I have a lot of friends that don’t want to have kids.
Some of them might change their minds in the future, they are still young and nowadays people are becoming parents later on in life. But you know what?
I think most of them won’t change their minds. They are determined and confident and they are doing great things in life that fulfill them. They don’t seem to feel the urge to bring other humans into the world.
I know they don't mean any harm, but sometimes their comments and posts about their decision to avoid parenthood rub me the wrong way. Why? Well, because I’m a mom. Not only that, but I’m also someone who shifted her lifestyle and career completely since becoming a parent. And although I love my son with all my heart, when I read all the reasons why people don’t want to have kids, a shade of doubt grows in my heart. Am I too selfish to be a good mom? Am I raising my son in a world that is falling apart? Can I really give him a good life? Is he going to be a person who will bring positive things into the world? Am I losing myself in motherhood?
These are hard questions. I could ignore those voices in my mind and just look at my son in his amazing innocence and beauty, but I would be denning a party of my self and that's never good. I think it’s worth to sit with these thoughts and feel the feelings all the way.
I experienced a lot of anxiety about this during pregnancy.
I watched the news and I felt so much sadness and despair: War, greed, environmental destruction, financial stress.
Do I really want to bring someone else to live in this chaos?
What helps me the most when I start falling into that trap of negativity is to think of all the beautiful and amazing things I have experience in my life, specially when I was traveling. Yes, there are a lot of problems out there. But there is also a lot of goodness. We just don’t see it as much because it doesn’t make a selling headline in the news.
"Yes, there are a lot of problems in the world. But there is also a lot of goodness. We just don’t see it as much because it doesn’t make a selling headline in the news."
One of the reasons why I ended up convincing myself to have a child is that I thought I would be a good mom. I met people in my travels who were raising their children in what at the time seemed like the perfect life: surrounded by different languages, exposed to diverse cultures and environments, constantly stimulated by the beauty of nature and the world. It inspired me.
During my pregnancy, I kept on fantasizing about the amazing life and adventures I would have with my family and I created a whole bunch of unrealistic expectations for us: we would eat all organic and never any junk, we would travel all around the world with a toddler, we would speak so many languages, we would never watch TV, I would always be gentle and never get angry.
As my son grew older, I started realizing I was setting up these expectations way too high and I wasn’t really being fair with myself. I felt disappointed and failed and I wondered, once again, if I had made the right decision by having a child.
But you know what? There is one expectation was totally fulfilled and continues to make me happy: my husband and I love our son, and he loves us. He is a lot more gentle and forgiving with me than what I am with myself. And we all keep on trying our hard best.
"There is one expectation was totally fulfilled and continues to make me happy: my husband and I love our son, and he loves us. He is a lot more gentle and forgiving with me than what I am with myself."
Most of my friends from “my past life” (my life without children) still don’t have any kids. And they seem to be doing great.
"I am a very different person from who I was before I had my son.
I did lose a lot of who I thought I was, but honestly, I also found a lot of myself in motherhood."
I did lose a lot of who I thought I was, but honestly, I also found a lot of myself in motherhood. I found my passion for birth and reproductive health, I found my gift as a facilitator for Women’s Circles, I even found myself as a dancer. My ways of expression and art have changed, and I have a lot less time to myself, but I continue to find new pieces of myself everyday.
AT THE END, I REALLY WANTED TO HAVE A CHILD
But at the end, I felt I had something good to offer to a tiny human, and I wanted to be able to give my love, my heart, myself to someone who would take it all in.