Mother’s Day is approaching, and like any other holiday it can be tough. I know there are many people who will be dreading Sunday. I’m sending prayers to the people who have lost mothers, lost children, wanted to become mothers, have bad relationships with their mother’s, and all of the rest of it. It’s easy to feel alone but there are so many people who are dealing with pain just like you.
Even before I was a blogger I was a curious person. I have always been the type of curious person who likes to listen to people’s life experiences so that I can learn from them. The hope is that maybe I can gain some wisdom and avoid some hard times of my own.
I remember in my twenties being single and knowing older women who had passed menopause and did not have children. I would never ask them about it (and you shouldn’t either because you never know a person’s situation) but on occasion they would share their stories. I’ve kept those stories with me. I want to share what I learned with you today. First I want to tell you why.
Having children is something that many women struggle with, and something that many women feel embarrassed to talk about. It’s going to be even harder now when not only do you have to watch everyone else on their social media timelines with their families, but you have to stay in the house alone on top of that. Some women can’t have any children. Some women don’t want children at all, and they have to live with constant judgments. I’m sharing these stories because hopefully it lets you know you aren’t alone.
The first woman who shared their story told me not to waste all my time waiting for someone. Someone had promised her forever and didn’t deliver. He told her to wait on him to get his life together and he would be ready to have a family. She waited for years because his job kept him traveling. He had been on the road off and on for ten years. When the time came he changed his mind.
When she told me her story I remembered thinking how selfish it was of him to tell her that he would do something that he probably had no intentions of doing. Then again… maybe he was going to do it and changed his mind. I made up my mind at that moment that I would be transparent with my partner about what I wanted in my future. I thought about all the time that I had wasted in the past, and promised that whomever I would date moving forward would want the same things that I want out of life.
The second woman told me that she never thought about being a mother. She didn’t realize she wanted children until she was getting close to menopausal age. When she realized that she wanted children she tried fertility drugs, but they didn’t work.
After she got over the fact that it wasn’t going to happen she started to appreciate the luxury of dealing with children when she wanted to. She wasn’t financially obligated to anyone. She could come and go as she pleased and she enjoyed her life. She realized that there were other dreams that she had for herself that having a child may have hindered.
When she told me this I thought about all of the women who have impacted the world in a major way who don’t have children. Would Oprah have made the career moves that she has if she were a mother? Maybe she would have. Oprah is quoted saying “I don’t think I would have been a good mother for baby children, because I need you to talk to me, and I need you to tell me what’s wrong,” on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop podcast.
The point is that there are many strong and powerful women who may have wanted children but didn’t get the chance to have them. I really commend this woman for being able to see how she could still impact the lives of others and have fulfillment in her life in spite of that.
Unfortunately the last woman always wanted kids and could not have them. She told me that she would have unprotected sex with strangers because she was desperate to have a child. It didn’t work. She is still hurt. When she told me this I realized that even if you don’t have a child you still have yourself. There is a reason that you are here and self preservation is important. We need you!
Whether you want kids, can’t stand kids, hopeful for kids someday, or coming to grips with the idea that it might not happen just know that there is light and goodness still left in you and in the world. Actress Rashida Jones has been quoted saying “I’m happy, but the fact that I’m not married and don’t have kids — it’s taken me a long time to get to a place where I actually am OK with that, where I actually don’t feel like I’m some sort of loser,” she told The Guardian.
The moral of the story is that you still have so much to give. If this holiday is hard for you try to think of all of the things that you do have. If you are sad that’s ok! If it’s taking you a while to get over don’t rush it! Sometimes when we don’t have something that we want it can feel like we don’t have anything at all. Do something that brings you joy. Call someone. Do things that put your mind in a peaceful place. This too shall pass.