Why I don't need motherhood to be a fulfilled woman
I have a really, really good life. I do quite a lot of amazing things (like doing stand-up and getting to publish my writing) and yet…despite all of my successes, every now and then someone will say in a quiet voice “but you don’t have kids yet, shouldn’t you start while you still have time?” Or as a dear friend, and fellow woman once said after telling me her son was going to become a dad “I’m sorry, should I be telling you this? Am I making you feel bad?” That was from a *friend*!!! Did I feel bad that I wasn’t a parent? Well, I didn’t up until the moment she asked me that question!
Perhaps it’s being asked with a different intention, but it’s a question that stings anytime I hear it. Come on, people! Look. I am well aware that I am very, very close to 40 and I’ve not yet had children.
This is a choice. That I made.
While, yes one could argue that my abysmal love life doesn’t help my lack of baby-making attempts, it really comes down to my not wanting to have a baby. But obviously, being single in no way means you can’t be a parent! My amazing friend Laura recently gave birth to twins, and her boys are being raised by a phenomenal single woman. Though Laura never expected twins to come her way, she’s over the moon!
To be honest, I absolutely love kids. I adore their honesty and their kindness. I think they are just awesome. My niece Charlotte, and my nephews Zachary and Cohen are the loves of my life! I love that I am their Aunt, and that role feels comfortable and right to me. I am always in their lives, ready to be who they need while my siblings do an amazing job of raising them. The first time I held my nephew Cohen, who will be turning 1 this summer, I felt a protective cloak being placed on my shoulders as I whispered to this little guy that I’d do the best I could to make sure the world was good to him.
But for me, that’s where I’d like to leave things be.
As much as I love my nephews and niece, I’ve never heard that bell ding, followed by a voice saying “you need one of these, too!!!” Is there something wrong with me? No, there isn’t. That being said, I do feel a similar ping…when I know a story in my head has brewed long enough and I need to get to my notebook or laptop, or that a joke needs to be jotted down on the nearest napkin ASAP.
I guess you could say that I regard my writing as my babies.
If you’re not a writer, or any type of artist for that matter, this might seem like a strange thing to say — but every piece of writing I have published or performed has gone through a birthing process of sorts. There are the proverbial labor pains of having a first script read for a play. And when the play debuts, you’re sending your kid out into the world for the first time, hoping it will make friends and be immune to the horrors of bullying. You hope it will find its voice and grow, and inspire others, and be a good thing for the world.
As I told my mom once, I don’t think my contribution to the world will be through making a human being — but rather, through my words and my works.
Being a mom has crossed my mind a time or two, in that I’ve thought about adoption. And a few years back, when I thought I might have been pregnant, I surprised myself by being happy at it possibly being a reality. While it wasn’t meant to be, and yes I grieved, ultimately I made it out okay. Now, others have found creative ways to pull out my fictional motherly role — once when joining a gym during a Mother’s Day promotion, the woman signing me up leaned across her desk and asked me with a straight face if I had a plant. I said yes, and she replied, “So you’re a mom. The plant is our secret. Let’s get you that discount.”
I don’t want anyone to see me and feel bad that there isn’t a baby on my hip. Even when I’ve been in relationships, children haven’t been in the discussion. But for me, and perhaps I am being selfish here, I like my life as it is. And I don’t wish to be made to feel bad about that! I can always leave the door open for adoption when I am older, if my heart takes a new path.
Right now, my purpose is to create and entertain, and share my joy of getting to do what I — and other people — dream of doing. I get to see ideas grow and develop! That, my friends, makes me so happy. That brings me joy.
I’m a really, really lucky lady.