To Be A Mom or Not To Be A Mom: That Is The Question

When I was a little girl, the first thing I’d look at each morning was a painting that hung directly across from my bed. It was a painting of a woman and her little girl in a warm and loving embrace. My mom purchased it when she was a teenager, years before she had her first child.

“I’ve always wanted a little girl” Mom used to say, “Even before I was married, I knew I’d have you.”

In the same vein, I grew up thinking I’d have a little girl too. I would fantasize about the fun we’d have playing with makeup, getting our nails done and going prom dress shopping. But now that I’m old enough and financially stable enough to have a child, I am uncertain about whether I want to take the plunge into motherhood.

Motherhood is a role that both amazes and frightens me. One day, a tiny human enters my life. She’s in a foreign land and it is my responsibility to introduce her to this strange new world. She’s a blank slate and it’s my mission to mold her, giving her all the tools she needs to thrive in life. It’s a tall order and there are no instructions how to do the job well.

Mothers work around the clock, making sure that their children’s needs are met. They are often sleep-deprived, worried, and frightened. But they work tirelessly, sacrificing sleep, their bodies, and their lifestyles for their daughters and sons.

Amazing.

Their job – as overwhelming as it is – never ends. I’m 32 and my mom still calls to make sure I’m sleeping right, eating right and being treated fairly at work.

I am also told that motherhood brings an abundance of joy! I always notice how a mother’s face lights up when she gazes at their child. My heart melts when a newborn shoots a toothless grin my way; I can only imagine how a mother must feel. When I first held my baby niece and baby nephew, I thought they were the most beautiful perfect babies that I had ever seen.

It’s to be expected that children would be on my mind. Society has life mapped out for us women. Love, marriage, and baby carriage. As a newlywed, I am constantly bombarded with questions.

“So, when are you having kids?” they ask.

Others insist, “You should have kids soon,” as though they intend on financially supporting and raising my children.

making-the-decision-to-have-a-child-is-momentous-it-is-to-decide-forever-to-have-your-heart-go-walking-around-outside-your-body17

The decision to have a child is a monumental one. It is one that I am thinking through thoroughly and critically. I don’t let others’ desires for me to have children interfere with what I want. And I must say, S&T, it’s a decision that changes daily. Some days I look forward to having children and other days, I’m not sure. Today, I’m going to allow myself to be vulnerable and share with you my top concerns about motherhood.

How will I survive pregnancy pains?

Two years ago, I experienced the sharpest most debilitating menstrual cramps ever. I walked around hunched over and clenching my stomach for mercy. There were times that I thought I was going to pass out from the pain. It was the first time in my life I had ever taken days off from work due to my monthly visitor.

A couple of weeks later, my friend had her baby and said that whatever I experienced was hard, but birthing pains were 10 times worse.

Yikes! How will I cope?!

How will pregnancy and motherhood affect my career?

“Don’t go to an interview noticeably pregnant,” my school career advisor used to tell her class. “You won’t get the job.”

Related: False Choice Between Babies and Startups

It is a shame that women even have to ask themselves this question. For centuries, women have been having babies, raising children, and working and making other contributions to their household. But still, I’ve heard cases where women were denied jobs because they had a baby. I don’t understand why my personal decision to procreate should concern employers. It’s frustrating, but it is a reality.

How will motherhood affect my lifestyle?

Ask my hubby, my mom, my friends and they will tell you – I am a woman of many projects. Whether it’s planning events, learning something new, attending gym or dance classes, managing my blog, or completing artsy projects at home, I am always working on some project after my 9-to-5. I’ve never been a girl who goes home after work and puts her feet up. I spend that time working on my side projects. I also love to travel and hang out with friends.

Related: They're Having Out Baby!

It would be naive of me to think that having a child will not affect my lifestyle. Instead of uninterrupted writing time, my evenings will be filled with story time and homework time and bath time. Kids keep mothers busy! But in all of that time devoted to kids, will I find time for myself also?

How will motherhood affect my body?

I’m in my 30’s so my body isn’t what it used to be when I was younger. I’m a bit curvier and have a tummy that refuses to respond to sit-ups and low carb diets. It’s a reality that I struggle with every day. I understand that women’s bodies are hardly ever the same after pregnancy. Some women are never able to shed their baby weight. Will my body be one of those? How do I keep my body image in check in the midst of such changes?

Related: I'm Trying To Be Great But My Body Won't Let Me

What I Do Know

My decision to have children is still up in the air, but if I decide to have one, I’m certain that I will do everything I can to be the best mom possible.

So, S&T, you’ve heard me rant about my thoughts on whether I will have kids. What are your thoughts? What concerns do you have? Also to the mothers reading this post: how did you decide to take the plunge? Let’s chat in the comments section below!

Featured image source: Pexels

27 thoughts on “To Be A Mom or Not To Be A Mom: That Is The Question

  1. jono51 says:

    Being an old guy who didn’t have kids doesn’t give me a lot of credibility. My wife has no regrets and if I have regrets they are not major. I have enjoyed being an “uncle” and advisor to my barn kids over the years and I will have to take care of myself if I get really old. I can see that my friends seemed to enjoy their kids, mostly, and some are enjoying their grandchildren. Some are loving their freedom after the kids have gone and aren’t particularly looking forward to grandkids. It is definitely a mixed bag. It seems to me to be a choice you will have to make and then do your best to live with. One of the points in my decision was population and orphans. There are more than twice as many people in this country than when I was born and several times more on the planet. There are also plenty of kids that need to be adopted. Good luck in your decision. Or indecision.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      Thanks for your insight. Another option is to adopt. And you’re right about there being so many orphans waiting to be embraced by a family. Your words are comforting because if you leave it to society, people will make you believe that you can’t live a fulfilling life without children and as you said, you and many others are totally fine with not having children.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. thenakedwriter says:

    Girl! Girl! Girl! First of all let me say that I am thoroughly impressed with the images of Black motherhood! For a while it was tough for me to get ‘black’ pictures for my blogs… so kudos to you baby girl! >>> Pun intended…lol!

    I totally here you on the “when y’all having kids?” questions… *rolls eyes* … When God is ready for me to. How about that? lol — But what about if we try and we can’t? — That’s another blog!

    Those are all good questions Yaa Yaa! About the ‘body’ thing — Girl, after seeing how @mankofit snatched back with abs a week after her baby popped out, put that ‘baby fat’ thing to bed! She actually shares there’s no such thing as ‘eating for two’….hhhmmmm.

    Pregnancy Pains? I can’t help you there…lol

    Career? Well, all I have to say is “UUmmm Serena Williams.” #DroptheMic

    Thanks for engaging us in your thoughts on this topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      It’s usually very difficult for me to find so many! I’m glad I found the ones I did.

      Yeah, that’s the funny thing about asking someone when they will have kids. You never know where someone stands in their quest for motherhood. I know a woman who has been trying to have children for nearly a decade. You can imagine how much her heart aches when people ask. And, for those who are trying – it really is outside of your control no matter how much you track your menstrual cycle, temperature, etc. It’s a risky question with little benefit to you.

      A week? I’ll have to check her out.

      But, how many of us have Serena’s money and privilege? She’s inspirational but she does not represent everyone’s reality.

      Appreciate your comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Letitgocoach says:

    You see yourself now, but think of where you might be when the child is 20. My daughter was born when I was 35, and it’s working out beautifully. Now that she is almost 19, and has her own life, and dreams, I’m still young enough to achieve some more of mine.

    You won’t remember any physical pain. You will know unfathomable joy! Plus, there’s drugs. xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      Hi! Thank you for your insightful feedback. I LOVE how you mention that you had your daughter at 35 and still feel like you have enough time to achieve your dreams. So many women believe they have to have children in their 20s in order to live a fulfilling life. I appreciate the dose of inspiration and I’m sure the joy of motherhood exceeds the physical pain preceding it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Adie // The Cupcake Witch says:

    When I was younger, I never wanted to have kids. I’m about to turn thirty and I’m still on the fence about it. It’s a lot of work and responsibility that I don’t think is something to decide on lightly and it would definitely depend on my partner. There have been people I’ve been with who I could not imagine having children with and people who I thought I would definitely have kids with if the opportunity came up.

    I get horrible, crippling menstrual cramps and I hate, hate, hate them. So, the idea of childbirth and pregnancy terrify me.

    Whatever you decide, I’m sure you will be a fantastic mom. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      Thanks Adie! I’ve heard instances where a woman didn’t want kids until she met her current partner. I agree. A woman’s partner plays a role in her decision to have children.

      Arrghhh! Crippling cramps make you think, “Sheesh, how can pain get any worse than this?” 😩

      Like

  5. Anna B. says:

    I cycle a lot on the subject. On one hand, I’ve wanted one (EXACTLY ONE) child for as long as I can remember. On the other, I’m fucking terrified of motherhood (isn’t that normal, though?). But complicating matters is the fact that, with a tentative PCOS diagnosis from my doctor… It’s likely out of my hands entirely. I may not ever get the choice, and that fills me with both relief and anger at different times.

    Everything involving children is so complicated. I can’t blame you for having the concerns you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      I think being terrified of motherhood is normal, but I haven’t heard anyone admit it. I’ve heard mothers say that raising a child is difficult; being pregnant can be fun at times but uncomfortable; and that their child makes them worry A LOT. If we’re being honest, motherhood TERRIFIES me too! I just don’t know why women don’t talk about it as much. I appreciate your honesty.

      Another thing I want to mention is that I’m being a bit presumptuous in this post. I don’t know if I can even get pregnant. I’m on birth control and never tried, so I’m taking for granted that I can actually get pregnant.

      I am really hoping the best for you. I’d love for you to get to make a choice on whether you are going to have a baby. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anna B. says:

        Yeah, I didn’t discover any of my problems until I’d been off BC for 5 years; I’d been on it since I was 17 (28 now), so a lot of my symptoms just went completely unnoticed. It wasn’t until they took me off hormonal birth control because someone finally actually read my chart and saw that I had Migraines with Auric Disruption- then refused to put me back on it even though I was having severe cramping and crippling pain. Even then, I didn’t find out that wasn’t normal until this year when I went to a new patient exam for another condition entirely, and my doctor asked when my last cycle was (then balked when I told her it’d been nearly a year).

        I’m with you. I really wish women would talk about it more- whether it’s motherhood or fertility, or general women’s health. It’s sad that we don’t- and that we’re not always entirely honest whenever we do.

        Like

      • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

        Wow. I suppose BC can suppress symptoms so I can see how your symptoms flew under the radar. I’m sorry about that.

        I suppose women don’t want to talk about how terrified they are about motherhood because they are ashamed. Guilt, shame, and maybe embarrassment on topics such as infertility, miscarriage, and any hesitation they have about motherhood. How can we create a safe space for women to share.

        Also, I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anna B. says:

        Yeah. If you have symptoms but are already technically on the treatment for the condition that causes the symptoms, you’re less likely to know about the condition because it’s… Well… Technically already being treated, lol! Talk about a bit of a whammy on that one. Makes me wonder how many other women out there have it and are already being treated for it without even knowing.

        I know what you mean, though, yeah. There’s this social expectation that Women are supposed to want to be mothers Any sort of dissent from that (whether it’s not wanting to, being scared to, not finding it particularly enjoyable once it’s happened, or other forms) is met with severe social backlash in most cases. I can see where it’d be super scary to speak out. But I think you did a good thing, doing so! We definitely need more people to, so keep it up ❤

        Awwww ;-; thank you!

        Like

  6. Tom Being Tom says:

    We never had kids. Most days I’m very happy about that decision, but occasionally I wonder “what if.” I still get asked about it, mostly by new acquaintances, and my answer is always the same: I waited until I was absolutely ready, then never was.

    Whether you decide to, or not – and only you can – I will tell you that I think you will be unequivocally a fantastic mother, because you already seem such a fantastic you. Looking forward to following along as you make the decision!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Scribbles and Tostitos says:

      “I waited until I was absolutely ready and then, never was.” That’s a great answer. I’m curious. When people ask you about having children, do they ask in a judging way or convince you that fatherhood is the best thing ever? I know people who believe that being childless is the worst crime to commit. I’m slightly exaggerating, but people can become pretty emotional about it. I’m not sure why.

      And thank you for the compliment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tom Being Tom says:

        I get a mixed bag, some judging, others not. I do know a lot of parentless adults at this point in life (probably because we have that in common and met at child-free parties 🤣).

        But I will tell you that I receive slightly more “you lucky dog”s than I receive “you don’t know what you’re missing”s from folks, so I guess that tells me what I needed to know about parenting. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  7. talkswithtati says:

    I think this is my favorite blog post ever!! I always love your post, but I felt your passion and warmth in this one. How did I take a plunge into motherhood? Welp, it wasn’t planned, kinda just happened (you know what I mean lol) but once I found out, it’s like everything changed. I cared more, I was cautious, and omg I was so responsible lol I refuse to tell you it’s going to be easy, because that wouldn’t be the truth. From the day I found out I was pregnant up till I was about 24 weeks I could only eat PB&J sandwiches and anything red gave me heartburn. One day I didn’t have a belly the next I was wobbling around with a stomach the size of two basketballs.
    Childbirth? I had an emergency c-section because my kid decided he wanted to squeeze his umbilical cord every time someone came in the room.

    But… when I got to hold him, all of it was worth it even my mom pouch that I’ve learned to accept. There’s no amount of situps that’s going to get rid of it. There’s no book on parenting or pregnancy, everything is kinda wingin’ it, like my eyeliner lol There are days when I’m like I suck at parenting and mom life, but somehow TJ always shows me otherwise. SN Terrible 2’s suck lol

    Whenever you’re ready, I know for a fact you’ll be a bomb a– mom!! You’re strong, you’re smart and you have the heart of gold, that’s all a child needs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. msgracefulnot says:

    I think that it’s great you have put so much thought into this. When I was a kid I never wanted children. I don’t think I ever really got to be a kid, and I sure didn’t want to mess up someone elses life. Fast forward to today and I my girls are my life (one is 21 and the other 27) Whatever YOU decide, just make sure it is YOUR decision

    Liked by 2 people

  9. driftyness says:

    Great topic! In the earlier part of my twenties, kids felt like a far-off possibility, but now that I’m 25 I’m realizing that this is something that could be a reality. I always felt very ambivalent about kids, leaning more to the side of not wanting any. The thought of being pregnant is really off-putting to me. I don’t want to go through labour. And I really don’t like the idea of taking care of a little kid who can’t do anything by themselves. I’ve never been all that maternal, but when I was a kid I realized that there were other kids that didn’t have parents and the love that came with that. It made me want to adopt. It’s all hypothetical, but I like the idea of that. And I love that I can skip over the baby phase and go straight to a kid that can at least wipe their own butt and go to school.

    But I’m also happy with the idea of being an involved Auntie. I think I would LOVE that.

    As a single person, I do wonder about how my feelings towards having kids will impact my options in terms of dating. It’s hard enough as a Christian in my city, but dang, do I have to throw in “likely does not want kids” too? I can hear the guys stampeding away 😂😂

    Thanks for talking about this topic, it’s nice to know people are having these kinds of conversations.

    Like

  10. Justme! says:

    I love it! It is scary. As you know I’m 17 weeks right now and I’m a super active busy person who’s live has been turned upside down by heartburn, constant vomiting and exhaustion. But I’m sure you could also tell that despite all this I’m still really happy. As it gets further along in my pregnancy I worry though will a good mom. I work with children and everyone tells me how awesome of a mom im going to be, how will I hold up to the expectations? As for work. If you’re already employed look into your work rules for promotions and etc. I work in the elementary schools but I’m a sub however I’m next in my area for seniority so if a job opens up in September even though I’m due in November they can’t refuse me. Also if any company refused you and you thought it was due to being pregnant you can put in a grievance.

    I bought my husband a book called the mans guide to survive pregnancy and his expecting wife and it’s really funny but one thing he told me it says was take a picture of your woman’s body because it will never look the same again. Well I’ll tell ya if he longs for my old body after this I’ll probably break his nose! 😉 I think whatever you decide in the end will be the best decision for you! And you can still travel with a baby I’ve been reading lots of blogs about back packing with new born during maternity leave there’s still options.

    Like

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