As mom who always wanted to be a mom, I never really considered the alternative. What about the mothers out there who never wanted to be a mom? I’m not talking about rape, I’m talking about women who willingly had unprotected sex and ended up with a child, but wasn’t hoping to. Or, what about the women who used protection, but it failed. I know someone who got pregnant with both of her kids while on birth control. Once using the pill, the other using the shot. The ‘protection” failed. Still, she was pregnant and wanted kids, so though it happened while she wasn’t planning to get pregnant at that exact moment, it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing when it did.
This 23-year-old woman, however, had a completely different experience, and I commend her for being so honest and sharing her story because I am sure that are women all over the world who can absolutely relate. Let’s talk about it.
Imagine you are pregnant with a child you did not want and, instead of people trying to surround you with positivity, they tell you that you have ruined your life. Then, a few months late, those same people, have the audacity to come to your baby shower filled with joy and excitement for the little one you are carrying in your stomach. How confusing is that? What kinds of feelings must have been going through her mind? On the one hand, everyone is telling her she ruined her life, but then they are happy and excited about it and even want to celebrate it. Was there a discussion that took place? Or, like many things, was time expected to heal all wounds and everyone just pretended like they never said the hurtful things that they said?
“To project the pain of your wounded inner child onto your baby.”
When people, not just parents, get upset for one reason or another, they often project this pain by taking their anger out on someone they deem weaker. This can be a spouse, a child, an employee, a friend, a grandparent… This is NOT ok. I repeat, THIS IS NOT OK! But, everyone is guilty of having done this at least once in our lives. If we are smart, we realize the errors of our ways, apologize and do our best to not let it happen again in the future. We can also hope that the person towards who our anger and frustration was unfairly directed, forgives us. Judgment cannot be passed if they decide not to, or if they decide to cut us off because they did not deserve it. Unfortunately, this is not the case. More often then not, people forgive believing it to be a one-time occurrence. When it is a one-time occurrence, this is great! But, for people with deeper systemic issues, like this young lady discusses, projecting her pain onto her child can set the roots for the deep issues that can affect her child when she grows up, thus creating a vicious cycle. I am so proud of this young lady for speaking out and admitting that she is struggling with these feelings. There is something extremely therapeutic about saying I am struggling with this issue, can anyone relate. I know because I struggled during my pre and postpartum depression. Holding in my feelings was suffocating, and finally opening up about it was the start of my healing process.
I’ve heard many women say one or all of these things.
“The reality is I don’t want to be a mother everyday. I don’t want to feel held back from chasing my dreams and goals. I don’t want to be exhausted.”
I personally cannot relate to not wanting to be a mother every day, because some days, my kids are what keeps me going and every day, I look forward to waking up to them and going home to them after work. But, I know that there are moms who can completely relate to her and need to know that they are not wrong for having these feelings, nor are they alone.
Many women, like men, choose to put having children on the back burner to their career goals and aspirations. Regardless of the strides that have been made, women still continue to strive for true equality in the workplace, and being pregnant and/or having children is still considered to be a weakness instead of a testament to how great we are. Unlike men, however, for a woman, this can be life altering because waiting too long for some can mean that it will never happen. That’s a risk that some are willing to take, and that is their prerogative. But that’s for another conversation.
Often times if you ask me how I am doing, I will likely say “Exhausted!” And sometimes, I do not want to be or feel so exhausted.
But, often times, I am exhausted because I have just had a fun filled day with my kids that I wouldn’t change for the world. Sometimes I’m exhausted because I stayed up all night with my sick child which I would do for as many days as possible as long as they feel better because it hurts me when they are sick. And sometimes I am exhausted because my kids woke up on the wrong side of the bed, threw tantrums all day, and I can’t wait for them to just go back to bed and start again tomorrow. This is all apart of being a mom and I knew what I was willfully signing up for. But what about moms who had kids that they were not planning to? What about teem moms who engage in a very adult act but aren’t ready for the very adult consequences?
I don’t have the answers, nor do I plan to. I’m just doing my best to engage in a conversation that I can admit is difficult for me because I can also relate to the individuals who have these thoughts.
The thing is, most children are unplanned and as my husband said – “that’s part of what makes it so wonderful to be a parent.”
With all 3 of my kids, it could be said that the timing wasn’t right, because of the circumstances at the time. With my oldest, I was a newlywed of 5 weeks, had just started a long-term temp job, and wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. I was covering for someone who was going on maternity leave herself, and she and I remain friends to this day. She was going to have to come back after having her little one right? Just over a month after I started, I learned I was 5 weeks pregnant. My initial thought was, Yay! I’m going to be a mom. My husband and I had both wanted to start a family, I was on my husband’s insurance. This was great news. Then I started to think about the fact that I was a temp. It hit me that I was going to have to look for a job when that one ended. Who was going to hire a pregnant lady? I asked google. Google basically said to wait until I have the baby because nobody was hiring pregnant women.
One day, my husband came home from work and told me that a man came into the bank (where he was working at the time) and told him –
“Kids are a blessing that brings blessing.”
Something about hearing that settled my nerves. I had no choice but to let go, and let God. So let me tell you what God did. Not only was I hired by this company while very pregnant, I was extended amazing benefits, a great maternity leave, and I worked with amazing people who threw me the most amazing baby shower ever. I needed help getting all of the gifts to my car. My boss (a great man) not only vouched for me during the hiring process, he was so understanding when he would catch me dozing at my desk, and often joked with me about it. Truly, an exceptional group of people. They did all of this, knowing that I would be leaving to go on leave soon, and I am grateful to this day.
With my second daughter, my oldest daughter was not even 2 before I found myself getting ready to go on maternity leave again. I was very concerned about what people would think about me leaving again after having just had a baby and returned not even 2 years ago. How would they judge me? They threw me another baby shower, just as big as the first. I was so overwhelmed by the love and excitement my peers surrounded me with.
And with my youngest, I had just started a new job when again I learned that I was pregnant. One month after my husband and I decided we weren’t going to have any more. Honestly, I didn’t know what to do. I was excited, but again, what would people think. I’d just started this job on a friends recommendation. I wanted to put forth my best, and again I was getting ready to leave. Not to mention I had just gotten my weight down, lol. I was so excited but so conflicted at the same time., but having my baby or not was never a question. Just as with my girls, no matter what the circumstances, they were going to be the wonderful additions to our lives that they were intended to be, and my husband and I would figure everything else out. Thankfully, kids are blessings that brings blessings. My new co-workers were extremely supportive and understanding, they took me to lunch before I went on leave and provided me with a generous fgift card before I left for my 6 month leave.
As always, I am not here to judge and can understand the expressed opinions of the people from both ends of the perspective. I never had to learn to love my kids, I was overjoyed everytime I threw up while pregnant because I knew they were okay.
What do you think?
My husband and I have been very blessed, but our greatest blessings will always be our union which produced our children.
The P.I. Mom