The summer before I turned 38, I promised myself that I would freeze my eggs on my 38th birthday, if I was still single. When I turned 38, I decided against my prior decision. The reason I decided not to freeze my eggs was not because I thought this man was the “One”, rather I thought he was a sign that my life was at least on the right path. I committed to accept the divine plan for my life, even though it terrified me in some ways.
Now, 1 month before my 40th birthday, the journey my life has taken looks nothing like what I had ever hoped. At the same time, I have never felt more confident that I made the right decision NOT to freeze my eggs.
Why? Because allowing myself to entertain the possibility that I didn’t want to actually have my own children opened up numerous possibilities for a delicious and exciting life that likely would have gone unseen or at best delayed if I had tried to push myself down a path of motherhood, stepping away from my business, and honestly following in foot-steps that I wanted mostly because I would feel like a failure if I didn’t. I have created more work-life balance, wealth, and entered into one of the most fulfilling intimate relationships I’ve ever had.
Since I have been living with the possibility that I don’t want to have children, it has also illuminated the likelihood that perhaps I probably never wanted them. I just wanted to want them. This explains the choices that I have made such as saying: “I do want to have children, but only with the right partner”. These are the same “right partners” ,who in 20 years of dating, never came to fruition. Even when I dated men that wanted to have children with me, I found them unfit as lovers. The lovers that I wanted to make babies with, were inherently unavailable for that type of commitment. It could be just my bad luck that I never found the right match, or it could actually be my subconscious attempt to deny that I actually don’t want to have a baby.
Truth be told: I totally understand why I would want to deny that I don’t want to have a baby. I have been told, taught and socialized to believe that not only do “I want children”, but that I would be such “A Great Mother” and that being a mother is “So natural” to me, that I would somehow be extremely unhappy, lonely and bereaved if I didn’t have my own children.
As much as this is a possible reality, fear is NOT a good reason to have children in any type of reality. When I have to face reality, the truth is that most of the real reasons I want to have children are really quite selfish and egotistical such as:
To have someone that has to love me
To create security in a relationship
Fear of Missing out (FOMO) on motherhood
Cute Maternity Clothes
Longer hair and healthier skin and nails for 9 months
To achieve a crowning accomplishment of being a woman
To create a mini-me
To circumvent the fear that I will die alone with no one who is obligated to take care of me
If I only entertain this list I can sometimes persuade myself to take the risk of getting pregnant and hoping it will turn out fine, and it probably still would. However, do I want to have an “ok life” or do I want to have the life I LOVE right now?!
The life I LOVE right now is honestly to have the freedom to live the life I want for myself. I want a love. . . a soul-satisfying love. A love that I am not sure I have secured for life yet, but that I am willing to hedge all bets to prioritize. In the meantime, I continue to revolve myself and my life around love and the places and people that it shows up for me.
I write this letter not at all to judge or condemn people who want to have their own babies. In fact, I admire and respect those who make this choice tremendously. It’s just that I also admire and respect the courage to honor those that choose not to. Life is full of choices. Acknowledging that I don’t want to have my own children isn’t just a choice that I made in my late 30s, it has likely been a choice I’ve been making all of my life but have been too afraid and ashamed to acknowledge.
Now that I can acknowledge my decision to NOT have biological children, I am empowered going into my 40th year of life. If I hadn’t been able to accept this part of myself, I would be feeling angry at myself and the world for denying me the chance to have my own family, while I myself continued to be paralyzed from creating the family that I truly desire for myself.
The family I desire for myself honestly has many kids and teenagers, but not babies. We also have 2 dogs. We have a home with a yard. We go on vacations together. My relationship with these kids is like an older sister, a friend and caring adult. I love these children authentically without attachment or infringement on who they want to become. My love for these children as well as my love is as Love always should be . .. Free. Love is given freely and demands nothing in return. This type of love is sufficient to itself. This is the type of Love that I want to teach everyone to experience. This type of Love comes with great risk but it is also the vehicle for which the magnificent is possible.
So, on the cusp of my 40th birthday, I open to being pregnant with Love! My hope in telling my story is that the many women who share in my experience can receive whatever is to be birthed from their life preparation to come forth easily and abundantly. I wish for you to fully embrace the perfect unfolding of your life just as it is meant to be. “Trust that Your Life is Unfolding in Perfect Order”
Michell Stanley, LICSW, CLC
Michell is a fulfillment expert. As an intuition coach, Michell helps women to get more Love, Wealth and Work-Life Balance in order to manifest the life they Love!