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Ever since people started asking me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I always relentlessly answered back with, "I want to be a mom!" For some reason, I romanticized the idea of being a mother. I don't know if it's because my family was religious, or if it was because I didn't think I'd be good at anything else, or if it was just because I desired to feel that sense of unconditional love for them and their need for me.
So, I came up with something to say after they'd respond with a laugh and, "No, really. What do you want to be?" I had determined that I'd need a structured job that would bring me home at around the same time every day, didn't work weekends, or summers. So I thought, "How about I be a teacher?" Which is what I ended up telling everyone. And everyone seemed to accept and agree that being a teacher would be a good choice, especially my dad.
So, in short, the main reason why I was telling everyone, and myself, that I was going to be a teacher was because I wanted to be a mom so bad, and I believed that being in the school system would be the most structured and consistent job for my "future family."
You might wonder, why does she know she wants to be a mother at such a young age? I didn't want to get pregnant at 18 or very young or anything, but I was genuinely looking forward to holding my newborn baby in my arms, to relentlessly answering their curious questions, to validating their new emotions and supporting them through the self-confidence issues of their teen years.
When I was in Elementary and Middle school, I did this thing that I called my "Imagination Life." This was me just daydreaming of this fantasy life in the future where I was a mom, and I had three children. I'd imagine up things we'd do together, ways I'd discipline and love them that were better than the ways my parents did onto me, and different products I'd see in catalogs, the internet, and the TV that would support us and help make our lives more efficient.
To this day, I still have a very colorful imagination regarding my possible future. Though for the past year, I have gone through a good bout of therapy and I've had a lot of self-thought. And I have concluded, maybe irrationally, that my becoming a mother one day would be destructive to myself, to my future partner, and my children.
Many people would object and say I'll come back to the idea of becoming a mother one day. And yes, I might. Though what is meaningful to me is respecting me and my decision. The main reason why I don't want to become a mother is that I do not believe I'm genuinely mentally, emotionally, and financially stable.
I think I can become financially stable within a few years; but I fear I won't become stable with my other two ways, at least for many, many more years, until I can focus on myself enough to prioritize ME, learn to say "no," understand how to explain to people who care about me healthy boundaries I need.
Things that impede me from becoming self-actualized and have self-love:
- I continue to have chronic complicated grieving of my mom, who died six and a half years ago of cancer.
- My intense fear of love, being loved, being rejected, and being abandoned.
- My romantic attraction to manipulative, narcissistic, damaged, not emotionally available people.
Though, people can always say, as a devil's advocate, "well, at least two of these things can be your fault." Or this is instead something that I tell myself as an excuse to not change my unhappy situation. Something else people might say is, "Are you sure you don't ever want to experience what it's like to be a mom?" Well, the thing is, I already know.
My John - Who Turned Me from a Loving Sister to a Compassionate Mother Figure
I have a little brother, John. He's going to be turning 18 this coming April of 2019, and he has autism. After my mom passed, I soon became 13, and him 11. This only caused my responsibility for him to grow, since our dad has never been emotionally there and just there for us about half the time since he's always worked in Alaska, hundreds of miles away from home. I slowly became John's new mom, always knowing what he liked to eat, how to calm him down, and how to teach him. These things were especially tricky; he's never communicated in full or even broken sentences. He's always just grabbed our hand and walked us to what he wanted, or we'd try to guess.
'Til the day I moved from our home in Las Vegas to Duluth, MN, we had spent almost every day of our lives together. A few sparse High School Marching Band trips, some weeks traveled out of the country, because my dad said so. He was and still is the light of my life. He has a contagious laugh which you have to train yourself not to join in cackling as well.
I have tons more of these short videos of John, showing how precious and innocent he is.
With John, I taught him how to say "love you." If I said the "I" first. He eventually confused the "I" with "hi," and I became disheartened. I knew inside that John loves me. He may be one of the only people on this earth who does, unconditionally. Though it still weighed me down that John didn't, maybe, cognitively, know what "I love you" meant. So, every time I said "I" to him, hoping to hear what he always said and feel consoled, I just felt worse. This is silly, though on some level, I think that I'd be in this same pickle if I ever have my own children. I wouldn't trust or believe them when they told me that they loved me. Isn't that sad?
I don't want to be a mom, because who wants to have a mother that doesn't believe you when you tell them "I love you?"
Thank you for reading! Especially if you read all the way through till the end! :)