Motherhood, a source of immense joy and fulfillment for many women, has always eluded me.
It never defined my identity, and I never believed it would drastically change the meaning of my life, despite my deep affection for children.
Everything changed unexpectedly in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic came. The strong emptiness I felt affected me deeply, and I began looking for a purpose in my life. The idea of raising a child made me happy.
During this tough time, I made a brave decision to adopt a child. I knew there would be challenges and a long wait, but I felt excited as I filled out my application and kept checking the adoption website, waiting eagerly for my future child to join my life.
The prospect of being a single mother felt overwhelming, and doubts about my preparedness crept in. But I knew I had to gather my courage and embrace this transformative journey. Seeking insight and support, I actively engaged with a Facebook group for adoptive parents. In the group, I witnessed a tapestry of joy and celebration as the arrival of babies was announced. Alongside these moments of happiness, there were also poignant expressions of frustration and sadness, reminding me of the uncertainties that come with the adoption process. Attending an adoption seminar further exposed me to the deep longing many people have to have a child of their own.
Recognizing the need for healing in 2021, I embarked on a therapeutic journey that brought significant changes to my life, infusing it with a newfound sense of purpose. As a result, my focus gradually shifted away from constantly checking the adoption status on the website. I began to acknowledge that the complexities and uncertainties of the adoption process might not align with my initial vision. So, I neither actively pursued updates on the adoption status nor withdrew my application, allowing myself the space to heal and grow.
Last month, an unexpected SMS notified me of an available baby for adoption. Emotions swirled within me as I saw the adorable picture of the two-year-old child. The adoption agency promptly reached out, asking about my plans for bringing the baby home. But by then, I had made a resolute decision not to proceed with the adoption. I withdrew my application without any doubts or regrets. I now find peace in my choice, confident in my decision not to bring a child into my life.
Here’s why I chose not to be a mother:
1. I am healing: Currently, I am in the process of healing, focusing on my personal growth and well-being. This phase demands my undivided attention and energy as I navigate my challenges, past experiences, and emotional well-being. I believe that having a balanced mind and a stable life is essential when it comes to raising a child. It wouldn’t be fair to the child’s well-being if I didn’t prioritize these aspects.
2. I discovered a purpose beyond parenthood: Once, I believed that having a family and children would grant me a profound sense of purpose. However, I have come to understand that parenthood doesn’t automatically bestow purpose upon one’s life. While raising children brings fulfillment and purpose to some individuals, others, including myself, find purpose in different aspects of life such as career, personal interests, diverse relationships, and contributing to society.
3. Parenthood is not an escape route for issue resolution: Parenting entails its own set of responsibilities and demands, which can introduce new complexities and difficulties. It remains crucial to independently address and overcome personal issues, irrespective of the decision to embark on parenthood. Recognizing the profound influence of childhood on shaping personality and behavior, I came to the realization that it is unwise to bring a child into the picture while still grappling with personal issues.
4. Parenthood does not serve as a replacement for loneliness: Over time, I have come to acknowledge a profound truth— when I initially pursued adoption, I experienced deep loneliness. While having a child can bring companionship and a sense of connection, it is not the sole remedy for loneliness. Exploring meaningful relationships and support networks beyond the realm of parenthood, including friendship, romantic partnership, and community involvement can offer solace and foster deep connections.
The decision to bring a child into one’s life should be based on thoughtful consideration. It is crucial to evaluate personal readiness, desire for parenthood, and the ability to create a loving and nurturing environment. Emotional readiness, financial stability, support systems, and the willingness to embrace the responsibilities and challenges of parenting all play a significant role.
Ultimately, let your decision be driven by a genuine desire to experience the joy of raising children and providing them with a caring and supportive family, or alternatively, find your own path of purpose and fulfillment outside the realm of parenthood.