It took me a long time to come to terms with my truth regarding motherhood.
I never had an urge to have children, but I think on some level I thought that having a family was just something everyone did, whether they wanted to or not.
When I got married twenty-two years ago, I truly believed a maternal instinct would kick in eventually – like magic. But it never did; I would talk to friends who were starting families and hear the joy in their voices, or the sadness of those who couldn’t conceive, and I just could not relate.
As the years went by, and my husband and I started talking about starting our own family, I found myself panicking in a way that did not seem like normal jitters. Years of soul-searching, sleepless nights, one failed novel manuscript and therapy helped me realize the truth; I absolutely didn’t want kids, and for a long time, I sought out psychological reasons for why I was somehow “broken” for not wanting what it seemed everyone else wanted.
What changed for me was, honestly, just plain ageing. As I entered my early forties and began devoting much of my free time to artistic pursuits like writing and art, I started to see what truly set me on fire the way others are set on fire by the prospect of having children. Now, as a 51-year-old artist, writer and filmmaker, I couldn’t be happier to be childfree.
My childfree life has allowed me to leave a full time job which was no longer serving me and dive into the unknown of living a fully creative life. I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and ironically I feel more youthful than I did in my thirties when the weight of potential motherhood was threatening to bury me.