I would like to start this blog series talking about my own experience in the maternity world, which can be summarized into a single phrase – I am not a mother. In fact, most of my adult life I never dreamed or even wished to be one. My priorities in life were well defined at a young age; study hard and “be somebody” (as we love to say in my country) and travel the world. I never dreamed about maternity in my younger years.
I soon discovered that my mentality was perceived as “strange” and even uncomfortable for other women. When I was living in France, in my late twenty’s, a dear friend who was many years younger than me, ardently dreamed about becoming a mother. She said frequently “I can’t wait to have a baby”, and she used to show a mix of surprise and disappointment when I didn’t express the same interest. “But you are getting older! You don’t want to have a baby?” She asked me in disarray. And believe or not, in this “modern society” in which women can be whatever they want, I have been one of these women that others look at with a little disdain, just because procreation had never been part of my priorities. At least I know that I am not the only woman that has lived this experience.
My overall image of maternity wasn’t always very positive. I honestly used to see women with children as sacrificed beings who didn’t have freedom to enjoy their lives. I met women that were constantly wishing to have or do things for themselves, but their maternity obligations seemed to represent a sort of obstacle. My impression was that maternity puts a tag on their forehead that says, “Mother Only”, making them feel that this is and will be their whole identity for the rest of their life. Realistically, having children changes your life, and gives you a different perspective and obligations, and for a long time I was not interested in changing my lifestyle. And as selfish and frivolous as this may sound for some people, taking care of your dreams and expectations is the best investment you can pursue.
That said, I honestly didn’t find motherhood attractive; I had the impression that it was a moral obligation and a sacrifice for women. But this is typically a generational concept and it has somehow changed throughout the years. Nowadays women can decide whether they want to have children or not. They can choose to have a career and a professional life before having children. And most importantly, women can still make personal decisions and keep growing professionally and personally even if they become mothers. In the past an adult woman’s value was determined by her capacity to procreate; today a woman’s value is determined by her freedom to choose.
It took me a couple of years and extra motivation to think about having children. I always believed that before embarking in the maternity journey I had to enjoy my life, develop myself as an individual and achieve all the goals I set up in my younger years. Being in my late thirty’s, I feel I have accomplished many of those goals and I would never put any type of personal frustration on a child. I think at this point I would be able to nurture and love a child with generosity and an open heart. I find extraordinary that nowadays we can envision having children in our late thirty’s and forty’s, which I think is ideal.
My goal when I become a mother is to be present for my child and give my best to raise a conscious and happy human being. But I am also determined to remain in contact with my femininity, my dreams and goals as a woman and as an individual while being a mother. This goal is extensive to all women who are on the maternity journey, we deserve to live all the stages in our lives with purpose and fulfillment.