It’s not true that every little girl dreams of being a Mom. I personally know quite a few women who have no desire to have children, now or ever. I’m not one of them, but sometimes I envy their certainty. Not wanting to be a Mom would make my current situation easier to accept. See, somewhere along the way, despite my every intention to transform from “Hey, mira Mami” to being a Mommy (not that Mommies can’t also be Mamis), I got stuck somewhere in between, in no-man land (not to be confused with no man’s land).
I’m a Latina and grew up in the Mormon religion. There was never any doubt that I was being groomed for the Mommy-track, and I bought into it. I knew in my heart of hearts that I’d be married by the time I was 22 and would soon after become a baby factory, producing enough children to make up a sports team. It didn’t happen, hasn’t happened. I blame it partly on the fact that I was born with the inability to be flirtatious, to be impressed. I could be wrong. Regardless of why, here I am, in my 40s and still no children of my own to speak of. Trying to resign myself to the fact that I veered way too far from the mommy track to get back on it.
So what do you do when you’re not part of the world of Moms? I wrote about this some time ago, but then, still thinking the situation would change, I focused on how to deal with others as a temporary fix until joining them in parenthood. Today is different, today it’s about those of us who wanted children, and the inevitable emotions that come when it begins to look as if we may have to accept that we won’t have them.
To my childless hermanas, or even hermanos, I offer these tips.
Not having the life you dreamed of isn’t easy when you don’t understand why. It’s okay to ask “why not me?” It’s okay to feel some resentment. It’s okay to be angry, and it’s okay to let yourself cry as long as it’s all done in moderation and in doses. There will be moments in your life that will trigger all of these, and masking the hurt and confusion doesn’t help anyone, least of all you.
When you’re not feeling all of the emotions of not being a parent, you can see that being childless isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it allows for a certain amount of freedom. Job and life permitting, you can stay up all night and sleep all day, travel at a moment’s notice, move to your dream city, etc… Your life is solely yours.
Be an alternate Mom (Dad)
Being a parent to someone is about more than just giving birth. It’s about nurturing, guiding, and providing. There are many ways to do this. If you’re an aunt or uncle, you can be there for nieces and nephews. You can volunteer in programs like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, tutor, mentor, the opportunities are as endless as the kids that need your help. If it’s possible, you can also go as far as being a foster or adoptive parent
The best advice is to just be. Live your life and do what makes you happy each day. Be a contributing member of society and don’t allow yourself or anyone else to make you feel that not being a parent is the be all, end all of life. We all have our own life’s path to follow. Sometimes all you can do is keep it moving!
Photo credit: Yoshi Aka
*Originally published at Being Latino Online Magazine