I’m a 37 year old woman who is currently single with no children. I’m keen to start a family at some point and am now starting to panic that I’m running out of time. I’ve become obsessed thinking about it and feel increasingly anxious. It isn’t helping that everyone is telling me I ‘better get a move on’. It’s really getting me down. Do you have any advice?
Firstly, it’s a common thing for women in their 30s to go into biological clock panic mode. The media and other people putting the pressure on doesn’t help either.
Panic, anxiety and obsessions are about fear – so what are you really afraid of? Getting clear on what we actually fear and facing it head on, allows us to begin to take clear action.
Start by writing down the 7-8 things you are most afraid of with regard to this situation. Then look over your list – which thought triggers the strongest emotional reaction? This is likely to be the major belief underlying your panic.
Once you are clear on what the fear is actually about – then consider: If I wasn’t afraid of this, what action would I take?
Then do it – taking action is the greatest antidote to fear. For example if your greatest fear is that you may not be biologically able to have kids – then an action you might take is to take yourself off to a fertility specialist and find out the facts. Then you are actually doing something about addressing your fear rather than making yourself sick with worry. Similarly, if your greatest fear is actually about never finding love, then taking action around that might be getting out on the dating scene.
Getting clear on your values helps too. Are you willing to be a single parent or do you want to have kids in the context of a relationship? If it’s the latter, then focussing on being in a relationship would be your priority for action.
If you still find that these suggestions aren’t enough, you might want to work through this with a professional counsellor or therapist.
Photo credit: Brandon Christopher Warren