Tag Archives: parenthood

Otherhood

A few years ago, I considered having a baby on my own, by way of artificial insemination. I had been single for a couple of years, and realized that if I wanted children, I might have to go it alone. I read about it, and thought about it. Pretty soon though, I realized I didn’t want it enough to take that huge, irrevocable step on my own. My only real pro-motherhood reason was that I might one day regret not having children, and then it would be too late.

It’s still not too late, biologically. But I still don’t want it. In fact, this conviction has only grown stronger in me. It’s not that I don’t like children, it’s that I really don’t want to be a mother. I want complete ownership of myself and of my life. I only have this me, this life, and I am not willing to hand over the reins to anyone else. Not again.

Before thirty, life just happened. I just tagged along. Then I woke up and started taking risks, making decisions based on what I wanted. I’ve been single ever since.

Although I long for a man to love and to share my life with, staying single between 30 and 40 might have been my “salvation”. If I had stayed in my earlier relationship, or entered into another one, I would probably have been a mother by now. Just because that’s the way life goes. Instead, I have had the time and space to make myself happy, and figure out what I really want.

It often strikes me how perfectly this otherhood fits me. Some people hate being alone. I love it! Some people coordinate their family lives with the professional efficiency of an office manager. I’m a logistic disaster. Sure, you don’t have to be the perfect “parent type” to be a mother. It’s just that I’d rather be an other.

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