January 16, 2007


Pediaphobia is the fear of children and I wonder how many people that are childfree have a similar fear? When I first saw this term when putting together a post for my blog on "phobias" I couldn't help but consider the fact that I may have some kind of trepidation when it comes to children.

I suppose a big part of it may be because I haven't spent a significant amount of time with a child since my brother was one and he's 22 years old now. All my little cousins live thousands of miles away from me and none of my local friends that I see regularly have had children.

When I see a child in a store I tend to avoid the kid as much as possible because I figure I might accidentally run into then since they tend to be in a blind spot. I rarely pick up babies because they are like a foreign animal to me. In fact, the only small creature I am comfortable around is a cat, not even a dog.

I had a party over the summer that my friend brought his 2 young boys with him. I was so nervous the entire time that one of them would get hurt or something. In fact, the 2 year old ended up tripping on the still not finished hardwood flooring and started wailing. That instance only heightened my nervousness and I had my eye on him the rest of the party.

So whether it's something I was born with or just the fact I have such little interaction with the small people I'll just continue to avoid them as much as possible. I know, easier said than done but we do the best that we can.

[Photo: Originallly uploaded to Flickr on December 27, 2006 by Gizmo_Gun.]

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Elise said...

A "fear" of children isn't really accurate, in my opinion. Seems to me that you just see children as representing accidents waiting to happen, and a responsibility you don't want for yourself. Their inexperience and lack of judgment might cause THEM to get hurt --- not you.

Is this really a fear? I think not. A fear of children would be something along the lines of "I can't be in a room with a child because I'm afraid they will injure me, or give me a dread disease...etc...". Rather, I think it's just knowing what you want, and just as importantly, what you don't want, for our own life.

FWIW, I think we as CFs are sometimes all too willing to demonize ourselves for not toeing the societally-expected line, when in reality we just have a little more self-awareness and situational awareness than some/most.

Cool post!


newsk8ter said...

No pediaphobia here. I'm just not wild about kids unless they are over the age of 10 and/or have something really compelling to say.

I had a wonderful cultural anthro. teacher a few years back. She had indicated that some people are "wired" to be parents while others aren't, and its society that needs to catch up to that notion.

Based on my response to hearing a screaming infant, a babbling toddler, etc. I would definitely support that theory!

Once again, Blogger isn't recognizing my password!


Teri said...

Robin - I zeroed in on this comment:

"I was so nervous the entire time that one of them would get hurt or something."

Imagine how their parents feel!

I can relate to this topic. When I was married the first time around, my husband was totally enthralled with children. He could not wait to have his own and always wanted to entertain children if they were in a room. He was drawn to them like a magnet. I was an only child and had no experience with them. This was truly the beginning of the end for that marriage.

I did not have a fear of children, but I did not have the desire either. Now I have nieces and nephews and I think they are pretty special. I feel like I got it just right. I really like my childfree life.

For me deciding to remain childfree came after finding out that I could not bear my own was a long process. I realize now that I could have adopted. I DECIDED not to and married a man who felt the same. It was not easy, but I find myself in a good place now and in good company.

Law Geek said...

Once, I was left alone with a sick infant, and was terrified that he would stop breathing; I realized that being a parent would mean having that feeling all day long. It would mean a constant worry - I would never want to live like that.

I also have recurring nightmares about pregnancy. Before I got married, the nuns who taught me made guest appearances, but now the pregnancy is just as terrifying, even if not illegitimate.

I don't fear children, although their unpredictability makes me trepidatious around them. However, I do think my fear of being a parent has progressed to the level of a phobia.

A Bowl Of Stupid said...

What's the name of the phobia where you're only afraid of the children of famous celebrities? BrittanySpearKFedoffspringahobia?

Robin said...

Elise - True, you make a good point. They just really make me nervous but then I'm nervous about a lot of things.

AlphaGirl - So true, society really does need to come to terms with that.

Teri - It is a learning process, I've had so many moments in my life that have made me feel being CF is the way to go.

Law Geek - The unpredictability of them really freaks me out. They'll just say and do anything...it can be really embarrassing "robin, what are the dots on your face?"

A Bowl of Stupid - Something to think about.

AlphaGirl said...

Hi Bowl of Stupid:
Could it be Trophychildaphobia?