When I think about becoming a mother, I think about losing everything I am and ever could be. I think about the loss of my freedom and my body. If I had to choose between never traveling again and never having a carefree day in my life, I don’t think I would choose to be a mother. Being a mother is different than being a father. You are on the hook in so many ways. I don’t think I need to have a child to give my life meaning. I think adventure, exploration, the search for truth might be the meaning of my life. I know I want to experience great love, but this is also something I may only want because of rumors I’ve heard about how great it is. To be perfectly honest I kind of love the way my life is now. I don’t need a steady partner, and I’m far from ready to be a mother. There is so much more world out there to see. I’ve been seeing the world in a frenzy thinking of the day I would have to make some choices based off biology and circumstance and in my mind, if I had a child I would have to give up traveling. Financially, that would be the case if it happened tomorrow, and that’s not something I want. I know that theoretically, hopefully, there would be someone there to bear the burden with me, but honestly, I have absolutely no interest in having a child if I don’t have the support of another parent. I am not someone who would use a donor or go to some other somewhat extreme to get pregnant without a life partner. I love babies, and I love children, but besides biological urge, it’s hard to picture myself doing the day in day out work of being a parent without regretting it. I have the image from my mom that being a mother is constant drudgery. And i don’t think sacrifice is the only meaning of life either. I’m not a martyr, and I don’t want to become one. I know that a fair amount of people manage to travel and do interesting stuff even while having multiple kids, but no matter what, your life is different and your resources of time, money, and energy, sometimes even health, are diverted from yourself necessarily, and you no longer get to be your own first priority. Maybe reproduction only works by ruse. If you had a completely fulfilled and happy life, why would you want to turn it upside down by having a child? Right now I can’t picture either having the kind of partner that would make me want to take that leap into the unknown. I guess another way of thinking is that everything you gain you do so for your children and it takes on new meaning, and I’m sure it does, but honestly I think it’s ok to just consume what you manifest yourself and leave a bit to nourish the world, right? I don’t tink I’m against having children, although I know I’m perfectly against having children with a partner. I don’t know if life has begun to or will one day begin to feel repetitive without having a child and having that greatest adventure of self sacrifice and love and responsibility, but at the moment I can’t contemplate having a cat or buying a car or even leasing an apartment for three years. I know if I had a kid, I would raise to the occassion and really love it. But I don’t think I will ever need it, and I don’t know if I will ever want it enough to disturb all that I’ve got going on now. My logical hunch is that having a kid never really makes sense in the long run, although I’m sure you do get to grow as a person in new ways. I doubt that having a kid is ever “worth it” for the mother if she’s already fulfilled in her life. And yet, I know a lot of women who seem pretty happy and still decide to have kids, so maybe there’s something about being with the right guy that changes things. I’m so enjoy my Aprodite and Artemis archetypes that being a mother feels like it would be sacrificing literally everything I am. I feel like I’ve got it in me, and my body is begging for it, but besides taking care of another person to avoid confronting life, the universe, and everything I’ve got going on within myself, I don’t see the point. Maybe this is the dirty little secret of feminism, and why European birth rates are so low. Or maybe there will be a day when love will win over reason, and somehow it won’t need to make sense anymore. But it would have to be a great love, and even greater trust.
As for men, it’s true, I theoretically want to have kids some day, and more to the point for these days, I do think I want to be in a relationship. But again, why risk having someone break your heart, or even more painful, breaking theirs, if you can get along just fine on your own? If I struggle to imagine owning an apartment (mind you, an apartment and not a goddamn house with a lawn, etc to maintain) because I might have to give up a trip because something needed a repair, how hard is it to imagine genuinely sharing your life with another person, and how many goddamn vacation days you would spend visiting their family when you already don’t exactly begrudge but are a little stingy with the time you accord your own, because you would rather be off adventuring, most of the time?
The real thing that kind of made me start wondering if it would be worth it is thinking about having less passion potentially over time, no matter how creative and romantic you are (also look at what science says having kids does to your relationship), and if you already have respectful and happy relationships in your life, and deep friendships, and high quality lover (s), what can a man really add without taking away quite a whole lot? Would the benefit ever be worth the risk? I’m not afraid of going to quite a lot of countries a lot of tourists shy away from, but I am terrified of choosing the wrong person, and being hurt again, and probably even more terrified of doing the hurting. I want to know or at least have the strongest possible feeling it will work out and that it’s worth it come what may, but I don’t think you “just know” all that very often. And I have fooled myself into just thinking I “just knew” enough times that I know how little my mind can be trusted. Also how much do I actually want love versus just the validation of having someone? To what extent is it lazy to go with being a relationship as the main form of companionship versus cultivating others if in the end, you aren’t sure if you are biting off far more than you can chew?
I am not in a relationship not because I don’t love myself, but because I am terribly terribly afraid of them. I want to come close to the fire without burning myself. I am chicken of all chickenshit because I don’t want to take emotional risks. I may have been to my fair share of therapy, but I don’t want another person in my life to disappoint or hurt or be disapporoved of. I know my family loves me as I am, and they ahve come to accept my role as a wanderer, but damn.
The truth is that I have very rarely, and pretty much never without shame, really let myself be who I wanted to be. And having a man or baby seem like a perfect way to put a muzzle on my soul, toss it in a box, and throw away the key. Fuck you, Personal Legend, put a bun in the oven, get back in the kitchen and take off those shoes! Not to mention a house. The homeowner dream in lieu of the man/baby dream, whether it’s a McMansion in in the burbs or a Hausmanien dream in the City of Light, while it might seem appealing at times to have one’s own “home,” the sky is already all mine. The road belongs to no one, and yet, by naming myself for the wanderer that I am, I claim every mile for me, and me for myself.
Is it really a new adventure to truly love someone? Is it really so much of a great new world to have a child? Is it childish and selfish not to jump on board for these commitments and the life experiences they offer? Is it silly to even think like that, and to realize you bear children for the human race or your community or to propagate your own genes, and any satisfaction you get is a side effect of that?
When the world loves you without asking for anything back, is it not silly to put your heart in fickle human hands?
Whetther I ever love a man or have a baby, I love myself, and I love this world. I need no other justification or joy.
I love my fire. Fire might consume nearly everything it touches, but it also brings light and heat to the world. I love my fire.