Have you ALWAYS known you want to be a parent?

As a young girl, teenager and young adult, my friends have made statements that they always knew that they wanted to be a mother. They say this without wavering, without any doubt. Gosh, to have that kind of confidence! It’s fascinating to me.

It also makes me feel like an odd duck. I have been meaning to ask my mother if I ever told her as a child that I wanted to be a mother. I have a feeling that I didn’t as I can only remember one conversation re: children and I remember her sharing that it’s different when you have your own.

The crazy thing about me not having a memory of always knowing that I want to be a mother is that I love kids. Yes, I really enjoy being around OTHER people’s children! I have worked with children in various roles (babysitter, mentor, camp counselor) and sometimes my love for OTHER people’s children is so deep that my heart could burst.

What I have found interesting is that a lot of my friends who always knew that they wanted to be a mother have said that they don’t like other people’s kids. They tell me that they love their own but don’t care for “other people’s kids”. Prior to having children, some have never worked with kids before, and a few have never changed one diaper! It blows my mind that they just KNEW they wanted to be a mom without having exposure to being a caretaker for a child.

Anyways, why haven’t I always known that I want children? Is there a maternal switch in my brain that’s missing? I have been told the following reasons for why I MUST be a mother: “you are too good with children to not have them”,  or, “you’d be a good mother because you are warm and loving”. So I don’t think I missed the memo re: always knowing due to not being nurturing or mother material.

Here’s the best answer that I have for you today. I think that I haven’t always known because I think too much. I believe that I may be a realist. It’s more natural for my head to guide my heart than vice versa. While some may think of children and dream of all the lovey dovey stuff, I can quickly come up with the pros and the cons.  I don’t picture a beautiful, lovely, easy pregnancy — I weigh that image with the knowledge that you can experience morning sickness every single day for 9 months. I don’t JUST picture a cuddly newborn, I also picture the adorable baby crying and screaming at all hours of the day and night. I don’t only imagine a cute toddler but also see a little ham who just colored on the walls for the 5th time this month. I don’t solely dream of the joy I’d experience at my child’s graduation from high school, I also imagine many hours of worry and fighting before they get to that point in their life.  Maybe I’m a realist or maybe I’m just being negative, I dunno. I believe the *always knowing* that a person wants to have children must be driven by the heart and not the head. While it has been said that 2/3rd of pregnancies aren’t planned,  the ones that are planned may be as a  result of always knowing through a heart desire.

I love children, and I have no problem loving other people’s children!  I may be a mother one day, but I won’t be able to say that I always knew. I’d be lying if I did.

What about you? Have you always known? Why do you think that is? And if you haven’t *always known* please leave a comment too. Thanks! 

8 thoughts on “Have you ALWAYS known you want to be a parent?”

  1. I think you’re completely normal! And I think your personal reflections on how you think things through may be playing a big role for you in that decision. I’ll be honest and say that I always envisioned being a mom *someday*, at *some point*, but there are times lately when I realize it IS going to happen after months and years of waiting, and I completely panic. I think of all the things I haven’t thought through enough (usually brought on by blogs and articles I read) like how to talk to kids about internet safety, how to make a plan for escaping a fire, how to lead my child in an authentic relationship with the Lord, and then I think, “OH MY GOSH what I am I thinking?! I will never be prepared!!” Those of us that think primarily with our head may at some point need to let our heart lead if we really desire to be a parent, because if we don’t, there will never be a right time when we know enough, have saved enough, and have read enough, to have a child! Just my silly two-cents. 🙂

  2. I had years that I stated I did NOT want to have children when I was in my late teens and early twenties. Not sure when I really changed my mind but at some point the mutual desire was there for my partner and I to try to concieve a child. Ours was all planned after many years together and it was the BEST decision we ever made. She is the Love of my life and my reason for being here. I don’t think I really knew what love was until I had my baby girl. It is a love bigger than I ever imagined. I think it is the only form of love at first site. So even people who “know” they want to have children have no idea until they are how truly wonderful it is.

  3. We are very similar! I was never an always knew type of gal. I felt I could live a full life either way. And for many years I thought maybe I wouldn’t have children. There are many pros and cons which I often thought about and many fears too. I’ve watched family and friends go thru devastating loss of children due to accident or illness and that terrified me. I also knew that like my mother and sisters i was likely to have a sickly pregnancy. And the responsibility of raising them to be contributing members of society and also healthy Christ lovers was and is daunting. Eventually I came to realize that yes I did want kids and that with that desire God would help me with the rest. I was the same in thinking about marriage I didn’t always know I would get or want to marry. During my teen years I was convinced I’d stay single and live with my parents to take care of them. And then I met Chris and well that changed everything. 🙂

  4. Joybeth, thank you SO much for sharing. It really helps to know that there’s someone who can relate! It was encouraging to hear your thoughts, fears, and ultimate decision. Thanks again, loved reading your comment.

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