Monday, July 5, 2010

The big "maybe"

Last night I received a called from my cousin and this is what happened:

Me: Hello!

Her: Hey! Can you keep it down, I’m on the phone here!!! (Screaming on the back) Is your mother home?

Me: Hum… yes but she is at the shower.

Her: Hey I said no fighting!!!! And Edwin no more chocolate!!! Can you hold on a second?

Me: Sure.

(Lots of screaming, loud noises, crying, something seems to be have broke and then the call got disconnected.)


Right, babies. They are so cute and funny and annoying all at the same time. I would love to have one of my own but the truth is that I can’t bear with the fact that I might not be a good mother. My father is a very bad parent, as in selfish and only thinks about how he could benefit from everything he does. What if I get that bad parent gene? Unlike me, my sister is the most motherly person I know and she is 4 years younger than me! She always knows why my little cousins are crying, knows how to pick them up and feed them. She is a natural. I’m not. I’m a mess when it comes to babies. I get all frustrated and even cried once because I couldn’t find out why was he crying. I don’t even know how to play with them. I get all awkward and uncomfortable. Needless is to say that nobody leaves me alone with their babies. Some people tell me that I just need to have one of my own and the instinct will come all by it self but, what if not?

I’m a bit selfish when it comes to my space. I like my quite daily reads, the time I send in my computer and watching my TV shows. I like not cooking on a routine and sleeping all night. A baby will mean to change and adapt my complete lifestyle since I will be putting the baby’s needs first. I think some of the reasons to have a baby are almost as selfish as the ones to not have one. I mean, for what do you want a baby? To leave have an heir, to someone to keep you company, to teach your life secrets, to have someone to love, to have someone love you or simply because you want to experience the motherly love. I’m not saying they’re wrong; I’m just saying they are pretty selfish. In my case, besides the selfish reasons of my quite space, I have a completely non-selfish reason of not wanting to break the child’s heart because I’m a bad mother. I don’t want him or her to suffer. I’m not saying I don’t want ever to have a child but I have my concerns. Mostly it comes from having a very irresponsible, selfish, cold dad. I will definitely need therapy once I fully decide to have a baby, to help me take care of my fears.

I think a child is the most beautiful blessing God made and that the love that you might experience is beyond scientific understanding but what comes with it scares me. On my sophomore year at college I had an English professor that was obsessed with feminist literature. He had us reading it every day to hand in responses. It completely changed my perception of being a mother and a wife. Many of them just wanted their freedom back, something they will never get back. I once heard that a child is like getting a tattoo on your forehead, you have to be a hundred percent sure because it will be with you for the rest of your life. Yes they loved their children but they made clear that they were suffocated by their life. If you haven’t read any feminist’s work is something like the character Lynnette from the TV show “Desperate Housewives”. She loves her kids but has a constant struggle between choosing them over her career and life it self. She has breakdowns and barley keeps it together sometimes. I’m not sure I want to live my life like that but i don't want to end up at my 50s regretting not having one either.

Some women think is wrong or maybe even forbidden to discuss such real issues. Take for example, Charlotte’s character in the movie Sex and the City 2. She is always trying to be a perfect mother and wife. She doesn’t even what to admit to her friends that her life is sometimes miserable. I think she doesn’t want to even say it out laud because it will mean that she is admitting it to her self too. Most people do this; they only talk about the wonders of being a mother. But that is so wrong with being real and letting everybody knows that you are not perfect and that having a kid sucks sometimes? Lately I’ve read a lot of good, real and raw mother’s blogs and it make me happy that there are women that are letting us know what we are getting into, the highs and the lows. Thank you!


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18 comments:

JoJo said...

I agree with you on the aspect that not everything about raising children is going to be rainbows and unicorns and there are going to be plenty of natural moments in any parents life where they become overworked or exhausted, but I have to politely disagree with you on the idea that having a baby is selfish. To be able to give someone the gift of life and then to spend the rest of your life nurturing them, raising them and supporting them is one of the greatest things a person could do. It's probably one of the most selfless acts to give so much of yourself and sometimes even means giving up on your other ambitions in life to be there for your children. The reasons you listed for wanting to have a baby are not reasons why good parents become parents, but may be some of the bonuses they receive along the way. If some choose not to have children for feminist logic or because they feel it's important to wait until they're ready than to each their own.I don't think there's anything wrong with that and I completely agree with many of your reasons for not wanting to have children at this point in your life. I myself am waiting until I feel financially stable enough to provide the kind of lifestyle I want to give them. However, to say that becoming a mother is selfish because it fulfills some inner need is like saying volunteer work or charity work is selfish because it makes people feel better about themselves, which is just silly. People may feel a rewarding sense of satisfaction, but that's not the primary reason people are so giving and it's almost depressing to look at the world from that kind of perspective.
I definitely appreciate when parents are honest and talk about all aspects of parenting even the raw material that you mentioned because I respect people for keeping it real and not sugar coating life when not everything is so sugary and life along with parenting can sometimes get spicey, which in my opinion only makes it more interesting :-).

Sammy V said...

Parenting is scary...kids are terrifying.

freckleonthenose said...

I agree with you about mommy bloggers - I love reading about their unfiltered, realistic day-to-day lives. I find it much more refreshing than how motherhood is portrayed in TV and movies.

I also think second-guessing ourselves (am I a good mom, am I making the right choices, etc.) is just part of parenthood. Not that I know, I'm not a mom, but I would just guess that it comes with the territory. :)

Monique said...

Mommy-hood is scary, but being real about it is definitely important! Thanks for the insight. BTW visit my page to get your award!! www.myglamourology.com I've voted you one of my 5 fav versatile bloggers!! xoxo

GreenRainbow said...

es it is not easy being a parent. that is for sure!!!i am a mother of 2, working mom, and I can assure as JoJo did, that becoming a parent is the exact opposite idea of being selfish. The problem is that we all forget that we were kids, we were given life from our parents, we are the moving on with our lifes, we need to create as well. We are part of the system, should I say eco-system that is being reborn / rebuild with every new baby in the way. I believe that some of us are to continue life and some to offer in different ways to our system. Nobody is perfect and nobody is to say whether you or I or JoJo is a good parent. Just don't forget that you were a kid too. Did i take it too far?Sometimes i get over excited. Just don't be afraid or regret on your decisions in life..

htto://www.greenrainbow.us

Style Souk said...

This chimed with me so, so much...

My beautiful boyfriend proposed in November, and - as a consequence of his being five years older than me - the conversation about babies and starting a family has been no stranger to our household.

Like you, I had a complicated and devastating relationship with one of my parents. She lacked all maternal warmth and, when my littlest sister was born ten years after my own birth, I assumed a quasi-parental role.

As the eldest child, I was the female who gave my sister baths. Read stories at bedtime. Prepared her uniform for school. Played Barbies. And made her favourite noodles for lunch.

My little sister now affectionately refers to me as her 'Second Mummy'.

Helping to raise my sister over the years has taught me that, although rewarding, the task of parenting is an exhausting and often thankless one. Those little moments of quiet solitude - when you can curl up with a good book, take a long bubble bath, or visit the cinema alone for an afternoon matinee - are lost with the advent of family life.

I worry about having my own children because I do not romanticise motherhood and, to some extent, would want to protect the relationship and lifestyle that my boyfriend and I have worked hard to build.

But then I remember the love I have for my sister. How I would stroke her hair when she slept and think she was an angel. How her childlike wit and cuddles sustained me through hard times. It was these exchanges and shimmers of unconditional, endless love that now seduce me into thinking that the tiredness - and sacrifices - of future parenting will all be worthwhile.

I think that motherhood is the most important and consuming career a woman will ever have; but it's not one to enter in haste, and it's not one suited to every woman.

Only you can decide if you would like to become a mother one day. I think it is probably the most daunting and monumental decision we as women will ever make because, once made, it cannot be undone.

I have written far too much (and could happily bore you with more!) but will close on this...

Reading your words, it is clear that you are very analytical and have developed an extraordinary, almost-objective level of self-awareness. You are willing to undertake therapy to heal from, and finally put to bed, the hurts of your father.

All of these things tell me that - were you ever to have children - you would not rush into motherhood without the consideration it deserves. You would have eyes wide open. You would work harder than most to be the very best parent you could be.

Now, who could ask any more of their mother than that?

Sarah x

STYLE SOUK - Fashion Blog

Style Souk said...

P.S: Thank you for leaving such lovely comment on my blog, x

Amber Dawn said...

I too was the girl...who parents did not leave their children with...which I can only assume was the awkwardness that "I was with them." But, as you mentioned, all of that really did go out the window once I held Clara bear and I'm soooo positive it would with you as well!

Nicole said...

I'm responsible, however I've never thought I was responsible enough for a child. I always said I didn't want kids and if I did they better come out walking, talking and potty trained... now I'm getting one of those. She's 7 and she doesn't shut up... maybe I didn't want the talking part... LOL, j/k. She spends most of her time with her mother and just with her dad and me on weekends, actually every other weekend, which makes for difficult life. I really think her mother got pregnant b/c she wanted to keep her ex-husband(my fiance) and now she has her just to get child support. She is a very selfish person and everyone tells me that kids are smart and if tori doesn't see it now, she will. But I never really wanted kids until I was around Tori and now I'm extremely torn... to have a kid or not. I don't want the saggy droopy lady had a kid butt, that's for sure... but when I'm 50, Tori may go with her mother and leave me. If something happens to my fiance, what does that leave me with? I don't want to be alone. But then... what if the kid turns out selfish or addicted to something or hates your guts, you'll be alone anyway so... yeah... how do you handle off of the if's in life... I don't know. I guess you just have to decide what you want and go for it. Admit when you make mistakes but do the best you can for all you can and never have any regrets.

sEy said...

People said when you decide to have children, be ready to let your heart walk outside your chest all the time.

I agree with you that motherhood is no joke and when you decide to be one you should be ready to give up most of the things you are inclined to and devote your life for the benefit of your child.

I am glad to read this and I am happy with the honesty. I know when you decide to be one, you'll be on of the best!

Classic said...

All the mommies will disagree with me on this one I'm sure, but I think the task of raising healthy, sane, well-adjusted kids is so close to impossible that it's astounding to me how many people choose to take it on. I've never had kids, but my mother has kids, and having been on the bottom end of that mother-daughter relationship, I can see that there is nothing pleasant on the horizon. My mother has even taken to saying things like "just wait until you have kids"... with the implied second line being "... and you'll see what a terrific pain in the ass you are." That's okay, mom, I can see it from here. No kids for me, thanks.

SweetBef said...

just wanted to let you know I gave you an award...

http://sweetbef.blogspot.com

angela said...

being a mother is the best and worst jobs you will ever do in your life.
It means sleepless nights, and constant worry, and that only gets worse when they learn to drive.
But the joy I get seeing my children learn, grow and become the best adult they can be is a joy that is boundless.
At 21 and 19 I can only see a glimpse of what is in store for my kids and its very exciting and not a little terrifying, but never boring.
You are not your father, my parent are both selfish and have always put there own needs and wants before ours, this ment that I had to raise my siblings. But as a mother I have know what not to do. And I thing I have done a great job, I have made mistakes but kids are resiliant and after all we are teaching them to deal with all aspects of life. No one is perfect but then again neither is this world, all we can do is our best.

dating diva said...

I agree. So many mommy blogs I've read have helped me gain a better understanding of motherhood. Admitting that things aren't always perfect is hard for me. But it's something I'm working on. Maybe some people are better at it than others, but isn't that what makes blogs so great? When/if I end up having kids I'll turn it in to a blogging experience for sure if only to connect with more people going through the same things.

xx,
Delilah

SmartBear said...

As a "Mom Blogger" and a pretty candid one at that, I too value the truth rather than the fairy tale. As a survivor of child abuse (and I am also a child and family therapist) I was terrified of having a child. I did some work and figured things out before I became a mom.
There is nothing wrong with deciding not to have children. There is nothing wrong with second guessing yourself. All I can say is that you do not know what it will be like until you choose it for yourself. There are good days, bad days, BLISS days and NIGHTMARE days. There are days when you could stare at your baby all day and days when you just want to get on a plane by yourself and flee. It's all about balance and taking care of yourself and having support. I have learned that the REAL fairy tale is messy. But, it still has a happy ending.
Best,
Tina

Mrs. Tass said...

Haaa...I posted to your FB! LOL...still learning this blogger world! Like I said, you will be great ;)

Kai said...

I really liked your honesty regarding motherhood. It is difficult to be the voice against a lifestyle so traditional. I am sure you are more maternal than you give yourself credit for. Adopt a cat. That will prove it ;)

Artpixie said...

you have such a beautiful blog!

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