Thoughts on Motherhood
I was sitting with my friend Jess yesterday, and of course, we were talking about guys. We had a lovely conversation about quarter life crises and growing up, and as per usual, I externally processed some things that I really meant, and they came out like gibberish. One of those thoughts is about marriage and my personal priorities.
You know, I’m the type of personal that really loves to care for things. The maternal instinct, whatever that is, is something I’ve always had, I’ve never had to second guess, and an enormous facet of my joy, even at 20 years old. I love taking care of people, and that has me thinking about psychology and differences and how to care better constantly. I love it that way. I don’t just like it. I need it.
That seems ridiculous, for whatever reason, to the eyes of my Western cultured peers, nearly all of the time. I like caring for people. I like volunteering for that reason. I like listening for that reason. I like all of those things enormously, and I know that even if I have 1 million thoughts every single day, being able to care is something that gives me an enormous sense of pride and happiness. It isn’t the people I care for, necessarily, because there are too many and that would probably be unhealthy, in the long run. But the act of caring and caring well, that gives me joy.
For that reason, romantic love is not my most important thing in thinking about the future. That doesn’t mean I’m jaded. It just means that if I have the choice between someone I love that has no potential to be able to help me grow a family and provide for children, or be able to have a stable enough income so that we would have some to give away, or a person who is reasonably attractive, can hold down a stable job, is someone I enjoy being around and would be healthy for my kids, I’m going with Guy Number 2. Period.
You know, I know a lot about unhappiness, even at my age. I don’t think it’s crazy to think like this, I think it’s just realistic. I know for a fact that although money can’t BUY happiness, the lack of being able to provide for basic necessities in your family can destroy it pretty quickly. I want to be able to have kids that are well cared for in every way, and if I have to make some sacrifices in order to achieve that, I will, no questions asked. I care about my family, and because it’s my choice, I will choose to do it right.
Now, I know how I am. I know that no one is twisting my arm to say any of this, and I mean it. I’m not delusional or scared or anything because I think that romance isn’t the most important, I feel like that makes me practical at worst and grateful at best. I just don’t think chasing any one of my passions is nearly half as worthy as being able to provide, in terms of care. I know how much joy that gives me. I know how much I would love parenthood, and that has never not been a thing. I know myself well enough to know that if I was ever stuck in a situation of being miserable for such a long time that I was blind to my inability to care well, I would probably be the unhappiest person in the entire world. I just don’t think romance is the most important thing in life. I still have plenty of time and God will help me figure it out as I go, but I want to be a mom because I will love it and I’d be good at it. Why is it a problem that I would enjoy that? Just because I see it as something immensely valuable and worthy and something I would truly love, do I really need a clinical diagnosis that tells me it is a problem to get my worth from that?? It is the most meaningful thing I can think of, and I’m sure I would esteem motherhood immensely, if I had the chance to be a mom. I really love kids, and I’m good with them. Why exactly is that a problem, again?
I am so sick of any one person or group of people telling others what they want! I want this. I don’t derive my value from it, but I know that it would make my life infinitely more valuable, and I embrace that. I would not force my kids to be anything other than what they are, and I would do my best to provide the means they need to become healthy, happy people with the ability to make their own choices and chase what is most meaningful to them. And my most meaningful thing is caring for others, and being a mom.
It is so absolutely ridiculous that in today’s world, women my age are told to “keep going, to reach their dreams” to the absolute exclusion of dreams that are “too small.” My dreams aren’t small to me, but they are things that people take for granted constantly. I hate that if I talk about this in most academic or genuinely “learning” settings, to this day I will be judged for being very smart and yet “settling” for having a family. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?? HOW TERRIBLY DO YOU HAVE TO TREAT YOUR FAMILY TO SAY SOMETHING THAT STUPID, IGNORANT, AND STRAIGHT-UP RUDE?
It’s like people think that they were brought into the world to live alone, and it was their individual, self-determined choice to zip their way out of the womb, and their calculated will that landed them in whatever kind of happy circumstance they are currently enjoying. You know what? Stability should be your happiness. If you have all that you want and you still take your stability for granted and the freedom that that provides you, your life will be a raging joke. That is severe, but so is living a lie and being miserable. You have a choice, and my choice is to invest in my family. I don’t care who thinks that is a joke, because 99.99999% of the time, people who insult my happiness are not people I would ask for advice; I probably wouldn’t even be around them long enough to consider buying a soda.
This is my life, and I love it. With everyone’s opinions swirling around as some awkward web of “truth” and confusion, I’m going to take the time to defend what I love and what I care about, and that is being a mom. Really, I am so terribly sick of people somehow thinking that is a “lesser” kind of thing. How can you be so stupid?
It’s not ignorance, because everyone has a mom, even if they aren’t around her, and they surely must know that is worth something, even if they know it in anger or bitterness. What the hell? Someone has got to provide for others, and I love caring naturally, and I know I’d love that. Why isn’t that worthy of respect??
Screw it. That is my choice. I’m sticking by it. There are very few things that are legitimately meaningful that change, and that isn’t one of them. And that will always be my more important thing, above some fleeting sense of romance. Call it wise, call it crazy, call it hurt, call it dumb; I didn’t ask. But I do have the power to choose, and above everything else that goes into what love is or isn’t, I choose being a mom.