Having a baby, becoming a Mother, creating another human.
I often feel like I’m the only woman in the world that isn’t sure whether she wants that.
When I was younger I always dreamed of having a family of my own, but somewhere along the line that dream faded and a new reality set in.
A realisation that I don’t enjoy being around others children all that much. I’m obsessed with babies and could stare at them all day long, but I don’t know, is it awful to say that I find children quite irritating? Would I find my own irritating?
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m quite a selfish person. I love my life and I, like everyone else, have worked so hard to make it something I’m proud of. Having a child is the biggest commitment you could ever make and I feel embarrassed to admit that I’m not sure whether I’ll be cut out for it.
I look at other women, for whom it seems to come so incredibly naturally – like they just know it was what they were born to do. Should I really be creating another life if I don’t feel that same way?
A huge part of me longs for something half me, half Jamie. I don’t think there’s anything in the world more miraculous than making a human. I’m absolutely in awe of it. But then there’s the other part, the part that feels totally inadequate, with just that little less longing than everyone else.
I think perhaps in part, I’m protecting myself.
I have an overriding sense that I might not be able to have children. That all the problems I’ve had (see here and here) will mean I’m infertile. And I’m not sure I could cope with making the decision to try, and then not being able to fulfil it.
It’s a really difficult thing for me to be honest about, because well, in honesty, it can make me feel like less of a woman.
I know we live in a different world now, where bearing a child isn’t a woman’s only goal or greatest accomplishment in life – but part of me still feels less than, for not being sure.
And less than because my god, some women can’t have children and who am I to complain about not ‘knowing’ whether it’s right for me? Just, none of it feels linear, is all.
One of my friends just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and in the lead up to her arriving I felt my feelings adjust slightly.
I saw her story unfold from start to finish, how beautiful it was.
It made me want to experience pregnancy with my mum. For us to be excited together, thinking about how much the baby would weigh or what he or she would look like. For Jamie to feel them kick inside my tummy for the first time. Or for my Nanny to meet her grandchild. I caught myself longing for a future, one that wasn’t just me, myself and I. A future that was full of love with my children and their children and a bubble of family that no-one else could touch.
But then, that pit of worry still sits at the bottom of my tummy.
And I guess, at 28 years old I feel more conflicted than I ever did.
But maybe in sharing my truth, I’ll find more answers within myself. Being honest has a funny way of doing that, doesn’t it?
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ADAM MANE.
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