watching videos of home births, and looove hanging out with my 3 yr old nephew and 10 day old niece (squeee!) I understand baby crack, but don’t know if I “suffer” from it. BUT….. I have career goals. Serious ones. I’m an artist (ceramic sculpture). I want to be an artist and professor and as much as I fantasize about having a baby, I know that it would seriously delay/compromise my career goals. It really seems like some women’s baby crack issues result in obvious career sabotage. It almost seems like the worse some women’s finances/career status is, the more they want a baby. Is it a distraction? I am very much a planner and I’m very careful with what tiny bit of money we have. I just can’t fathom how these “we were soooo financially unstable and not in good job situations but had a baby anyway and now I’m soooo happy!! ” situations work out. What about YOU?? What about the goals you had for yourself? YWhere did the money come from? I’m asking all this NOT in an an insulting, judgmental way (I know it sounds like that). I genuinely want to know how it works because I want a baby too but it seems so unwise! I really want to know how it has worked out for the people who ignored all the rational reasons not to and did it anyway. People keep telling me “there will always be reason not too” but I also feel like I would be voluntarily postponing my personal goals/dreams for an indefinite period of time! So confusing!

    • I feel very much the same way as you do. My situation is that I have almost finished my Phd in English, and I KNOW I want a career, but with academia how it is right now I don’t know what form that career will take. My boyfriend has known exactly what he wants to do since he was a child, and although he’s happy about the idea of probably having a family someday, he’s not as excited as I am, and he’s made it clear that his career goals are more important to him than children.

      So, this means that my career would probably be the one taking a beating if I have kids, and I just don’t know if I’m ready for that.

      I think it’s really interesting that my worst moments of babycrack are when my dissertation or job search are going really badly. I start feeling like, “well, even if I can’t succeed in my career, I can do something that matters by raising a family!” But then when career stuff is going well, suddenly I can’t imagine making a child-sized dent in it.

      • Wow, way to hit home!

        My chances for a career in academia seem bleak right now with current funding situations and job demand… and the baby crack started right around the same time as that realization. But I also got married right around then, too.

        It sounds like we’ve really internalized the “career OR kids” thing, if subconsciously. To put a positive spin on it, EITHER outcome means you make an impact on the world. And a lot of women manage to do both!

    • i think it is a distraction to some women. If they are unhappy with their day-to-day lives then they can give themselves purpose by taking care of a child. While this may be an unwise, illogical, completely emotional decision, i doubt it is often regretted. I think it would be hard to regret having a child no matter what the situation is/was.

      this is coming from someone who is a 25 year old first year teacher and has no children so far. I’ve always know i wanted children, but also know I am not yet ready. Being a first year teacher is an emotional roller coaster. I think about having a baby often, on my good days and bad days, but i do notice that the feeling is much more urgent when I am having a day that I am not satisfied with my career. I am waiting until my emotions are a little more leveled out to make a decision about when I will have a child.

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