Motherhood: I never wanted to be a mom
This is my story of what led me to motherhood
Not for me.
It's what I always said. And I had my reasons for it.
Want to know them?
First of all, those alien-like creatures weren't melting my heart like ice cream in the sun. Little humans who just cry, keep you from sleeping, shit themselves, and sleep all day (since when do they?—you parents think, right? I know, they don't) sound like ungrateful beings after all you gave up for them.
I couldn't comprehend why people wanted to uproot their entire lives to raise mini-versions of themselves—did they like themselves so much?
I found it the most selfish thing ever to put a new life on this earth. A child didn't ask for it—to be placed in a broken world, which was another reason for me.
I don't wish for any child to grow up in a safe environment (if he is lucky enough to have one) only to find out later that people are mean and the world is a bad place because we have made a mess of it.
And besides, there are already enough little children in this world looking for a home. Why would you want to produce more? Better choose adoption and give the children who are already here a better life.
I think it's clear. I just didn't want children.
Motherhood didn't fit into my life or ambitions—and that, my friend, might've been the biggest reason for me.
Perhaps you can relate to, or understand, the first things I said.
And there is a grain of truth in that.
But in the end, many like me, have the privilege to choose not to have children simply because they don't fit into our lives and/or the timing isn't right. And that was my scenario.
What my life was like
I was living in Toronto, Canada, which was a dream come true.
Hubby Ronald and I had the time of our lives. From our little apartment in downtown Toronto, we were able to explore the whole city and undertake fun activities.
We could also easily catch a plane to the US or any other place and soak up new adventures.
I had the freedom to start my own business (although that was a bumpy ride).
I managed to work in the film industry.
And I jumped on almost any opportunity that came my way.
Could a child fit in there?
Well, what do you think?
—At least 12 hours on movie sets
—Running from meeting to meeting for my business (pre-covid)
—Going on trips in Canada or abroad
—Eating out in restaurants, doing spontaneous things, going to the beach, etc.
With a child?
I was fully aware that a child would change my life and I didn't want it to change. (Talking about selfishness and self-centeredness...)
On top of that: I wasn't even 30 yet. Becoming a mother at a young age is long gone. We can still make the decision to have children in our mid-thirties or late thirties. It's hip and trending; women are having children later and later. First a career and then, maybe, children.
So when my mother said she was afraid that a child would take away my dreams and the effort I put into achieving them, I confirmed that with the utmost conviction. The same would be true for Ronald though, who worked far too eagerly and far too many hours for his employer.
But I'm a mom now, so what changed and when?
I remember it like yesterday—the first crack in my conviction of never wanting to become a mother.
It was a few weeks before Christmas 2018.
I was with a friend at the Centre for Social Innovation. A hub in Toronto for social impact entrepreneurs.
They were throwing a Christmas party.
My friend and I were networking with others but eventually spent time talking to each other.
My friend, who was a little older than me, about 15 years, asked me about children. She gave me the freedom to finish my dialogue about all my viewpoints against having them.
Then I remember very clearly what she said to me, "I was just like you. And I blame myself for what happened."
She, too, was ambitious.
She, too, didn't want children. At first.
She, too, thought she still had enough time to opt for children once the time was right. And when she finally tried—mid-thirties—it was too late. After several miscarriages, she got pregnant again but it led to a stillborn birth.
All subsequent attempts failed and she and her partner had now given up. These events followed by their emotional rides clearly formed the biggest scar in her life.
Her pain cut right through me when I saw her demeanor.
The tone of her voice, her watery eyes; the equivalent of a heartbroken person.
The advice that emerged from her story and what she wisely said to me caused the first mini crack in my hard conviction: Should you have the slightest doubt, don't wait.
You will never be ready.
Make the choice in time. And don't let life fool you. It flies by.
A year passed
My friend's immense grief for the loss of her son has always stayed with me. It shook me up. It made me realize that if I was sure about my decision, it would be permanent. There was no way back.
As I was approaching my 30th birthday, I turned to my husband. A handsome guy, who I was (and am) happily married to and who did want children—not yet, but one day.
This guy knew my position on having children and I wanted to make sure he would still be happy with me if I stood my ground—a childless life.
He said he would be okay with it. But I didn't know if he was saying that out of love or if he had the idea that I would come around at some point.
Since it was up to me, I decided I had to make this choice in time.
Before I turned 30.
The decade in which every year I will become less fertile. A.k.a. the ticking time bomb. (Can you tell I'm a planner?)
It was because of him, because I love him immensely, that I felt I had to make a permanent decision. He deserved a clear answer. I owed him that.
My thinking process
If you frequently visit this website, you have figured out that I am a believer in Jesus. Over the years, my faith has strengthened and grown deeper into my being. Therefore, the first thing I did to find out if my answer to motherhood would be a permanent "no", was to turn to God. I had my list of why motherhood was not for me but if motherhood was God's plan for me, I wanted to know.
I wanted Him to make that clear.
I wanted signs or any confirmation from Him whether or not I needed to open myself up to the idea of becoming a mother.
I had always taken such a firm stance—based on my own beliefs and thoughts—that it had been impossible for God to come through before. So now was the time, I was listening.
My prayers were clear: God, if you want me to be a mother, show me. Let it be clear. And above all, give me the desire since the idea feels so alien.
Then this followed…
Pregnant women seemed to be filtering down to me. They were EVERYWHERE.
It seemed like more people than ever asked me if I wanted children.
It seemed like more conversations than ever were about children.
It seemed like I was reading more about pregnancy and new life in the Bible than ever, without actively searching for it. It just showed up.
—It seemed like God was answering, but did I want to hear it?
A different perspective on my reasons
It was a childless friend of mine who gave me a different perspective on not wanting children because of the broken world we live in. We were sipping on our tea lattes at Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto—I was still on my motherhood quest—and she mentioned that a new life would create the opportunity to make the world a little better again.
Instead of thinking new human beings will make the world even worse, why didn't I think it would become better?
Why wouldn't a new child be able to work on God's kingdom too and help people?
Hm. Okay. Point taken.
On top of that, somebody else from my church told me that because she became a mother, she could suddenly understand God's love for the world in a way that she wouldn't be able to otherwise. A parent-child relationship is so special and deep. What a child means and to what extent you are willing to go the extra mile for them, die for them, is hard to realize if you're not a parent yourself.
Deep down, it sounded very tempting to experience that more intense love of God on a personal level. But to change my entire life for it, nah, that was something I wasn't up for.
The final drops
These signs and conversations were all drops that fed a small seed within me.
However, the most drops poured out like a flood when Ron and I went to the Netherlands for a Christmas visit in 2019.
I celebrated my 30th birthday there.
Again, many conversations were about children. As if the big 3-0 is the moment you have to decide.
But close friends and family were getting pregnant and I suddenly felt different about it.
I felt… something. Which was odd enough.
What was happening?
We got back to Toronto, plopped down in our bed and I remember very well Ronald suddenly saying to me, "I'm suffering a little bit from FOMO, I think. From all those babies. I want it too, I think."
And while it shocked me to the core, I thought to myself… Me too.
That was the moment when I considered: Okay God. Is this it? Is this the answer?
In the past time, You have given me all the reasons why having children is beautiful instead of a dread. You pointed out why it doesn't have to be all those things on my list. And it seems I created some sort of desire for motherhood.
But is that coming from FOMO?
Then that's not a good enough reason for me to become a mom.
What followed were three more months of conversations with God. Of searching deep inside my soul whether motherhood was really for me, whether I really wanted it, and whether this wasn't some hype—a coincidence because I was so looking into it.
But eventually. I summed it up and couldn't deny it any longer; God had given me my answer.
Was I ready to face it?
I let it sink in.
Took a couple of long, looooooong, deep breaths, and realized…
Yes, I was ready to face it because, despite some small doubts and an unfamiliar feeling of desiring a child, I knew I was going to obey God. If He called me to motherhood, which is a beautiful calling contrary to what we hear often, I wanted to listen.
I shared it with Ronald.
Was I sure? He asked.
Well, was he sure?
Were we sure?
We shrugged. But I kept thinking about how I would step into another part of who God wanted me to be.
And so we just went for it.
Pregnancy transformed me even more
When I found out I was pregnant, I had mixed emotions ranging from fear to doubt to joy to affirmation.
It was going to happen. I was going to be a mom.
The process of a woman becoming a mother, the naturalness with which her body builds a child, the way her thinking changes during pregnancy, and the awareness and realization of all these wonderful things, are hard to explain.
When I try to describe it, I feel friction.
Annoying feelings, rooting around when I try to find the right words—I realize; there are none.
Whatever I write, I don't do it justice.
So I always come back to the fact that I find it miraculous.
Just like my transformation.
From a firm standpoint of never wanting to be a mom, to a changed heart enjoying the splendor of motherhood.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Motherhood may not be for everyone, but for me it was.
This step. This change. This story.
It was lined up for me all along.