Journal | A life lesson on motherhood

[TRIGGER WARNING: This is a personal topic, not something I expected to share on the internet, but finally finding the strength last week to ask for some emotional support, my trauma support recommended finding a way for me to release some of my trauma. I hope my words will help you, but this post includes trigger topics such as motherhood and miscarriage.]

I’m choosing to be a mother to all life, by choosing not to be a physical mother in my own life.

I’m not asking permission, I am not making the choice out of necessity or fear. It is not selfish, I just choose not to live by the landmarks of life that society teaches me I should.

Am I scared to make the choice? You bet I am. Does it feel right? Yes it does.

Health has a factor, life experience has a factor, but ultimately I feel that I leave the world a better place than I found it through my actions rather than by having children of my own.

Would I be a good mother? I don’t doubt it. Would I be excited, of course. Do I want it? Not really anymore, no.

We are teaching girls and all humans for that matter, that no means no, so why is it when I tell you I don’t want children, you think it’s acceptable to question my judgment?

I’m in my early thirties & as everyone seems to think it’s appropriate to treat me like I’m less of a woman, or at times less of a human because of my choice, or tell me that it’s okay, I still have time, or in fact, that I might change my mind. On occasion to decide that I am selfish. Okay.

If I changed my mind and I was well beyond the age of naturally becoming a mother, than I’d deal with that at that time, but that’s like saying ‘I better do that thing now, despite not being ready because I ‘might’ regret it in thirty years. I’m not the same human I was thirty years ago, I am well aware I won’t be the same human I am now in another thirty years. I live by instinct and I’ve never been one to give into peer pressure.

I’m writing this post to myself to remind myself and anyone feeling that consistent pressure from those around them, that choosing not to have children doesn’t make you a bad person or less of a person, it just means you decided not to have children.

Most of my family and friends have children, I am already one of the last as I’ve kindly been reminded. What most people don’t know is that I had a miscarriage at five months pregnant about five years ago. I already consider myself a mother. I know that protective love for that tiny little thing you want to protect… and I couldn’t protect mine.

Do you know what it is like to wake up with no recollection of the trauma your body has experienced in the last twelve hours as a team of doctors and nurses did what they could to mend your broken body, but to feel sore, to be bruised all over and to have your breasts fill with milk because your body thinks you’ve given birth? Only to feel a soul crushing anguish as you realise there is nothing to hold in your arms? To feel an emptiness that makes you scream until your lungs give out, while those closest to you hold you in their arms? Because I do. I will never not feel that pain.

Five years and I still have tears rolling down my cheeks as the scar on my soul bleeds as I relive the moments and I feel as though I want to scream, meanwhile the room around me remains peaceful as the summer sun sets and I type these words calmly.

Every year, one day a year I take myself away from the noise of the world and I spend time with myself so I can celebrate that life that would have been while simultaneously mourning for someone I never even got to meet.

You know, even with all that pain, I consider myself blessed. Because while what I went through was something I hope no-one ever experiences, I now know a deeper level of love than I ever thought possible. I feel the heart need to protect those who need someone to stand beside them and show them they are not alone.

I am making a choice, to live my best life. I don’t try to pretend that hole isn’t there, instead I am growing around it and I am stronger than you will ever know. People often take my positivity and politeness as weakness or people pleasing – what it actually is, is a hyper-awareness of understanding what it feels like to feel as though your heart may never mend but having to try to live a life beyond that day.

So, if I am a little awkward around expectant mothers or your child, it’s because I’m having to remind myself to breathe and stay standing up most of the time. It doesn’t mean my interest in how you or they are doing isn’t genuine, but it takes a lot of strength to ask, take that in and remain whole.

So, no I won’t likely be becoming a mother to my own child, and while I don’t doubt that having a child may take some of that pain away, I don’t want to do it all over again, because the truth is, I couldn’t do it all over again. In the words of Frodo Baggins, ‘some hurts go too deep’.

Instead? I choose to be a mother figure for anyone and everyone that needs it, to do my best to live my best life and leave the world a better place than I found it. I get to love my family and friends kids that bit harder, I get to support them as their stories evolve. I get to be the safe house they run to when they feel so misunderstood. I intend to brighten the paths of everyone around me and everyone I interact with.

I am not defined by what happens to me, I am defined by how I respond to it.

I choose love. But I also choose me.

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