A follow-up to my previous post. Apart from those few years when I was trying to conceive, I never believed that a woman had to be a mother to be fulfilled. I always felt like a woman. I always enjoyed being a woman. I just didn’t feel that being a mother was the be-all and end-all of life. I rebelled against the inference that I was only good for one thing, that my life was pre-determined, that I would be a mother and that would be the only good thing I’d ever do. If I wanted children, I wanted to have them on my own terms, not because I was told I should, or because I wanted to conform to society's expectations of me.
But then I got older, and my hormones started to run rampant. They weren’t helped by pregnancy and pregnancy losses and IVF drugs either. I felt ready to be a mother. And so my failure to become one hurt, and my drive to become one was accelerated by all those messages around me.
Fortunately, now, I don’t have the same hormonal urges. I’m at the age where I’m not expected to get pregnant. And I can brush off those (often subconscious) messages from friends, family, society, media, and politicians that my life is worth less because I don’t have children. I know they’re wrong. But even so, knowing that people look at me that way still has the power to hurt. Fortunately, not so often these days.