Stopping Family Planning Saved My Mental Health

When my husband and I first met, we discussed having children in the future. Ideally, I wanted kids by the time I turned 31. We met when I was 25, so I figured we had plenty of time to live our best life ever before settling down. I’d have all my issues figured out by the time I was 27, and we’d have a house by the time I was 29. That gave us two years to take it easy and plan those kids! I would have a biological baby by 31, and then we’d adopt a sibling by the time I was 35. I’m a planner, can you tell?

I pride myself on doing what I set out to do. When we met, I was in my 10th year of an eating disorder. Clearly, extremely committed to what I needed to accomplish. By 27, I graduated a stay in an eating disorder center in the heart of Calabasas. I got to knock out my ED and keep an eye out for the Kardashian neighbors in one go. I’m proud to say I am fully recovered as I write this, but it’s only because I was very determined to craft a life where I could have children and a family.

While my eating disorder is in the past, I’m heading on 33 and there are no kids in sight. Things were great until I was 30, then everything kind of started going downhill. In terms of self-confidence, I was better than ever, but financially, we were screwed. My husband’s business venture put him in the hands of a megalomaniac who ultimately didn’t hold up his end of the business deal. I found myself taking on odd jobs and renting out our dream family home (my nest!) on Airbnb, and the stress of everyday life didn’t leave much room to plan a baby.

It took me nearly a year to come to terms with the fact that I’m not having a baby by 31. First, it’s impossible because I’m nearly 33. Second, our life is not simplifying anytime soon. I cried over not getting what I want for a good year or two before I started to make amends with my life. I realized I needed to accept what I cannot change or control. It’s easier said than done, but I started creating routines that take care of me so I can grow my confidence and empower my sense of self.

My goal was to tie my self worth to my existence and my accomplishments now rather than my accomplishments in the future. That meant accepting that my plans might not follow a linear path. I began working out, writing more and focusing on building my website, which I abandoned for two years while I was wallowing in my self-pity. I met with my wonderful therapist religiously every Tuesday, untangling the feelings of grief over possibly struggling to conceive later on and making backup plans. It no way meant I abandoned my dream of having children, but it meant accepting that life throws curveballs, and we must adapt to them.

While we’re still struggling to straighten our life out after a bad business partnership, I am not resigning my plan to failure nor am I tying my entire life to it. Instead, I’m taking things one day at a time and staying conscious of reality. There’s more to me than living in the future, and while I have my eyes set on the goal, I am here to take small steps in the present and not lose out on these moments.

I didn't think family planning would have me spinning out of control within a few years. So, I stopped and decided a different approach. #mentalhealth #wellness

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Nataliya Ogle


Nataliya Ogle likes making sure others live to their full potential. She publishes articles on her primary website and works as a freelance writer for other women's interest sites. Her physical body is in New York but her presence can almost always be found online. The internet is her first love.

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