Sometimes you can’t communicate well.
Sometimes the person that’s supposed to know you the most doesn’t like the person you’ve become.
Sometimes it hurts to talk about things.
Sometimes you want the person around all the time.
Sometimes your mother disapproves of your life, your way of living, the way you are, and it hurts you so deep in your soul.
She says it doesn’t. She says you don’t care. But you do. You are not just showing it the way she wants. You are just not the person she wanted/thought she brought into this world. You are disappointment!
I have no idea how we are gonna fix this.
Separating your baseline personal desires from other factors, like the relationship you’re in at the moment or where your career stands, is a phenomenally difficult task. Not to mention the societal pressure. Despite the ever-increasing feminist influence on the mainstream, conventional wisdom still says that motherhood is womanity’s highest calling — just ask every CEO who refers to her kids as her greatest achievement. At the same time, young women get a loud and clear message that parenthood is tough. Really tough. Books like Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time top the best-seller list. Blunt headlines explain that women pay a major penalty at work for becoming mothers. Even the parenting-related clickbait is scary: “100 Reasons Not to Have Kids.” Throw in a few wine-drunk conversations with friends who are parents about their sleepless, sexless lives, and who wouldn’t be at least a little bit ambivalent?
Seriously, it’s OK if you want kids, if you don’t want them or if you’re not sure. Outside pressure should never influence your decision, because it’s YOUR decision. It’s OK to be on the fence. It’s OK to be ambivalent. I think Ann makes some great points in this column that are useful no matter what your opinion on kids is.
I’ve personally never wanted kids and I’ve always known that. I consider myself lucky for knowing that deep in my gut and I will never apologize for it. Even when people come up to me and decide that it’s socially acceptable for them to question my life choices.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from Gloria Steinem.
"I’m completely happy not having children. I mean, everybody does not have to live in the same way. And as somebody said, ‘Everybody with a womb doesn’t have to have a child any more than everybody with vocal cords has to be an opera singer."
Because we should all be able to live our own lives by our own rules/desires.
"I have the worst news, which is that working out in the morning is much better than working out in the evening. This is an affront to my lifestyle! For those who don’t know me: in the words of Richard Thompson, "I can’t wake up to save my life". (Though I’m a bit better since I wrote that 2.5 years ago.) My mom would tell you I was born 2 weeks late and I’ve felt rushed by the world ever since. When I was school-aged, my dad would flip the lights on, strip the topsheet and blanket from my bed, throw them over his shoulder like a toga and press “demo” on the electronic keyboard, carried upstairs by him for expressly this purpose. Still! I would press myself determinedly into my mattress and cover my ears with my pillow, committed to staying in bed—best case scenario?—forever.
"It has maybe gotten a little better? I’d be lying if I said Nick has never bodily scooped me from our bed in order to make an early flight. Maybe once per week over the last few months, I’ve managed to make a morning workout happen and it is always so rewarding that it hurts my feelings. The past two weeks, I’ve been able to do it nearly every day. You guys, it wears well.
"I don’t scarf granola straight from the bag while sitting up in bed in my underwear staring dead-eyed at my reflection in the mirror, a habit that has been described to me as "terrifying". I feel like I’m on safe yet potent uppers for the rest of the day. My blood sugar is all stabilized and shit. When I ride home from work in the evening, "School’s Out" plays, basically.
"So. I learned that and it ruined my life. I hope for your sake that you choose not to believe me."