Creating my happy life on the other side of fear.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Sad.

This is usually a happy place. Simply because I'm a happy girl, an eternal optimist, a glass-half-full kinda person.
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But, of course, that's not the full story. I have doubts, and fears, and emotions like envy just like the next person. And sadness.

Sadness is my faithful companion that likes to show itself once in a while, just to remind me that it's always there. It sometimes brings its buddy insecurity along to make it a party which is great fun for them. Not so much for me.
I have my own friends: My happy pills which are my greatest allies against sadness. I'm very grateful for them, they improved my quality of life a hundredfold. I feel so much better now than I did in the past.
Still, I believe sadness will always be a part of me.

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I have countless blessings in my life: I live in the country of my dreams, with the best man. We are made for each other: We think alike, joke alike, are each other's everything. I love him and he loves me. So simple, yet so difficult to find and so very special.

We have all these lovely animals in our life that make me laugh and show me their unconditional love every day. My dogs follow me around wherever I go.

So many other blessings: health (for the most part), friends, a job I like, an appreciation for the little things and a gift to find humor in difficult situations.

Here is what I'm struggling with: I will never be a mom.

Which is a decision I have made that is right for us and feels right for me.
There were many considerations: Richard's age, financial aspects, my own/my family's and Richard's family's history with mental disorders. My definite lack of a deep yearning for kids.
My deep-seated need for "me" time.

I once talked to a mom who gave me invaluable advice. She said: "You need to have an overwhelming desire to have kids. An intense, overpowering wish stronger than anything else. Because having kids is hard. As much as you love them and can't picture life without them, there are days when they push you to your absolute limit.
I can't imagine getting through it if I hadn't absolutely wanted to be a mother."

I do not have this desire in me. But even though I have made my decision, I still struggle with it at times. Such is life. It's not black and white, and we have good days and bad.

For years I was a part-time mom to two of my stepdaughters. Or maybe more of a nanny? Friend? I hope so. I don't know. They have their mom, so they never needed another one.
But I lived part of the life of being a mother. Picking them up from school, making lunch, making dinner. Getting them medicine when they were sick. Watching "That's so Raven" on Sunday mornings. Jumping on the trampoline for hours.

They taught me English. I baked cookies with them. Did they learn something from me? I was so young, I didn't have much to teach. So I'm not sure. Maybe I will ask them one day.
We had a lot of fun and I love them.
But I missed me-time. Doing what I like without having to look at the clock because I have to pick them up or drop them off somewhere. Having to plan meals so many times a day every day.
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Is that selfish?
I guess it looks that way. I don't know. But I learned from it and decided as a consequence not to have my own children.

It's a big decision for a woman. Huge. Part of your "purpose" (sorry feminists, can't think of a better word) as a woman won't be fulfilled.
There exists this club that I most likely will never be a part of - the mommy club.

And I'm usually happy about it and then sometimes I feel blue about it.

We have to make many decisions in our life that shape our destiny. 

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This one was a biggie.
I struggled with it for a few years and then, when I had made my choice, felt relief. And at peace. (Mostly.)
But I'm not totally out of the woods yet.

Writing things down provides immense relief. It provides perspective and organizes the jumbled thoughts. I'm so very grateful for this space here. It is my "special" place to come and re-charge, just like I had as a child. (That one was a tree trunk overlooking a river.)

Are there any other ladies out there who have struggled with this decision? We all have to make it at some point, there must be others who had a difficult time?

This has been in the forefront of my thoughts lately because there are so many babies in my life. It's an explosion of mommyhood and babies, they are ev-ery-where!
And I'm so very happy for the new and becoming mommys! I get to cuddle their little ones, smell their unique new-baby-smell and hand them back when they start to cry. Perfect.

But I get "the question". Am I gonna be next? And then judging looks or more questions when I decline. "Are you sure?" "Motherhood is the best thing in life, don't miss out!" "What's wrong with you?" (I made up that last one, but that's what I imagine they are thinking.)

I think nothing is wrong with me. (Well, there probably is in many ways, but that's neither here nor there.)
I like kids, but not for me.

And that's that.
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5 comments

  1. This is SO SO SO perfect, Miriam. I will never have kids either, mostly because I don't want them. I always get asked why not, which I feel is almost insensitive - they don't know my circumstances, and I get really annoyed. I don't ask people why they want kids - it's just a choice.
    We are of that age though - when people start looking at the clock and worry about us running out of time. Ugh.
    Anyways, I identify IMMENSELY and couldn't have expressed my emotions on the subject any better.
    CATS NOT KIDS! (or dogs? anyways....)

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  2. i think this is a very brave decision :) and it's not selfish at all, you just choose what you thought was best for you.

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  3. I just stumbled across this post. It is so funny I used the Robert Frost in one of my childfree posts. I have always thought it should be a 100% decision to have kids, not a well maybe I'll do this because that is what everyone does or because I "might" be missing out. For me the pull is not strong enough. Honestly, P and I are so happy just the two of us and I think we don't want to make room for another. It is our life and our choice to use the time we are given as we see fit. As always a really well expressed point-of-view.

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  4. I know this is an old post but I needed to comment on it. I've struggled with this myself as it's a decision I made for very similar reasons. I had actually imagined as a teen and then as a 20 something that I would 'one day' be a mother and live the husband with 2 kids life in a postcard house, but life is far messier (and enjoyable) than that. I find it amazing how many people don't seem to understand the no kids option. People love to put you in a tick box of 1. mother (normal) 2. hate kids (evil) 3. 'career woman' (scary) 4. Biologically can't have kids (sad basket case), and can't understand if you don't fall into one of their categories. There is of course nothing wrong with fitting neatly into one of those categories (and are obviously not what the bracketed assumptions are) but life choices are far more complicated than a check box.
    Sometimes people don't seem to understand that although you have made the decision, and in general are content with it, sometimes you can feel sad about a life that you won't live. That doesn't mean that your life isn't fabulous but we sometimes yearn for something 'other'. I'm sorry that you are suffering from occasional sadness about this too but you're not alone. You're not strange, you're just choosing a life that is right for you instead of following a PowerPoint presentation of life. Plus dogs are brilliant ;) Good luck with it.

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  5. Omg Jane, you have no idea what your comment means to me. You just described all my emotions and feelings perfectly, in a neat little package. Amazing! When you said "although you have made the decision, and in general are content with it, sometimes you can feel sad about a life that you won't live. That doesn't mean that your life isn't fabulous but we sometimes yearn for something 'other'", I was vigorously nodding my head in agreement. That's exactly it!!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for commenting and getting me. You, right there, is my I love blogging. I may not know people IRL who know what it feels like, but there are people out there who get it! Thank you. Have a wonderful weekend, tribe sister!

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