To all of the children I never had, I will always love you
As a woman in her 40s the most common questions I get asked "are you married? and do you have children?" They sound like simple and innocent enough questions, because why wouldn't I have accomplished these 2 things in life already? I mean that's what women want, right? To get married and be a mother? The answer is yes and no. This article isn't about why women in their 40s aren't married with children, it is about why I do not have children. The simple and honest answer... it just wasn't in the cards.
Present day year 2020
I'm 41, in a committed relationship, no children and plenty of dogs. I have a niece and a nephew whom I love more than my own life itself, if I can't be a mother to my own children, I want to be an aunt. I am content being an aunt and a dog mom. If there is one thing you need to know about me it is that I practice non-attachment and acceptance. I had to let go of the idea of being a mother about 10 years ago and at that time I accepted that I would be an aunt and I would be the best darn aunt that I could be! My nephew is almost 4 (as I type that out, I'm not even sure how that is possible!!) and my niece will be 1 in April of 2021.
Being that I have accepted I wouldn't get to be a mother I found other ways to fill my life with things that I am passionate about, my life is not without meaning just because I don't have children. I teach yoga, am a healthy lifestyle coach, a mediation teacher in training and I consider myself a pretty fine girlfriend, dog mom and any other role that I step my feet into. I will admit though, I think of it and wonder what it would be like to have children and the thoughts are always very fond in my mind. Truth be told, I have always been told and always believed myself, that I would have made a great mom.
Million dollar question: Why? Why didn't you have children then? For starters due to having a drug and alcohol problem, I didn't exactly get my life together until I was about 38. By the time I was 30 I knew it wasn't going to be in the cards for me to have children. Some like to say I still had a chance and that it was still something that I could have gotten out of life - and yes, that is very true, very true indeed. I was single until I was 35 and it was at this time that I began my journey to sobriety and had just met and begun a beautiful relationship with my current boyfriend. I didn't want to have children just because the clock was ticking, I wanted children because that was what felt right and where life took us. I wasn't going to rush getting sober, a new lifestyle and meeting someone new into "lets get married and have kids!"
On our first date I asked my boyfriend, lets call him Arturo, "Do you want children?" His answer was a quick NO and I was happy to hear this, because had he stated otherwise our relationship would have ended right then and there. I know, I know you're wondering why did I stay with someone who didn't want kids if I did?? The answer is simple, I was 35 and didn't want to rush as I stated above. Ok fine, you're wondering then why did I ask at all? I asked because if he did want them then I wasn't going to stand in his way and waste his time. Just because you want something doesn't always mean you need it or that you are ready for it. I never like to rush things, I like to take my time, especially with something as serious as having a child and starting a relationship with someone. Just because you and your partner want the same things doesn't always mean it will turn out the way you expected - hence practicing non-attachment. Plain and simple, I wanted to take a chance on love and even though it was our first date, I knew he was the one and if not having children was something we both wanted I was willing to make that choice for my happiness.
Hindsight is always 2020
Even as a young girl I worried that having a family was something that I would never get to have. I felt like I wasn't good enough or that no one would ever love me enough to want to spend a lengthy amount of time with me, let alone let me be the mother of their children. I remember feeling this way as early as 7 years old, that's some pretty heavy stuff for a 7 year old to be carrying around. Like everyone, I continued to get older and carried this idea into my teens and into adulthood. Once an adult it just became easier to tell myself I didn't want kids or marriage rather than to feel the pain of losing these things or never even getting to have them in the first place. Our minds are like sponges and we can literally convince ourselves of anything.
Was it self sabotage? Absolutely! Do I blame myself? Am I angry that I robbed myself of something that I wanted very badly? Do I pine over my choices needlessly? No, no and another NO. Regardless of the choices that I have made I am a firm believer that we still end up exactly where we were meant to be. If I was given the chance to do it all over again, would I make different decisions? - 100 percent the answer is NO.
Accept what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be
In the end I couldn't imagine my life any other way. Arturo and I live a very happy child responsibility free life and I wouldn't rather it any other way. We have a fulfilling life with our pups and each other. I'm not saying I'm happy because I had to settle for not getting to have kids, I'm saying I'm happy because I am. Non-attachment and acceptance is all part of embracing your life for what it is and not getting caught up in what if's or the shoulda, coulda, woulda's. I love my life plain and simple. Remember the next time you ask a woman why she doesn't have children it doesn't mean something is wrong with her or you should feel sorry for her, maybe just maybe it is for a reason that has absolutely nothing to do with you and it is her choice. And ladies remember the next time someone asks you why you don't have children, don't be offended or feel like there is something wrong with you for not having them. At the end of the day we all have a choice, a choice to be happy and live with our decisions or the choice to regret them and live in the past. I chose to accept and be happy with the cards I have picked from the deck.
Lastly, this article is not about woman who couldn't have children, or lost children or never found love or choose to have a child on their own - this article is about ME and why I chose not to have children. I do not wish to offend or discount anyone reading this and their feelings, hardships, loses or to make you feel less valid. I love you all and just wanted to share my story. Thank you for reading.