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Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts


“This thread is amazing. Needs to be turned into a list and handed out to expecting moms by every ob/gyn. They tell women everything under the sun about what to expect for 9 months; why not this?!”

“I think it’s wonderful you’re making this list for new moms. It would have been reassuring for me to know I was ‘normal'”


“Scary Thoughts” is an expression used to encompass any and all categories of upsetting thinking that can interfere with the well-being of a new mother. Scary thoughts refer to negative, repetitive, unwanted and/or intrusive thoughts or images that can bombard you at any time (Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts by Kleiman & Wenzel, 2010). Scary thoughts are anxiety-driven, they are extremely COMMON, and most new mothers admit that have, at some time, imagined or worried about harm coming to their babies. The shame of having these thoughts can prevent women from speaking about them. In response to women telling us they feel isolated and ashamed of their thoughts, we asked women to share their scary thoughts in an attempt to help them express these distressing ruminations, so they can get relief and also help other mothers understand how universal this phenomenon is.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Thoughts of suicide are scary, but they are in a different category from anxiety-driven “scary thoughts” to which we refer on this page. If you are having thoughts of suicide, this should always be taken seriously and we urge you to find someone you trust and let them know how you are feeling.

The objective of our #speakthesecret campaign is to obliterate the stigma attached to scary thoughts which are so common in new motherhood.

Our page is an ongoing list of the thoughts that brave women have chosen to share in the hopes of helping women know they are not alone and that having scary thoughts is common during pregnancy and the postpartum period. We will add thoughts as they are submitted.


DISCLAIMER: This list is anonymous. We do not ask for any identifying information and therefore are unable to contact you. You can contact us at any time if you want to modify or delete your submission. We reserve the right to edit or not include a submission if, for any reason, we feel its content is unsuitable for this forum and are not able to respond to individual clinical or medical concerns. We may decide to create a meme from your words which may be (anonymously) posted on various social media platforms. 

Please keep in mind that this forum is not a substitute for professional intervention and submitting your scary thought will NOT give you access to treatment. There is no follow-up after you post. If you are worried about the way you feel, we urge you to contact a support person and a qualified healthcare provider. If you need assistance locating a provider who can help you, please email us at

Submit Your Scary Thought below and help reduce the stigma
Order a copy of GOOD MOMS HAVE SCARY THOUGHTS by Karen Kleiman. It will help you feel better.

My baby was going to die in the middle of the night and I was going to find her in her crib cold and lifeless.

Sometimes the thought of "what if I put his penis in my mouth" comes into my head. I am able to bat it away and know I would never act on it, but I feel aghast and horrified at where such a thought could come from.

Not infrequently I think about what would happen to my children on the days I'm home alone with them if something terrible happened to me - I had a heart attack or was knocked unconscious falling down the stairs. I think about how traumatic it would be to them to have me unresponsive for the hours until my spouse gets home from work.

my 8 month old daughter won’t take a bottle. so it’s just me all day, every single night, every single time… i want to sneak away in the middle of the night, leave my husband and 4 kids behind and never come back. Sometimes I feel they’re better off without me.

I have thoughts of my son accidentally falling out of a window, and I would follow him.

I ruined my fuckin life

I often dream about divorcing my husband just so we can have split custody so that I can get a break from my 2 little ones on weekends when he has them. He’s not a good dad and isn’t a true partner. I haven’t had time to myself in 3 years.

I hate my husband’s parents. They opened my bedroom while I was breastfeeding my daughter at night because they heard my baby cry. (They got their home but like to live in my house)they always open my bedroom door every time my baby cries. It seems like I am a bad mom because my baby cries. It makes me crazy till I think about how to kill my baby and myself so she can stop disturbing us. My husband didn’t help at all, he said I should talk, but when I talked he just ignored me and said I should endure it.

I should have known it since the wedding day that his parents opened my dressing room door with a dozen male relatives to see me half naked while I was dressing.

Sometimes I wonder what his scream would be like if someone took him and raped him. It’s the most horrific of my intrusive thoughts.

When nothing makes sense what do you do?

Sometimes, often really, I wonder if life would be better without my kids. I love them and worry for them every day, my biggest priority is to give them a good and loving life but also wish I had never had them. It’s an impossible feeling to have to prioritize someone you don’t want.

“What if my daughter is fucked up like me”?

Today I feel like I regret ever having a baby. I’m so tired, I feel gross, I can’t do any little tasks I used to be able to do without interruption. I hate it.

to all the brave women who continue to disclose their scary thoughts.

Together, we will educate many and help reduce the anxiety and stigma. #speakthesecret

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