Sometimes, decision making is hard. Some decisions are just too colossal and perhaps too daunting to make. I’m not talking about new shoes or a new haircut here (though new haircuts can be daunting too). Not even a new job or a new house. I’m talking motherhood. Children. Babies. Offspring.
I am at that age where I have to make a decision about this (like yesterday), and I’m just going to put it out there: we are really struggling with deciding. I’ve been asking both women with children and women without children how they made that HUGE decision. It seems that for both groups it’s crystal clear: either they want nothing more than to become a mother, or they don’t want to at all. Unfortunately, for some women, this decision is taken out of their hands. As sad as that is, it is still clear if the desire to have children is there or not. There seems to be no ‘being on the fence’ about becoming a parent, or if there is such a fence, it is not spoken of frequently.
So here I am, all by myself on that massive fence (it’s in a nice green field btw), with no female company to use a sounding board as I have not met any women yet who want to join me for a nice bit of fence-sitting on the topic of motherhood. Coz’ they all (seem to) know. And I don’t.I always thought I knew, but I now start to think that I thought I wanted it because that’s what I’ve always told myself, without thinking through the actual impact. Now, when push comes to shove and the deadline is rapidly approaching, if someone asks me whether I want to have children, I can’t answer the question because I honestly do not know how I feel about it.
Sometimes I see a picture of a family and I like the idea of having that bond, of being that little union together. Yet when I think of the huge commitment, the loss of freedom and independence, the amount of responsibility, I get scared. The Terrified kind of scared.
Sometimes I see a friend cuddling her child and I think I’d like to care for a little person like that, or when my niece smiles I wonder what the smile of any potential mini-me would look like. But when I think of the broken nights, the diapers, the tantrums, the puke, the crying, the never-ending cycle of care, I’m put off. (And what if they get ill, become a serial killer or put the neighbour’s pet in the microwave? Seriously, the questions I ask myself… Am I just overthinking it? My neighbour doesn’t even have a pet!)
Don’t get me wrong; I have a huge amount of respect for parents out there who put their heart and soul into raising good human beings. I think it’s a huge responsibility and a brave decision to make.
Every parent says that it will all be different and worth it once you have little ones of your own, but is it? How do I know? Bar one or two girlfriends who are pretty honest about how hard they actually find motherhood, all I see on social media is happy families who are #feelingblessed. I just don’t believe it is all as peachy and creamy as it looks. I think parenting is bloody hard work.
If I am perfectly honest, I think the decision to have children would be easier if I knew we had an army of nannies and support ready to help us to ensure we can continue our life together as is (yes, I know that’s naïve, and nothing will ever be the same again once bun is out oven).
It is exactly that same thought that makes me think I’m not fit to be a mum. I am clearly not willing to give up my little luxuries of traveling, sleeping, eating and showering when I want. Why start a family if I can’t be bothered to care for my child (ren) myself? Maybe I am too selfish for motherhood. Yet, I have friends (and strangers!) telling me that I would probably make a great mother as I am so caring.
The struggle is real. Am I really the only one on this motherhood fence here, or am I just the only one openly discussing it? As this is a female-only platform, this feels like the right place to share. So, if there’s anyone out there having the same struggle, I have space on my fence. Come join and share your thoughts. Bring some wine and nibbles as I foresee a long conversation. 😉