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  • Writer's pictureDINA HAWTHORNE

Do you regret being a mother?

What does it mean to be maternal or have a maternal nature?

After devotion and time spent with my heavenly Father in the morning, I spend an hour or an hour and a half. He tends to give me a warning when I need to leave His office and get work done.

Any whozzz, after reading the Bible and praying, I immediately felt the urge to get to writing, which now it is more typing because of the carpal tunnel in my hands.

I searched for information about grieving, found some scriptures, and even found some handy quotes and phrases that were comforting, thank you digital world…and then I saw a question, "what if you regret being a mom?" My mind went blank. I curiously clicked on the link and immediately wondered if this was a click-bait: a link to something completely different from the title, a freaking gotcha, and to my surprise - It wasn't.

It was an article by Jean Mackenzie on the BBC NEWS platform, discussing this very intriguing reality, dated 3 April 2018 for the Family and Education section, under the Victoria Derbyshire programme. The article's title, mothers who regret having children hooked you with what appeared to be leggo like pieces of women with children, some blurred in the background, and the focal on the tiny block female leggo piece with her small leggo stroller.

The title did it for me, the picture, more of a subtle touch to soften the reality, most likely shared by women who have this genuine experience. Thank you, photo, for easing my emotions into accepting what I am about to read!

Rachel, Alison, and Joy were not enjoying motherhood, and they all had a very similar reason as to why; they were not prepared for it.

Can you really be prepared for motherhood?

Each woman seemingly went into the experience of motherhood as a fairytale, only to discover, the fictitious ideology of motherhood was better than reality. Oh, you darn movies and television shows, and worst, the misguided anxiousness of the mind!

After reading all the women's accounts of motherhood and their call out for other mothers or women to speak out and up - regarding their more authentic feelings regarding motherhood. It reminded me of a song I wrote, which I sang for my mother, to which she immediately told me, "that song isn't a pleasant song" because of the lyrics.

The song derived from a woman I saw every day who clearly wasn't enjoying motherhood at all. It didn't live up to her expectations. I, who wasn't a mother at the time, realized she was not enjoying motherhood and accepted, she wasn't. What inspired the song? One day she appeared greatly disheveled, and I suppose, my friendly disposition made her feel comfortable enough to share with me the following statement,

"I don't have to always smile at her, do I? I mean, is it wrong if I don't love my child every day? I mean, is it wrong if I don't want to be around her all the time? Do you have any children?" I replied, "No." I am not sure why she assumed I had children as I wouldn't know what a woman who has children looks like. She also started to cry. I said to her, "Please know it is okay not to like or want to be around your child all the time. Not everyone has that, and that is why child care exists." She cried and then asked if I like children. "Yes, I do." She followed up with, "have you ever watched a toddler before?" "Yes, I have." She then proposed, "Are you available to watch my daughter?" I replied, "Unfortunately, with my schedule, I am not able."

She walks away to pick up her daughter, she is fussing, and I see the woman's face turn red. She looks back at me, and I say to her, "remember you don't have to like her or always be in the mood to play." The elevator door opens, and she gets on with a screaming, crying, and fussy toddler. To the toddler's defense, as most toddlers do not need any defending, it was nap time for most toddlers at that time, and the child was most likely tired.

Reading the article by Jean Mackenzie reminded me of that moment. That silent moment when a woman shared with me, she wasn't enjoying motherhood without saying it. This article made me look at my children's photos - one I carry in my heart and the other on my hip, and I smiled. I knew why I wanted children, and it wasn't to full fill the fantasy of feeling like I have a family to love me, or a legacy to leave my name or likeness or someone to do all the things I "felt" I couldn't do…No! I had children because I wanted to experience God. I wanted to be apart of the miracle of Birth. I wanted to add my name to the exclusive club called mommy.

I wanted dirty little fingers on my face and giggles from the bottom of little babies tummies…I longed to watch my own children wow me and grow.

"I wanted to learn about myself, and I desired to understand parenting. I wanted to answer why my biological father dropped the ball, leaving my mother to keep it from falling. I wanted to experience pure joy and light. I wanted to see it in its sincerest form before the light dimmed and brightened again. I wanted to be a mother because I wanted to be the mother I never had. Having children helped me understand the challenges it takes to be a mother, single or not. The difficulty in disciplining and loving each one unconditionally, knowing you can never please them both simultaneously. Knowing both must always be my favorite. I realized me being a mother had a lot to do with me wanting to see the reality of what this life indeed has to offer. I chose to be a mother."

God said, be fruitful and multiply; however, not everyone will be "fruitful" and multiply by their own loins. Motherhood isn't only subjected to carrying a child and birthing a child. Motherhood can be achieved through mentorship, fostering, and adoption. Taking a child under your care "wing" and guiding and supporting them in life. I am happy I stumbled across this article; it motivated me to go back into my archives and pull out that song about mothers who do not want to be mothers and women who do not want children. Controversial? Maybe to some…Necessary?…Based on the article and my encounter?…Definitely.


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