I wanted to give a warning to anyone who might be triggered by this. This is a sensitive topic for many families who are trying to conceive and/or have lost a child so I wanted to inform you that this may be a post you really wouldn’t want to read. Just putting it out there, however I also wanted to be honest on my own experience.
Growing up I barely thought about having a family or having a dream wedding. I wasn’t that kind of girl and I grew up not being that kind of woman either. There was nothing wrong with wanting a family or having the wedding of your dreams, but there was nothing wrong with not wanting that either. I wanted to focus on my career and what I wanted to do with my future. It was constantly on my mind and having to take care of another human being sounded exhausting to say the least and I might add, all consuming.
I’ve spoken to other women about kids before I ever had my daughter and I couldn’t believe some mothers would neglect their child for their career, because I thought when you became a mother you had to give up a lot of yourself. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to give up my independence and my freedom to go out whenever I wanted to. I figured my life had to end once I had a child because that was what being a “good” mom meant.
I had this mindset due to my own upbringing. My mom wasn’t too involved in my day to day activities; I mean I was pretty much used as an indentured servant as far as I could see. And well, I didn’t want to do that with my own child. I wanted to be the mom that was at every event and that was there all the time for their child. And that sounded exhausting. So when I found out that I was pregnant at 34 years old I was overwhelmed with grief and anxiety.
There goes my life. There goes my happy hours. There goes my cute clothes and my time with my friends. There goes my sense of self and independence. Yeah it sounds all selfish but at least I am being honest. I knew how it felt to be neglected and did I really want to put a child through the same experience? Hell to the nah. So finding out that I was pregnant (coupled with many other things that have transpired through the years) I knew I wanted to raise my child differently and that meant giving up on a lot of things.
I have never taken this blessing for granted but I wanted to share with you how it has affected me emotionally. Being a “mom” to me was more than being a “person” (at this point in my life). I didn’t want to repeat the same problems and issues that I had faced as a child but at the same time losing my sense of self was all consuming and depressing. I know it affects men very differently but as a woman, it just changed everything about who I was. Or who I thought I was and wanted to be.
Even as I am writing this, it’s very difficult for me to put into words because these emotions are so complicated that they are hard to describe. It’s a mixed bag of emotions. I’ve learned through the years to balance being a “mom” and being “me” a lot better but that’s for another post. I just wanted to write about how I had felt and how I am still feeling at times. It’s hard, it’s really hard and I am sure I am not alone. Yes I love my little one to death and would do anything to protect her but at the same time, I didn’t want to lose who I was as a person. And I honestly felt and feel motherhood CAN do that to you.
I’ve watched single women get married and then have children and all they talk about are their kids. Shit even as a teacher, we only talk about our students, lol. But is that what our life is entirely all about? Is that what we are programmed to think? Is that what being a “good” mom means? I was scared, I was terrified of being that. However, if I wasn’t that would I be looked at as a “bad” mom? Ugh. The pressure was getting to me and instead of excitement I was depressed. ALOT.
I didn’t want to lose what I have worked so hard for for a long time: taking care of myself. I didn’t want to have a life that was all about my child. I didn’t want “me” to disappear and never return again. I have found a balance, thank goodness, but I have to admit it’s still a struggle. So yeah, I wanted to share this just in case someone else out there may have or is going through the same thing. I just want to say, I understand and I don’t judge. We all process things differently and having support is crucial in our lives on this Earth. – Peace and Love