In Honor of Mother’s Day, On Not Being a Mother Yet

Originally written May 2018

On a day where we celebrate Mothers everywhere and tell our Mothers how much they mean to us – I’m just sad. Because I’m not a Mother. I’ve wanted to be a Mother since the moment that I first got my period. With my fertility came a wave of maternalism that has never abated. I was the little girl who played hard core baby dolls and always pretended to have a huge family. There was nothing I ever wanted more than to be a Mother. I’ve always been slightly obsessed with babies. My husband realized this early into dating me. We were walking in the grocery store I saw a mother with her newborn baby. I whispered to my then boyfriend, “Look at it. Its new!” I proclaimed with a triumphant smile. When I see them I can’t help but break into a smile. Babies have that effect on me.

I spend days day dreaming about babies. I walk slowly through the baby department at every store, looking wistfully at the tiny outfits. I look at the baby food and diapers. I dream about babies. When I go places, I wonder would a little kid like it here? How much fun it would be to have a little one here with me I think.
But I am not a mother.

When I see my nieces and nephews I pick them up. I shower them with hugs and kisses. I bring them stickers to play with and I fix them snacks. I soothe my niece’s tears when she cries and then at the end of the weekend after visiting them I reluctantly go back to my own life where there are no small children. And I am not a mother.
I spend my free time reading mommy blogs and articles on fun, free things to do with your kids. I read up on how to travel with your kids, how to cook for kids, how children learn. One of my main interests is pregnancy. I read anything I can get my hands on about pregnancy. I must have read a dozen books on fertility and pregnancy. I have virtually toured all of the hospital maternity wings and birthing centers within a 50 mile radius of my house (theres actually quite a few). I read baby name blogs and make lists of names that I think sound nice with our last names. I track my fertility every month and read about diets and herbs that help you get pregnant.

But I am not pregnant. I have never been pregnant. I’m not even trying to get pregnant.

I am married. I am educated and have a college degree. We have a house and a small furry animal named Cleo. We both have good jobs that pay well. We have excellent insurance. We are in a great financial situation. We have roots and are settled. But I am not a mother.

After reading all of this, you may ask why? Why are you not a Mother? Why are you not even trying to be a Mother? That question is hard. Because my baby fever rages in me and tells me to become a mother immediately. But the world around me tells me something else. Its is full of articles like “Please Stop Asking Me When I’m Going to Have Children” and how kids ruin your life. There’s article after article about how the millennials do not want children. Long lists of reasons why its better to be child-free. I have heard my friends express similar sentiments. And then there’s me. I feel like I’m some strange weirdo for wanting a baby. When I remarked that I didn’t think I’d be getting another cat or dog because I thought it would be too much if we had a baby with more pets my friends looked at me like I had grown another head. And I’m afraid. Because as sure of myself I feel, so much could go wrong. What if the baby isn’t healthy? What if my body is damaged forever? What if I’m not able to financially take care of it? What if I never travel again? There’s so many experiences I want to have.

And so I wait. Me and my husband wait. While we have another year of saving money (I’ve heard kids are expensive!). Another year of traveling to new places. Another year of sleeping in and having spare time to write and work on hobbies. Another year of not needing a baby sitter. I try to live in the moment and live life to the fullest, but then I think about my baby. My baby that doesn’t exist. And I have a pang of sadness.