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Life is a funny thing — though in this case, it's not the “ha ha” kind of funny. More like the “you look back over the decisions you've made and realize that something may have been going on in your subconscious that you didn’t really see for a while” kind of funny.
I’m a never-been-married-before woman with no children who's in her mid-40s. These days, I need more sleep than I used to. My tolerance for foolishness is a lot lower. I don’t have to experience everything before knowing if it is or isn’t a good idea. Though my 40s aren't exactly how I imagined them as a 20-something — in fact, I was way off — I look and feel the same, other than a few minor life adjustments.
Being a mom is a superpower. So is being a healthy single woman who has no children.
That's not to say I've never gotten pregnant, though: Between 1993 and 1999, I had four abortions. I don't have the time, energy, or interest to get pats on the back from those who are pro-abortion or condemnations from those who are pro-life, but I do recognize the fact that when I was pregnant — even during my first trimester — I was carrying a child.
As a single woman who's not only been pregnant a whopping four times, but still isn't technically a mother and doesn't feel the need to freak out about it (like many of my peers are doing), I can't help but wonder if my decisions to have abortions in my 20s were rooted in something beyond feelings of fear, brokenness, and "bad timing." Maybe they were subconscious choices to never parent. Because you know what? At almost 44 years old, I’m really not that messed up about not having children.
I’m not saying that I don’t have some remorse about my abortions. What I am saying is that 1) I’m not the type of woman who sees pregnancy commercials and bursts out in tears about what could’ve been; and 2) although eggs are dropping and periods are coming right on time, I’m also not the type of woman who's fretting about what happens once they decide to stop doing so.
And between my unstable childhood, my career as a marriage life coach (which has included glimpses of just how selfish a lot of parents are), and my time spent mentoring pregnant teens, it's almost like I love children enough not to have them. In other words, I see how much it takes to give a child what they truly deserve in life. Until or unless I can do that, I'm not interested in being a mother. If it never happens? I'm good. Matter of fact, I'm better than good — I'm at peace.
For what it's worth, it's not like I'm the bitter chick who hates kids, and they return the favor. Not at all. Not to sound arrogant or anything, but children love me. Like, I can be walking in the mall and a child I don’t even know will run up to me, or a toddler in a stroller will point and clap while their parents look up at me like, “What in the world?!” I love the connection that I have with kids. Children are just so honest, pure, and precious.
So what about adoption? Good point, though I'd prefer to be married if and when I have kids, so until that happens, adoption is off the table, too. I will say this, though: Frankly, the world is so insane right now that I almost think it’s our civic duty to consider fostering and adopting more often than we do now. We’ll see.
Everything considered, I believe that if I happen to reach the end of my life without being able to say that I had a child or became a mother, it's OK. My life was still worthwhile and full. And the connections I do have with children are ones that suggest they think I'm a really cool chick regardless.
Being a mom is a superpower. So is being a healthy single woman who has no children. Sometimes it takes the wisdom of a woman in her 40s to really get that.