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!