In researching for tomorrow’s post, I asked some friends to share their thoughts on the nature of womanhood, motherhood, and birth. The answers were so interesting, I thought I would share them with you.
I had eleven respondents, so I will be providing all eleven responses after each question.
Here are the responses, offered in random order, anonymously, and without comment…
Q: When you were growing up, was the idea of being a mother appealing, and how was that opinion influenced by the notion of pregnancy and birth?
A: Growing up, I always assumed I would be a mother, and never considered another avenue until I had been married for many years and had failed to conceive. I had decided that it was OK with me not to have a child, but months later Mother Nature took over and she is now 14 (moral: if you decide its ok not to have kids, start using birth control just in case.) I had never given much though to pregnancy or birth. I knew some of the trials of being pregnant, and also had learned the ins and outs of childbirth..neither affected my desire to have a child. I accepted it as part of the job.
A: Absolutely, yes. I wanted a big family. Because of my PCOS, I saw pregnancy as this beautiful, sparkly, unobtainable goal. I had a highly glorified image of pregnancy and birth before going through it myself.
A: The idea of being a mom was appealing — but I’m not sure if I had a real thought about being pregnant/giving birth. When I got a bit older I was a bit freaked out about childbirth – but figured it was the primary way to get the child I wanted.
A: It was for a while, but became less so as I got older. I was the child of a very young mother, in a family of very young mothers, and I always wanted another life. I am, truthfully, terrified of being pregnant. I mean, I’m sure I could do it, I’m a survivor like that. But nothing about it sounds fun. I think I’d prefer to adopt, but with all of the hoops that are involved, I’ll probably just wind up sucking it up in the end.
A: Yes, I have always wanted to be a mother. I had long term baby doll games that I would play where I would feed them on a (rather loose) schedule and only play with other things if they were “napping”. This would go on for days. I knew that babies came from the mommy’s belly & how they came out, but I don’t think I knew that it was painful. I was fascinated by the idea of pregnancy.
A: I guess being a mother sounded appealing…like that’s just what you do when you grow up and get married and such. Didn’t give much thought to pregnancy, but birth sounded terrifying.
A: Honestly, I never really thought about being a mom when I was growing up. It just always seemed like something I was never going to do.. I can’t say that it was appealing or unappealing.. I didn’t have feelings one way or the other. I just saw pregnancy and birth as how new babies come into the world.. didn’t think much further into it than that.
A: I went through various phases of both wanting and not wanting children. As a young girl and teen, motherhood seemed almost inevitable. It was just what one did. My teen pregnancy brought the thought that I did not want children *yet* but that I would eventually. As a young adult, I did want children, but in an amorphous, poorly defined way. I feared childbirth and the pain involved. In my late 20’s, I had settled on the thought I didn’t want kids.. Then I became pregnant (unplanned again). I felt that my choice to have children was then distilled into this pregnancy. Either I wanted this child, or no children. I chose carry that child. I don’t feel that my notions of pregnancy/ birth influenced this decision much at all.
A: Being a mother was not particularly appealing, I don’t think the notion of pregnancy/birth had much impact.
A: The idea of being a parent and teaching a child about the world was always appealing, but of being a mother specifically, no, not ever, especially in terms of pregnancy and breastfeeding and constant care of a newborn. I did not play with dolls and pretend to be a mom; I played with Legos, tinker-toys, Lincoln logs and video games.
A: Growing up, the idea of being a mother was not necessarily appealing, but I expected it to be apart of my life. I never thought anything else of it. In this vision of having children, birth and pregnancy were never anything that I thought about or had any particular feelings toward.