Should I have a child or not? It’s a question that has been accompanying me for quite some years before I became a mom.
I never really knew an answer. Although the question did come up now and then, it wasn’t a big thing for me. I was not in relationships that were suitable for receiving a child. I was focused on other things. I did have a curiosity towards motherhood, but I knew I would be perfectly fine without, and that either way, my life would be wonderful.
Until I got pregnant, unexpectedly. The question suddenly became very relevant. No more time to leave it unanswered.
It took me through a lot of fears. There were moments where I was scared I would hate motherhood, and that it would mean the end of enjoying my life. Other moments I felt undeserving of a gift so big as a baby to care for, and I felt a careful desire underneath. There were so many feelings!
I tried to imagine my life with or without, in detail, but both options seemed to have their own gifts and challenges. There were a million con’s, and just as much pro’s.
I did not find the answer in my mind. At all.
I also didn’t find it in readings, signs or advice from people around me.
It asked of me to dive in and trust myself, and myself alone.
To go beyond all the mind chatter, sink in my body, my womb, and connect with my soul.
And there, from that deep silent space in me, came a simple, clear, drama-free ‘yes’.
I decided to trust that ‘yes’ and go for it. Still scared, still pretty unsure, but open for the change.
It turned out to be the best decision of my life.
Making decisions as life changing as having a child or not, can be so hard. It can bring up so much stuff, and it’s simply impossible to know how it will be on the other side of your choice.
When people ask me how to get clear on this decision, I don’t have the answer for them, as everyone’s road is different, but there’s 3 things I found that helped me:
1: It’s not always bad to hang out in the ‘not knowing’. It’s a phase where a lot can come up and shift. Leaning back into the not knowing, allowing to have no answer yet, and walking through all that comes up can be a healthy and useful part of your journey.
2: It’s not the choice that’s going to bring you happiness. Happiness will always come through you. No matter what outside choice you make. More important than making the perfect choice, is perhaps to make a choice and then choose that it will be your most happy path. Realizing this made me feel safe to choose yes in my case.
3: Your mind is brilliant in making grocery lists, or doing your bookkeeping. Not so brilliant in making big life choices. When the pro’s and con’s are building a web of confusion in your mind: Go for a deeper wisdom. Call it your soul, your gut, your knowingness or whatever. Sit in silence for a bit, sink beneath all those mind stories and other’s opinions. Connect with your womb, or your balls. Listen to the calm voice inside of you. That voice that has no fear, no push, no confusion in it. Ask it to show you where your joy wants to go. Then feel the answer that comes from you, and you alone.
It’s been hugely empowering for me to have to make that choice just for myself, by myself. I realized how much I have been looking outside of me to shape my life. In this case that didn’t work anymore. My choice turned my life upside down, but it brought me way more joy than I ever imagined!
The first time I went to the supermarket, 5 mins from our house, by myself, without my baby.
The first time my baby went into the arms of a friend, after many meetings with friends where baby was just with me.
The first time my sister came to babysit for an hour, and I went out for tea in town with my man.
The first time using a babyphone after I rocked my baby to sleep, letting him sleep alone in the bedroom while I’m downstairs watching a series before bed.
The first time my mom came to babysit while instead of me spending the day wíth them, I actually went upstairs to do some work.
I love how I have been able to take these steps in my own timing. How I’ve kept honoring my own pace, and not tried to follow others around me who did it a bit faster.
How I’ve allowed myself to literally run back from the supermarket that first time, hesitate to leave the house that first hour of babysit, stay all day with my baby until I felt ready to let my mom take over a bit longer.
I love how my close environment welcomed and respected my feelings and boundaries as a newborn mom.
My nervousness, my wanting to check in a million times, my yes, my no, my wanting to be close.
All those first times became normal, easy, relaxed times. The moments of distance between me and baby are naturally growing.
I don’t really think about whether I should take more space or give him space away from me. It’s a feeling, an impulse, that is suddenly there. There’s a wanting to explore. A need for change. An opening up to the world. And then I know we’re ready for a next step.
I’ve noticed it’s easy in our culture to feel shame, to feel oversensitive, silly, or like you’re overreacting, as a mom following her instinct.
While in reality, you’re simply connected to your baby and their needs, and are feeling the impulse to care for them. Which, as the one who has carried and birthed the child, is basically your task.
I’ve never felt my intuition as strong as now that I’m a mother. And it’s such a feeling of well-being to allow myself to follow that inner knowing, that right timing, those true desires.
It’s part of what makes motherhood so enjoyable for me 🤍
Right before our first date - a morning walk through the neighborhood - my inner voice invited me to stand still for a moment, before I went down the stairs of my building to meet the guy I met on a dating app the day before.
The guy stood outside, in front of my building, not yet aware of me. I could see him through the window. I paused to listen a bit more into that inner voice.
“Take a moment to look at him,”, I heard. And then: “This is your man.”
I thought it was pretty wild to make a statement like that 😅, and did not take it very seriously, as I knew my intuition often communicates more symbolically. At the same time, I’d learned to trust that voice, and so I was willing to play, stood there for a moment, and observed the man in front of my apartment.
I thought to myself: “‘My man’, that’s probably not what it literally means, but I guess there’s sóme kind of adventure that will come out of this.”
We had a fun first date. It was the first day of spring weather after a long grey winter. We laughed a lot, and I felt something deeper than on other first dates.
We started dating, spending time together. It was fun, there was a connection, but we wanted to take things slow.
Our baby had a different idea though 😅 Because not long after, we found out that we were pregnant.
If that was not enough to deal with, I also got really sick - my body didn’t handle pregnancy that well. Not just a week of feeling sick, no, I was bedridden sick for months, and would be feeling unwell until the end of my pregnancy.
From exciting dates, and taking it slow, we went to managing daily heavy nausea and a rollercoaster of stuff that needed to be figured out, arranged, cared for. We needed to step into a partnership more committed than I’ve ever experienced before.
Now, 18 months later, I’m looking back and am so proud of us. We’re living together as a family, and are a great team as parents. Our boy is a happy, healthy and relaxed baby, and we enjoy being with him so very much.
We’ve birthed a baby, and with that a relationship, a new house, and totally different versions of ourselves. We’ve become a family. Transformation like no other, and not the easiest path, but seeing where I am now, I feel incrédibly lucky 🧡
Let op: Mijn nieuwsbrief is langzaam weer aan het opstarten na zwangerschapsverlof en op dit moment nog bijna voltijd mama zijn. Nog even niet wekelijks dus!
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