Thursday, March 26, 2015

Honesty with Motherhood.

I've been purposefully slowing my life down over the last 12 months. It is probably the slowest it's ever been which has also made it the most enjoyable. Living without rules, schedules & unnecessary obligations is turning my life into the simple way of living that I've always craved. It has shown me how truly happy I am without responsibility and it has shifted my priorities significantly. My priority is now myself (& Ryan, of course). I want to better myself and just live for me (/us). I want to adventure. I want to learn. I want do whatever I what whenever I want.

I've dealt with a lot of depression & anxiety the last couple of years for a handful of reasons. The depression has subsided most days but my social anxieties & reclusiveness have gotten worse. When I turned 25, I had a secret crisis about my life because I couldn't stop comparing it to societies idea of what a married 25 year old woman's life should look like. I actually have a blog that I wrote from that time still sitting in my drafts. I reread it now and it sounds desperate. About a year ago, before my birthday, Ryan & I had a serious conversation about kids. It was a conversation that both of us had avoided having for awhile because we both thought the other wanted something that we didn't. It turns out, we didn't. Neither one of us want kids. I'm not saying that we'll never have them. I am fully aware that I might wake up in my 30's and think "holy shit! I need a baby and I need it now!". I'm not a fortuneteller. What I can tell you is this: I spent my early 20's thinking that being a mother is what I wanted. I spent a lot of time crying, depressed & angry because I was not able to get pregnant. It's something I laugh at myself for now. I didn't really want kids. I was coming out of a weird friend break-up that really rocked me & left me with this strange, deep sadness and all I really wanted was that bond that a mother has with their children. I wanted to know that somebody would love me forever. I wanted my mother to be a grandmother (because she will be damn good at it). I wanted to fit into the mold of a married woman. For once in my life, I wanted to fit in and feel that unconditional love of a child. I still think those things about motherhood are great. Do you know what I don't want though? The rest of it. The only thing I'm willing to wake up for in the middle of the night is a fire or natural disaster & I definitely don't want to wake up before my alarm goes off in the morning. I don't want to schedule my life around this little creature that literally needs me for everything. I don't want to spend hundreds of extra dollars each month. I don't want postpartum depression. I don't want to miss out on celebrations for my friends and family. I don't want to pass up on spur of the moment vacations. I don't want to not enjoy alcohol or nicotine when I want. I don't want to stop giving my 3 dogs less attention. I don't want a minimum of 9 months of jacked hormones. I don't want to not be selfish. I am selfish & I am free to be so. I am not scared of motherhood. I am not scared of ruining a child's life. I am not scared of molding a kid into an awesome adult. I am actually pretty certain that I'd be a pretty bad-ass mom. I don't want to have a child if I'm doing it because I feel it's what I should do and I definitely don't want to just to appease anyone else. I will have children if I ever feel passionate about having one. If my entire being ever looks at motherhood and what it takes to raise a kid and goes "Yes, I would LOVE to dedicate 100% of my life to that and I don't care what 'negatives' come along with it", then I'll reconsider.

It was HARD for me to get to this place. It was hard for me to admit that I didn't want kids. And that was hard to understand.

I am MAD that it was hard. It should NOT be hard to make personal choices for yourself! It was hard because everything around us (women), says to marry & reproduce! It was hard because I was scared of what my life would look like without them, because I've never seen that life before. Society gave me a damn panic attack because I turned 25 and believed that there was little to no place in this world for me.

This is what I wrote on 4/6/14, exactly one month before 25:

"Today I am shaken by an overwhelming fear. A fear brought on by living the life of a childless woman. As women, we are taught our entire lives to grow up and become a wife & mother. Movies, TV, books; they supply us with help on how to manage falling in love, having kids, losing kids & infertility. What about the women that roam this Earth without children? There is no help to navigate those waters. Where is the book that teaches women to maintain relationships with the people they care about while watching them go down the path of motherhood again & again? We sit on the sidelines & cheer you on, mothers of the world. We're damn good cheerleaders too. But what happens when you look around & you are only surrounded by women with children? I cannot help you with that aspect of your life. An aspect, that for a lot of women, is all there is once they give birth. An aspect, that's no longer just an aspect, it is all they are; they are their children. I cannot speak into your life on raising them & all things motherhood. Where is the book the helps women once their friends realize this & leave them behind with their party days? Where is the help that one needs to explain to their parents that you're not going to make them grandparents? Who is there to help women realize that one day them themselves won't be grandparents? Is there even a place for childless women?"

Parts of me still have some of these fears. I will continue to have some insecurities about my friendships as they have children & I remain here, drinking vodka on a Wednesday night & enjoying a cigarette in the night air. It's similar to the feeling I had when all of my friends went to college & I went to work.

I'm not sure why I felt so compelled to write this today after being silent for so long. Sometimes you just have to get your thoughts on paper. And this, this is my paper. Maybe it's because a co-worker told me that having kids was not a want, "it was a must" and I had zero way of responding in a professional manner. I don't think my first thought would be appropriate for a superior.

Most of the time nowadays, I feel like wearing a sign around my neck that reads:

*Maybe I should add that I don't hate on anyone that lives to be a mother. I think that's amazing and it's a special super power talent that I don't understand and I will love your kids so hard. Especially your babies, because holding babies is one of the greatest things in life. Who doesn't love babies?

**I also understand the logic that most mothers have that one day I could get pregnant (which is very unlikely genetically) & my entire outlook would change. That I would no longer see the "negatives" as negatives. That I would be more than willing to give those things up for a child once it happened to me & guess what? I think you're right. It would. If I woke up and found myself magically impregnated, I would embrace it & love it & do right by motherhood. Telling someone that they just don't understand or that they're young and it will pass or that they can't even grasp real love until they're a parent is one of the most obnoxious things. It's as bad as telling someone in a hard time that "everything happens for a reason" or "it will all work out". You aren't that person so you don't understand either. The point is, that just because something is great, does not mean that everyone should experience it. I don't doubt the greatness of motherhood.

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