Motherhood Is A Choice. Ready To Pay The Price?
Over the last couple of years, I have participated in a number conversations where the discussion has revolved around the topic of whether motherhood is a choice or not.
This is probably something that you have come across too, because it always seems to trigger a heated debate. In every discussion, my point of view has been that today, more than ever, motherhood is a choice.
However, my answer was based purely on my observations of the evolution of modern society, rather than on fact, particularly as I don’t have children.
However, it doesn’t mean that there are not other valid points of view, because it is something that is worthy of discussion. So what is the price that mothers and non-mothers pay?
The Thing That Remains Unsaid
The main issue, in my opinion, is the level of ownership that a woman takes over not giving birth or adopting.
There are plenty of issues to grapple with, and possibly, make peace with. From finding a life partner, or learning to feel great about living on your own, to dealing with the social biases loudly expressed by family members, friends, acquaintances. Or learning to not be offended when you feel silenced by a child’s mother just because you had an opinion on a matter involving kids, like the vaccination debate for example.
As with any other path in life, acceptance is the route to peace.
When To Welcome The Big NO
I don’t know how it works for other people, but for me, having children was never part of my life plan. I just knew, from a very young age, that motherhood was not my thing. More than that, I felt it, deep inside.
At first I wasn’t really aware of this decision and certainly hadn’t explored it. So I used to feel sorry for the future mother me. For the me who would lose the thing that I treasure the most, my freedom to travel where and whenever I like. Instead I would be trapped in diaper land!
I hadn’t yet realised that I had much more choice about the whole thing. That not having kids was a choice that I could make. It was as if I had assumed that apart from postponing motherhood as long as I could, motherhood was an inevitability that I could not escape.
I was in my mid-twenties. Almost everyone around me either already had children or was planning to have them as part of their I-am-an-adult bucket list.
Everyone, including myself assumed I had temporarily lost my mind and would eventually come to my senses. It was not until a full decade later that I finally realised that it was completely up to me whether I became a mother or not. And that was when I finally relaxed about the whole thing.
Motherhood Is A Choice That Comes With A Price
Yes, there is a cost, but as I came to understand, it is a fair trade off. Something for something else. Once I understood that truth, I had the power to make my own decision, so that I could do what would be authentic for me.
For me, my independence came at a cost, a big one. One over-long relationship, a few judgmental lectures, some almost apocalyptic warnings regarding the lack of comfort I would face during my old years, and so it goes on – still.
Every time I encounter the condescending look in the eyes of people, whilst I once again answer the same old two questions: 1. Do I have kids? No. 2. How old are you? 40. Enter condescending looks.
What To Do About Regrets
Do I have regrets? Once again, this is a big, fat NO. I like my friends’ kids. I like hanging out with them, going camping for a few days, playing board games, from time to time. But that is it. Christmas without small stockings waiting to be filled with surprises, don’t make me feel sad.
What do I do. I follow my dreams, I travel for Christmas. And I don’t choose to travel because I don’t have nothing better to do. It is actually the other way around. I gave up lots of other things because I want to see the world. This is my choice, my thing, my happy place and I am at peace about the sacrifices that I choose to make for it.
In fact, I am writing this article on a beach in Bali, after almost three months of travel and guess what, I feel great.
SparkYourBloom Today And Everyday!