the state of being a motherPosted: October 19, 2011
i’ve been slowly trying to ease myself into the role of mother.
however differently society has tried to tell me everyday for thirty-four years now, motherhood is still something i have to psych myself up for. i was never one of those girls whose lifelong dream was to become a mother, who thought children were the greatest legacy a woman can leave, who believed that a life lived without bearing and raising children was an incomplete one.
having children, i’ve always believed, is a choice. a choice i’ve never felt pressured nor hurried to make, even when sisters and friends started having, and drooling over, baby after baby. i figured the urge to expel a new human being from my uterus, through my birth canal, and finally out of my by-then-torn vagina would come in its own good time.
also, having a baby is expensive. seriously expensive. am i a bad person for wanting to spend my hard-earned money on a month-long trip around europe instead of baby clothes and formula?
i like babies, i do. i like to hold them and smell their baby smell and, well, return them to their rightful owners when my arms get tired.
much as i hate to admit it though, and as every gyne i’ve encountered in the past year has gravely and not-so-tactfully pointed out, i better figure out if i do want to have a child or not. and soon. apparently, thirty-five is when a woman’s eggs start to lose their, um, shall we say, freshness.
so to help me warm up to the task, i decided i was going to have a daughter, named her clara, and worked her into our daily lives. alvin and i would pass through the children’s department on our way to homeware and we would take a few minutes to browse the racks for clothes for her, just to see how it’s like. we’d talk about where to send her to school, make up scenarios and discuss how to discipline her when she does something wrong. once in a while, we’d forget and leave clara locked up in the car.
more than anything, i think it’s the idea of having another person’s life on my hands that scares me the most. what if i can’t feed her? what if i teach her the wrong set of values and she becomes some sort of sociopath? what if she’s ugly?!
i have a friend who was devastated when she found out she was pregnant because she didn’t want to be a mother. when i talk to her now though, she claims it was the best thing that happened to her.
stories like this give me hope.