My birth mother instilled in me a love for childfree. It’s hard to believe, but it was thanks to my mother that I decided never to give birth.
Today I am 54 years old. I’m married. My husband and I live together and enjoy life every day.
We always have time for ourselves and we have never regretted that we chose this path, the path of being childless.
I was eight years old when my mother picked me up from school and we went for a walk in the park. I remember my mother then told me: “This day will be special for both of us. Today we are together, just you and me. I loved what my mother said. I was in anticipation of something amazing and fabulous. However, it soon turned out that on this day my mother did not want to give me any surprises or gifts. She just decided it was time for me to open my eyes and see the world from a different perspective.
We ate ice cream in the park and went on the rides. Mom took me by the hand and led me to some three-story building. We went up to the top floor and entered the office. There was a sign on the door, but I didn’t have time to read it. Mom pushed me into the office.
- Meet my daughter, this is Mrs. Abramson. She is my friend, my adviser, and my support. Mrs. Abramsom is a psychotherapist and I visit her every week to discuss my feelings and fears.
Mrs. Abramsom looked at me for a long time, and I did not understand what was happening. Then she looked at her mother, nodded to her and mother began to tell me her life story:
- I know, daughter, that you loved our grandmother very much. But I want you to know that she was never the way you remember her. To me, she was very cold and selfish. She has never been a good and loving mother.
Then my mother began to tell me scary stories from her childhood. She said that her grandmother often left her and her brother at home alone, while she went about her business. A few years later, my grandmother divorced my grandfather. But she was not ready to raise two children on her own.
I listened carefully to my mother, but what she told me did not fit in my head. My grandmother has always been so kind and affectionate to me. I stayed with her for the weekend almost every week. Those were the best days of my life. At this time, we laughed a lot with my grandmother, danced, painted flowers, and played interesting games.
I was sitting on a chair next to my mother, and it didn’t fit in my head how a relationship with my grandmother could be so simple and easy, but a relationship with my mother could not be. I thought, and my mother and Mrs. Abrams just silently looked at me. I did not have time to find the answer to this question in my head, and my mother had already moved on to another, no less important topic. She and her father divorced after 10 years of marriage. This news took me by surprise. “And what about me?” — was spinning in my head. Mom explained to me that she was very tired and did not have time to combine motherhood and marriage.
After these words, I began to understand my mother better. I remembered how often she was angry at all of us and screamed, and beat the dishes at home. How often she closed herself in another room, wept, and said to herself: “How tired of you all! When will it finally be my turn?
“When I was 25 years old, I began to understand my mother even more. She got married right after school and began to live not for herself, but for her dad. A few years later, my older sister appeared in their lives, and my mother completely immersed herself in her upbringing. Two years later it was my turn. As a result, it turned out that my mother never really devoted time to herself. They have always lived for someone and for someone and are very tired of it.
When my mother finished her story, she said:
Now it’s your turn to talk to Mrs. Abramson. I’ll wait for you outside.
I didn’t know what to talk about with this aunt. I was afraid that my words might somehow offend my mother, so I just kept silent.
More than 45 years have passed since I met Mrs. Abrams. That visit to a psychotherapist gave me more questions than answers. Then for the first time, I caught myself thinking that I did not want to have children. Yes, then I was still a child myself, but I carried this thought with me throughout my whole life. I began to fear that after the birth of children, the same thing that happened to my mother would happen to me. How do I know if I’m ready to become a mother or not? How do I know if I can handle this heavy burden of motherhood or give up halfway like my mother once gave up?
Today I am 54 years old and my husband and I live alone. Inside me, there is still a struggle between the two halves of my heart. One tells me that I did everything right. And the other constantly repeats that I am selfish and it is impossible to live the way my husband and I live. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel peace of mind and harmony. However, now I know that I am happy.
I’m happy that I made that decision. And, for sure, I want to thank my mother for opening my eyes to this world.