Maternally Minded

Are you maternal?

In my twenties, I did not want children. I just couldn’t imagine what the benefits of having them would be. I didn’t like being around other people’s children, ever. People told me that I’d change my mind.

IMAG1246They were right, in a way. In my thirties, my biological clock started going off. Not alarmingly so (pun INTENDED), but just a couple little ticks or pings every once in awhile. Generally I found that within an hour or two they resolved themselves. So, I kept hitting snooze. When my husband and I finally decided that we wanted to start trying for children, I remember how icy fear and panic cloaked my whole body. The thought of actually pulling the trigger and going for it was terrifying.

Ignoring all the warnings screaming in my head, we decided to try. The first time, it didn’t take. Loud thoughts of “maybe you’re infertile” sounded in my head.

While this made me feel agitated (not knowing if there was a problem or not) I also felt that if children weren’t an option…I would be fine with that. I thought of all the traveling my husband and I could do. I felt at peace. I figured all of these feelings were indicative of whether I should have kids or I shouldn’t. But it wasn’t that simple.

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It’s OK if you Don’t Love your Baby

Sorry (not sorry) for the provocative statement. Perhaps I should have added a caveat, but in the interests of not being ashamed of my motherhood, I’m going there. 

It’s such a strange feeling when you don’t have this overwhelming blissful emotion that so many men and women describe. I remember feeling alien and isolated. Everyone had promised me that I would experience a love unlike any other when I had a child. When I didn’t, I was angry. Angry at them, angry at myself – I felt like a robot. Why did I do this if I was going to get nothing out of it? What I wish they had told me was that how you relate to your child in the beginning is different for everyone.

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