i never became a mother. although i struggled with the decision in some phases of my life, i never really even came close and it was a voluntary choice. a mutual choice by both of us.
i usually chalk it up to the overwhelm of my teaching career and not having the time or attention i would want to devote to motherhood, but i know there is more to it than that. if it had been something we really, really wanted, we would have worked it out, as most couples seem to do.
the fact is, that while i love and appreciate children very much and spent most of my life choosing to be around them, i never had the overwhelming desire to “own” them, as most women seem to do. i value my independence greatly and we’ve always been happy in our marriage and quite content with our cocker spaniels (who have been the lucky recipients of all those latent maternal instincts 8))
i’m well aware that parenthood would have added a huge and meaningful dimension to our lives, but i feel that not having children has allowed me to grow and expand in other ways and, most of the time, i don’t miss what i never had.
it’s kind of funny that i feel like NOW, at this age, i would have the wisdom to be a good mother, but looking back at those years, i was pretty clueless about so many things and i have to wonder how effective of a parent i would have been. i know, i know, no one is prepared and you learn “on the job”….
i’ve always felt a little intimidated to talk about this topic because motherhood, after all, is revered pretty much next to sainthood and i can’t help but feel that my choice in this regard draws negative judgment upon me…. so usually i just keep my mouth shut. but i’m old enough now to throw caution to the wind and embrace the real me. so, there you have it. childfree and proud of it!