The Pressure to be a Mother

I changed majors often in college, and after finally selecting Interior Design, I still contemplated what I would be when I grew up. At the ripe old age of 38, I became a nurse, and today, I continue to daydream about different career paths and life choices. One area in which I never faltered, though, was my desire to become a Mom. I guess it is ingrained into our psyche and genetic code at an early age. No matter how successful I was in my career, I felt ‘less than’ because I had a difficult time with maintaining relationships, and was fearful I wouldn’t find the perfect partner. The anxiety definitely shaped my choices, and limited my career and financial successes. I wanted to be like everyone else, and it was out of my control to get what I wanted.

If I could go back in time and take away the anxiety about ‘partnering -up’, I would have pursued a Masters in Architecture. I would have traveled the world, and done things on my own schedule. I wish I could have met my husband with that background, but instead I was an insecure young girl with a cute face, expensive clothes, and loads of debt. We need to do better for girls. They are more than their looks and more than their womb-status.

Once I fell in line with the status quo, found a husband, and had 2 kids, I finally felt the weight of that pressure lifted. It has been 17 years since I became a Mom, and I have grown into the person I wanted to be. Sometimes my husband says I am not near as nice as I used to be, and I have to agree. That person was never real to begin with. That girl wasn’t me. I have three older brothers and two sons. I know how to climb trees, and I know how to wrestle. It took me a while to re-connect with my chubby, self-assured child-self, the one that ate butter because it tasted good, and wondered about infinity. We’re back together, now that my frown crease is permanent and my abdomen is less than perfect.

One thought on “The Pressure to be a Mother

  1. Thank you for putting your feelings and the heat deep beneath the flames into words. The impact gender and role “expectations” plays in our lives even in current times remains unsettling. I can relate to everything you have shared from my own experiences. Many of the most breathtaking moments in my life have been since I am in my forties. Fortunately, as women we have grown and feel more comfortable embracing our true spirits and we are both blessed that we continue to dream and follow those dreams……..

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