6 April 2011

Are You My Mother?

Thanks to reader, Yankee, for her suggestion of this post topic!

Did you always know you wanted to be a mother? What made you decide? When did you know? By the way, I'd love to hear your stories. Or if you've decided you don't want to be a mom, I'd love to hear your stories, too!

First off, I didn't always know. I wasn't one of those girls that dreamed of mothering children her whole life. Yet, I also wasn't one of those girls who was opposed to anything and everything related to kids.

I suppose, most of my life, I was somewhere in the middle.

As a young girl, I was obsessed with playing with dolls. I played with dolls a lot longer than it was socially acceptable to play with them. I always volunteered to be the role of "mommy" when my friends and I would play house. I liked to pretend to cook, clean and be domestic, which, in retrospect, is hilarious. As you know, I'm not domestically inclined.

I honestly think my behavior stemmed from my admiration for my mom. My mom is like earth mama, best friend, and foxy lady all rolled into one. So, of course, I wanted to emulate her! I didn't know the first thing about motherhood, but I liked watching my mom be a mom.

Then, as I got older, my interests strayed from motherhood completely. I became a sassy teenager with important things on my mind like how to get boys to like me. I went off to college and found the idea of motherhood nice for "older" women, but definitely not in my immediate plans. I would remain in this frame of mind for several years.

When I met L, we were so young that we didn't really talk about kids. We were way too into ourselves and our budding futures. Before we got married, we discussed children, and we agreed we both wanted them at some point in time; just not now or close to "now." We didn't have much of a clue what "wanting" kids really meant, but it sounded good. White picket fence, a few kids, a few dogs, a station wagon. Why not?

I liked kids and kids liked me. I've done my share of baby-sitting, looking after my little brothers, and cooing over babies in public. I always thought those things meant that maybe I had the mothering gene? Maybe I wouldn't mind having a little person hanging around that looked like us?

However, none of those things truly translated to wanting to be a mother. I didn't realize that until now. Presently, I know I want to be a mother.

The pivotal change occurred gradually, but my realization of that change happened rather suddenly. One day I didn't want to just coo over babies in public. I wanted to hold my own child in my arms.

It was that simple.

I thought about my future and couldn't imagine a life that didn't involve motherhood in some way, shape or form. When L and I would get under the covers at night, we no longer really talked about taking a nice vacation or spoiling ourselves rotten. We debated over what kind of people our hypothetical kids would be. We laughed over how our yet-to-be-conceived daughter would be a little princess, and our yet-to-be conceived son would be a bad-ass.

We began to dream of a life with kids that almost felt real. The only thing we were missing was...well...the kids.

That's how I knew I was ready. We were ready, and it was a good feeling.

How did you know you wanted to be a mom (or not)? Or maybe you're still trying to figure it all out? I know it took me quite awhile to get to where I am.


7 comments:

  1. I knew I wanted to be a parent when I back in December of 2004. At the time, I was married to my now-ex-husband, but things were okay and we were sitting by the Christmas tree that year. We both agreed something was missing that Christmas. Then we started getting our feet wet by looking into adoption. We settled on international adoption (Korean to be exact). We even settled on a child.

    She was placed in a different house that I pray was better for her.

    I didn't think I would take it so hard. Somewhere in my heart, she'd already become my daughter. They call adoption "paper pregnancy" and when it goes wrong, it's very similiar to a miscarriage or a still birth. I had doubted that - but it's completely true. We cried about it but it helped my determination grow more and more to be a parent and specifically to share the love and the gift of family that my family gave me. (My brother and I are both adopted.)

    Unfortunately, I could never see my ex-husband as a father.

    Thankfully my husband now is a man I've grown up with who wants kids as much as I do, and is open to adopting. He's an amazing guy.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. As someone who doesn’t really think motherhood is for me, I always like to hear how, when and why women decided they wanted to be a mom.
    For me- I never saw myself as a mother. I am far too selfish to be responsible for another human being. I think apart of the reason I lack the mother gene/need/desire stems from my childhood. I had to grow up way too fast and have felt like an adult for most of my life. And while I think kids are great I never had the dream of having some of my own. I like my private time. I like to be able to drop everything and jet off for the weekend and I like the calmness provided without being with child.
    Also I don’t see myself as established yet and I think that may have something to do with the biological clock staying quiet. I am not in a career just yet and while I own property, it is a loft style condo and not your typical house with a yard for the kids to play in. If I ever decided to have kids I always knew I would want some things established for them that were not done for me- a solid living situation, money in the bank and a plan for their future- something that I didn’t have. It’s the type A personality in me.
    Again- thanks for sharing your story! And thanks for the shout out :o)

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  3. Thank you for sharing this! I love your honest writing and follow on Google Reader, but the times I've commented are negligible.

    I'm still in college, but I've thought about parenthood my whole life. Growing up, I was one of 'those' girls who played house constantly, tried to mother younger cousins, and loved babies. I'm still all of those things, but all the growing I've done and experiences I've had make me question my desire to be a mother.

    I realized that I never looked past being a BABY's mother. I saw that my baby cousins were growing up and realized I have to be prepared to be pregnant, have a baby, and then be a mom to a baby who will soon be a kid, then a young adult, and an adult. A PERSON. I cannot imagine being completely responsible for a PERSON, not at this age or soon.

    Now, the more I think about it, the more I don't want children until I'm definitely ready. Your description of knowing when you and your husband were ready makes a lot of sense to me, and I hope I have an easy time feeling ready later.

    And I'm definitely wishing you both lots of luck conceiving/carrying to term!

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  4. Growing up I loved playing with dolls, and then later I loved babysitting and playing with other kids. Kids have always liked me and I've always liked them. But I never wanted to be a mom. I loved the idea of being an aunt, of watching my siblings' kids grow up (and my friends' kids), but I didn't want my own. Until I met my husband. And even long before he was my husband I started thinking about what it would be like to have a child. With him. A child that would be ours. What it might look like. What it's personality would be. Who it would grow up to be.

    So for me, it wasn't until I met the father of my (future) children that I saw myself as a mother. And while we're not quite ready to try (we're hoping to start in the next year or so), I have become obsessed with all things baby. And I can't wait until we have one.

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  5. Great post Carly.
    The boy and I, we've been talking a lot about our childhoods and our hypothetical children, but I don't think we're ready. We're still in school, our apartment is always a mess, and we live paycheck to paycheck. Not exactly a very stable environment for children, so even though we love debating which summer camps to send the kids to (space camp!) I don't think we're mentally there yet. But it really struck me that you said one day you realized you wanted to hold your own child, because I don't think I have felt that way yet. I don't have a yearning to be a mother the way you described in this post. So I will wait until my moment, and acknowledge I need to grow up a bit more.
    I'm on the sidelines cheering you on. I hope you get to hold your own child in your arms soon. :)

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  6. I've actually been composing a post like this in my head! I've been struggling with how to phrase what I mean....and also, how to interpret my own feelings on it. I feel kind of alone in the endo community, because although I don't like having something just taken from me without my consent, I am not overly concerned about the fertility part. I just want the option. Even if I'm not sure that I'm ever going to want to use it.

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  7. i never wanted kids. i wanted a career, a husband, travel, life full of good food, drinks, entertaining and vacations... not kids. i've never changed a diaper, i dont like the mess and drool, don't want to hold babies. i've never been a "baby person."
    after i found out about having pcos and severe endo, i went through a mourning period. i felt like something was ripped from me-- my ability to CHOOSE. even though i never ever wanted kids, didn't even really LIKE kids, knowing that i wouldn't be able to felt horrible. i became pretty depressed about it, cried about it, hid all of my pregnant friends on facebook. after talking about it with my hubs, we've completely changed our minds (well, i changed my mind and he's supportive) and we're going to look into adoption in a couple of years. i am looking forward to this- i've already picked out baby names.
    i still have jealousy pangs (i call them "my moments"), especially since my brother-in-law and sister-in-law had a child. i still get worried and insecure people feel sorry for me and look at me like i'm "broken". i worry his parents will love the bio-child more than our adopted one. i'm still struggling with all of this and its hard. very hard.
    but we're not alone and i dont feel like i'm going through this struggle by myself, i hope you don't either.

    ReplyDelete

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