I’m a mom who never wanted the job. It isn’t because I had an awful childhood and didn’t want to risk screwing up my own offspring. It isn’t because I thought there were already too many children in the world and I wanted to adopt instead. It isn’t even because I had a desire to be a high-powered career woman and raising kids would slow me down.
I just didn’t want to be a mom. It’s that simple.
While friends would talk about names they had picked out for their future children, or ideas as to how they would decorate their nursery, I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t chime in with, “I like that name, too!” or, “I always thought a space theme would be cute.” I couldn’t add to the conversation because it wasn’t my heart’s desire as it was theirs.
Kids are gross. Kids are loud. Kids are defiant and diabolical.
Kids were not for me.
Then one afternoon I found myself alone in my apartment’s bathroom staring down at two pink lines. I called my sister and bawled and moaned and clung to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the test was a dud.
An ultrasound would prove it was not.
While my husband and I knew there were other options other than raising this child as our own, we felt strongly that, if God thought we could raise a kid, we might as well believe him despite the fact there are days where I believe he highly overrated my abilities.
In those first few weeks I was numb. Not in the sense that I had no feelings on the matter, but rather that I had too many feelings and no idea how to begin working through them.
How was I going to raise a child? Because I had never felt the maternal urge, I felt lost, overwhelmed, and ill-prepared. I found myself slipping, sinking, and gasping for air as thoughts of how awful a parent I might be bombarded me day and night.
One evening in the early stages of the second trimester, when my morning sickness had finally given me a reprieve, I sat in bed and began sorting it all out. The feelings—both good and bad—the feasibility of raising a child in our small apartment with our even smaller income, the dramatic life alterations which were soon to occur.
Could I do it? Could I really be… a mom?
That night I made a decision. While I had already made a head decision to raise this child I had been blessed with, I was yet to make a heart decision. In the quiet of my apartment—a luxury I would soon miss—I chose to say, “I’m going to be a mom. I’m going to be the best mom I can be despite the fact this was not my plan. It’s time to embrace this new life, these new challenges, and head out on this new adventure. I’m all in.”
On May 28, 2012, Lillian Mary was born. Three hundred and fifty-five days later, her brother, Levi Steven, entered our lives. The family I never planned on having came into existence in less than a year.
Some nights I still grieve for my old life where I was free to do what I wanted when I wanted. The majority of evenings, though, I sneak into my kids’ room to admire their sleepy faces, and am overwhelmed with love and gratitude for this job I never wanted.