I need to claim my womanhood. I need to stop trying to find meaning for my life in external considerations, and realize that I am what I was meant to be – a woman, with a skill and desire to write. I need to embrace this before I can embrace the idea that motherhood would fulfill me like nothing else would – including the fact of being a woman writer. While difficult to consider during long-term primary infertility, motherhood is temporary – at least the intense, hands-on aspect that we think of when wanting to become a mother.
Children grow up and move away, and we are demoted, as it were, to the role of advisor from afar. Knowing this, it is imperative to be prepared for finding meaning in life once in an empty nest. If I never have children, this is all the more reason I need to embrace who I am outside of an idealized role that is outside of my control. How can I be a good mother if I expect my child to fulfill me? I would then hold my child up to unrealistic expectations, skewing our roles regarding who’s responsible for whom.
In all honesty, I stumbled upon motherhood on my way to now long-gone dreams, and I realized it provided a perfect shelter from the demands of life in the “public sphere”. As a homebody, I couldn’t find another valid excuse to simply be content with domestic life other than if I were raising a child. This is not a good reason to become a mother.
Perhaps it’s a blessing that conception is not easy for us, like it is for most. I am forced to digest why I want to be a mother and reconsider it every time an attempt at motherhood falls through. If I do become a mother someday, I will do so with a perspective I couldn’t even dream of when we started this journey. My child will be very blessed for it, as will I. And if I never do become a mother, all the more reason that I need to find realization in other aspects of my life.
Of course, as Christians, we are to find our true identity in Christ. But that is too vague. What does that mean, exactly? For me, so far, it means to embrace being a woman and a writer, and to put effort towards these aspects of my life at least at a fraction of the intensity that I have put forth towards pursuing parenthood.
I remember finding meaning in my life before trying to have kids. Now, I am tasked with trying to recapture that, because it is actually attainable, unlike parenthood. I must seek fulfillment where fulfillment has a real shot of being found.