Saturday, November 17, 2012

FAQ: Do I Want More Children?

November, if you haven't heard, is National Adoption Month - today, in fact, is National Adoption Day. In previous years I did a LOT of blogging to commemorate. Spoiler alert: that will not be happening this year. I am way too busy (those cat videos on YouTube aren't going to watch themselves). I've also been too busy to answer e-mail and my blog e-mail tends to be crazy anyway; if you've written to me in the past 6 months, don't give up hope, I will catch up eventually. I hope.

But I feel like I should do something for November, because I think adoption is really rad. So I'm going to steal - no, let's say, appropriate an idea from my friend Brittany. She's been answering frequently asked questions on her blog each week and I've decided to do the same. I already have a blog FAQbut it hasn't been updated in ages; I had a lot of anger issues when I wrote it and I think I'd probably explain things better if I were to re-write it and I think that I will eventually, but not right now. Wow, that was a beautiful run-on sentence, wasn't it? I think I might look into National Grammar Month; I need it.

Anyway. I have been asked other questions, by friends and acquaintances and by high school students who have been subjected to my story during their child-development classes. I want to answer some of them here. Today's question is courtesy of a teenager who apparently missed the phrase "I always wanted to be a mother" sprinkled liberally throughout my story.

Q: Do you want more kids some day?

A: Short answer, yes. Slightly longer answer, yes, absolutely, but I'd like to be married first.

I would not be me if I left it at that, would I? I love words too much.

I have always, always wanted to be a mother. I know that in today's modern world women are supposed to be ambitious and have their own careers and lives but I've never been that type-A. I think I'm unambitious out of self-preservation; I tend to take things to extremes and when something is important to me I give it 500%. Ambition would be the death of me. Being a wife and mother has always been enough of a goal in my mind. That's probably not the sort of thing a woman is supposed to confess to but there it is.

My pregnancy was a surprise but not an unwelcome one. It wasn't the way I'd planned on being a mother but I was disinclined to be picky. I wanted a baby and I was having a baby. Maybe it's because I know exactly why I made the decision I did, and because I know so many other birth mothers whose decisions were similarly selfless, but I am always surprised when someone assumes I placed Roo because I didn't want to be a mother. Placement had nothing to do with wanting to be a mother or not wanting to be a mother. It was about what was best for the little girl I love so much. It was a choice I made as a mother.

I very much want kids. I know that single women aren't supposed to say that because we come across as baby-hungry and people get these ideas that I instantly assess every date as a potential father, that I've picked out names for all my children, that I can't hear normal conversation over the sound of my own biological clock ticking. Judge me if you will, but I do want children. I would love to have children, and preferably before my fertility starts to nosedive. But I'm not going to do it by myself. If I don't get married, I'm not going to have more kids. I don't care how well-off I end up, how successful or happy or anything else. I will not be a single mother again. I wanted Roo to have two married parents who love each other. Why would I want anything less for any other children I might have?

There's a selfishness behind this determination as well. Here's another uncomfortable truth: my pregnancy was the absolute bloody loneliest time of my entire life. I don't think I've ever felt so alone and I hope I never do again. I hated going to doctor's appointments because I was frequently the only woman in the waiting room without a husband or boyfriend. I invited H to come with me at first but I stopped after a few months because it was obvious he was never going to. I would surreptitiously assess the relationships of the couples in the waiting room and, without exception, they seemed to love each other. It hurt. I'd stare at my hands and wonder what I had done wrong that the father of my child didn't even like me.

I will not go through that again.

I want children, but I don't -just- want children. I want more for my children than I can give them by myself. Which means that although I would dearly love to be a mother, it's probably not going to happen. I'm okay with that. Because I had Roo, and if she's all I ever get, she's enough.


Unknown said...

I love love love your blog! And as a new birthmom i have to say that you captured my heart with this post. It is exactly how i feel. Thank you for your blog!

A Life Being Lived said...

I feel exactly the same way....people ask me the same question sometimes and I may want children but not alone and not without a committed partner. I could be a millionare or my clock could be "running" out but I still wouldn't choose to have a child on my own, no way no how. Nor another pregnancy alone. It's not a question I can answer on my own. If/when I meet someone and we decide to make a joined life together then I can answer "do you want kids?" Right now, as a single woman no I don't want kids in my current state in life, and if my birth daughter is all I'll ever have of "parenthood" I will take that over being a single parent any day.

Anonymous said...

I am new to your blog and I really liked this post. I was single for a long time before my husband came along. I went through a lot of hard things on my own and it sucked. I can't imagine the amount of courage and strength you have to go through all of this on your own.

I'm looking forward to following along.

cmgr said...

I'm a single mom by choice and I adopted my first child in May. I make a comfortable income and live in a modest townhouse near other family. My son's birth mother chose me not because of my marital status, social status, or income level, but because of the qualities I possess that she felt would make me a great mother.

If you want children, please don't rule out doing it on your own. So sad to go through life missing out on something so amazing just because you're afraid of social stigma (or have been told you're "not enough").