by Mariette, The Netherlands
As long as I can remember, people around me told me that one day I would be a great mum. Up till this very day, people still tell me this and ask me regularly if I have children. As a child I had this strong belief that later I would be a mother, not even knowing that there was such a thing as a choice. I always played ‘mother and father’ with other kids; I just loved to mother my stuffed animals or I was cooking in my fantasy ‘kitchen’ in the back of our garden. I guess all these three combined would actually make me the most perfect mother…
As I grew older, I still had this strong belief that one day I would get married and have children. For me there was no other option. This was also something I saw reflected in other women’s lives. Women without children were a rare species, and to be honest, I always thought there must be something wrong with them. I have always loved children, even when I was still a teenager myself, and I have this natural attraction towards children and vice versa. It never occurred to me that there was a chance that I would not be a mother.
I have however, always had this far away feeling that maybe there is something else for me to do in this life. For so long I did not want to allow this feeling in. This was too painful, too confronting, too abnormal: I could not imagine being fulfilled in life as a woman without having your own children. I have always heard these wonderful stories (and still do) of how great the unconditional love between a mother and child is, that having children is the best thing that can happen to you and that being a mother really gives a meaning to your life. And yes, I wanted all of that. I not only wanted that, but I can say now, I needed that. Let’s say I had quite some expectations, and our child was not even conceived yet…
There is a huge difference in wanting something from neediness (to better or fulfil your life) or wanting something from your inner heart. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wanting things in life; I guess it’s quite human. But what if the outcome is different from what I want, I have asked myself. Can I accept this and still have a wonderful life? I have always been searching outside of myself for love. There has always been that aching feeling that something was missing, and I have always thought that having a child would bring fulfillment in my life.
Over the past two years, I have had a lot of loving and honest support from Universal Medicine. Not only from Serge Benhayon, but from his whole family, the practitioners Natalie Benhayon, Mary-Louise Myers and Carolien, and from all my fellow students.
I have turned 40 this year, and my partner and I have recently decided not to choose an IVF procedure at the hospital. This feels like the most loving and honest decision towards myself and my body. Four years ago, I had some cells removed from the opening of my uterus, with the unfortunate result that there was now only a small chance to become pregnant the natural way. This is the reason that we had gone to the hospital to get some help (inseminations). After the third time, I became pregnant and we were both very happy. Our child was not healthy though, and at 14 weeks we decided to end the pregnancy. This has been a profound life changing experience which has asked me to really turn inside and start connecting with myself. It was shortly after that I was introduced to esoteric healing and I had my first session with the Dutch practitioner Carolien Braakenburg. Amazing how life takes care of me.
Serge is the first person I have met in my life who has presented to me that it’s more than ok for a woman to not have children. I remember when he shared this in one of his presentations, I was deeply touched: that having a life where you can work on the relationship with yourself, starting to truly love yourself and deepen the connection with yourself is actually a true gift. At this moment I am experiencing that I can have an amazing life just by being me more and more, without the role of being a mother. I am not saying it has always been easy but wow, I can honestly say… yes! The answer is: yes, I can be fulfilled in life without being a mother. I have to admit, I do feel like a rare species myself now, although I know now that there is nothing wrong with me. But women in my situation who have, or have had a longing for a child but do not have a child of their own, are seen as a victim or someone to feel sorry for. This is not at all how I feel. Maybe it’s time that we reflect something different…? How about empowering us women, and let us feel that it’s ok to live our life without being a mother? That I am enough, just by being me.
172 thoughts on “Can I Be Fulfilled Without Being A Mother?”
Interestingly there is not just a judgement on women who don’t have children but there is often also a judgement on those who end up ‘ONLY’ having one child – this too is often perceived as an issue or problem that must be associated with the woman and that she was unable to have more children. Interesting how warped things can become in order to pressure a woman to not focus on her true presence.
To have the choice (of having children or not) is a blessing and for each woman to feel what is the most loving thing to do.
Mariette, upon reading this blog and the following sentence, I felt how crazy and unloving it is to live in a world where society puts huge pressures upon women to have to be a mother and bear a child to be considered ‘normal’… :Serge is the first person I have met in my life who has presented to me that it’s more than ok for a woman to not have children. I remember when he shared this in one of his presentations, I was deeply touched: that having a life where you can work on the relationship with yourself, starting to truly love yourself and deepen the connection with yourself is actually a true gift.”
I recently saw a young mother with her baby and a pram, she felt very smug about being a mum, it came across very clearly. What I realised is that girls and women are not supported to feel how precious and valuable they are, so there can be low worth, feelings of insecurity and then when we find a role like being a mum we can go to the other extreme of feeling smug or superior about ourselves. Neither feeling bad about ourselves or better than others works, and when we are dependent on what we can identify with in terms of roles, material gain, or other outer markers these are very shaky because nothing lasts forever, and nothing can truly full-fill us like being able to be ourselves – the love we are in essence.
Living with connection to ourselves and our sacredness and reflecting this out for all, is much needed in our world.
When we can let go of pictures, we can allow ourselves to surrender more to what life is offering to us, and there’s so much to rejoice and appreciate when we stop fighting. We can be fulfilled in life not because we tick boxes or don’t tick boxes, but just because we are simply being us.
Finding Love was the most important thing that has happened in my life and so next life I will be looking to reconnect to the ability to return the Love. And I have found myself always asking the question to have any children would I not first want to know what Love is? I have always felt that without Love how could I raise children?
This is a very raw and honest account of healing under the ideals and expectations of being a woman in the world today. We are not defined by having children or not.
Fulfillment does not come with conditions attached to it.
Mothering energy is within all of us and offered to everyone and not dependent on whether or not we’ve given birth to children.
Beautifully said Kehinde – birthing is just one process of mothering, and I know plenty of men who have not birthed a single child and yet are very good at mothering!
Touching and so true , it reminds me of a blog where it was shared that we belong to ourselves, nothing from outside.. A simple connection to the brightness inside and enjoying that, without needing to fullfill a role. How beautiful is that — this should be our education, our absolute reality and normal standard in life. As without this normal “acceptance of who you are” the world is a mess.. As we can clearly see – – every day.
Beautiful Mariette .. if you ‘play the role’ and play it well there is a strong possibility you are good at it.
I choose to have children early in my life, but never felt fulfilled as a woman until I began to honor, love and care for my womanly body. This to me proves that it is a very false ideal that one has to bear children to be fulfilled as a woman.
Thanks for sharing your experience Leigh, I haven’t had children and I don’t feel unfulfilled because of that but something was missing and that ‘something’ was me being in connection to my essence – the true me I was born as which was love, joy and delicateness. Taking loving care of myself to nurture and hold that is an exquisite and very fulfilling experience… and the beauty within just keeps expanding.
There is a deep humbleness in this article. An acceptance of what one feels, and humbly honoring it. It takes a loving focus on ones own truth to be able to knock out the arrogance that would have one ‘fight against the odds’.
I always knew that I would not have my own children. I love children deeply but never had the feeling or desire to give birth to my own, so to speak, and have never felt less of a woman because of this decision. I have no regrets, on the contrary feel empowered and deeply appreciate that I honored what I felt was true. The fact is that whenever we are with a child we are parenting, offering a reflection to children regardless of their age, as to who they are in essence, meeting them for who they are and the innate wisdom and knowingness that resides within them. The more we live in connection to our sacredness as a woman, honor who we are within, which is never determined by whether we have children of our own or not, the more we reflect everything that a woman truly is all our relationships be it with men, women or children.
“that having a life where you can work on the relationship with yourself, starting to truly love yourself and deepen the connection with yourself is actually a true gift” This is indeed a gift – not just for the woman herself but everyone she meets and knows, feels the grace of, and sees the depth of love in expression of Woman. How blessed are we all then!
Yes, my sense is that as we deepen this relationship with ourselves we realise how much we are vessels of energy and the more we are tender, loving and caring with ourselves we can then offer that to others in whatever way is called for at the time. We are not defined by what we do/don’t do or have/don’t have.
I decided in my early twenties that having a child didn’t feel right for me. Once I came to that realisation it was a feeling of joy simply because it was true for me, but it was confusing for others at times because it was assumed that all women wanted to have children and it was their purpose. Being a woman is all that is needed and we are neither less or more by becoming a mother or not.
Amazing Melinda – I love how strongly you felt it in your body and celebrated this – this alone would have given the reflection to many women around you that it is OK and not just OK but a beautiful thing to make a choice to not have children if this feels natural for a women to do.
This is a beautiful article in the way that it opens up the discussion on what being a woman actually is and means for all women. A discussion that invites us to explore what possibilities there are deep inside each one of us as we learn and grow together.
What do we put upon our children when we rely on them to bring love into our lives? And what could we offer them if we first brought that love to ourselves so we could hold them in that in full when they choose to be born with us?
To be a mother doesn’t mean that we need to bare children ourselves. We are all responsible for all children in this world and what you do so beautifully Mariette is sharing your warmth, openness, wisdom and playfulness with all children in your life. We are all parents in the way that children learn and grow from the reflections we are offering them however much or little we get to spend time with them.
It is funny how people see qualities in you and straight away link that to being a mother. It is exactly that what you are writing about, that we not just see a woman and her qualities but box it into a role or a picture.
The joy of life doesn’t come from what we do or the roles we play… it lives innately within, waiting for us to reconnect to it.
Such inspiring words Mariette…”That I am enough, just by being me.” This goes for every one of us… man, woman and child 🙂
It is such a safety blanket, being a mother. Some of us may be convinced that we’d like to have children out of the kindness of our hearts, yet as you describe here many can be driven by a need to be loved. There is a picture that the child will love you unconditionally and you will be needed, and yep that is the case for at least the few 10 years. But it can get very difficult as the child grows up and becomes an adult, the fulfilment we got will be taken away once the child no longer “needs” us and that is very, very difficult for parents to accept…. and for children to let go of actually.
That is so true, children really don’t want to feel like they are your safety blanket, it confuses them. Yet we have not been brought up to consider ourselves as guardians of our children, guardians of Love really, or that our role is to equip our children for life. That’s ok though because we can parent ourselves now and therefore offer ourselves the life skills that we then pass on without the needs that inhibit a child’s growth.
It seems rather outdated and so yesteryear that society would still impose the belief on women that they need to bear children in order to be complete – where does that tenet come from and whom or what does it serve? And have women used their ability to bear children in an exclusive and selfish manner that made them more important, special and superior in any way?
Beautiful Mariette that you have come to accept this life as an opportunity to learn to deeply love and appreciate yourself for who you are, and that you need no one to identify you in any other role.
To be a parent in order to make oneself feel complete is coming from a place of need resulting from emptiness and would only then be reflecting emptiness to the child. Build the loving relationship with oneself first and then one truly offers love and not neediness to the child.
The wonderfulness of our life is only related to how much we connect to wellness.
I am still coming to terms with this in myself so it is inspiring to hear another woman share her story and to learn from her experiences and find what is true for me.
Thank you for sharing your experience Mariette, to be given the opportunity to concentrate on our own relationship from within is equally as fulfilling, it is when we start to picture our life differently that we lose the true connection we have and the picture becomes bigger. Beautiful to read how accepting you are of being you.
Mariette I love how you say ‘Amazing how life takes care of me.’ It is true the more we listen to our inner heart, our inner knowing the more we feel that life is taking care of us, so no need to control but a beautiful surrender to the wisdom that is within.
That a woman only has meaning in her life if she is a mother is an absolute load of nonsense.
To put it lightly … but have we bought the lie – hook, line and sinker?
We can be fulfilled only through having a deep connection within and living life from this connection.
What we don’t reflect on enough is that as women we naturally nurture others, be that friends, relatives, work colleagues and any others that are in our lives or cross our paths. This is the deeper truth beneath mothering, so as a woman we are always mothering, in the truest sense of the word, whether we have children or not.
Quite shocking how ingrained the belief or even dogma is that a woman is only complete when becoming a mother. It exposes the lack of appreciation we have for a woman just being who she is as the woman that she is.
This is a great article and a great topic of discussion. How are young people and in this case woman are stereo cast into roles that may not be true for them. As the article is saying the author here didn’t even feel she had a choice, that’s how imposing these beliefs are on our young. A woman is a woman first before all else and whether she is a mother, a baker or a CEO it matters not to her quality. As people we are not seen as simply a person first and depending on age, gender, country etc we are type cast into roles by society and yet here we have how it’s not working for us. I say allow our children and our adults to be and do as they feel, not from a lawless position but from a decent and respectful position after all under neath we are actually and factually all the same.
Being a woman is wonderful and having children can be very rewarding, but for a woman who does not have her own children it does not diminish the love and nurture that a wonderful woman is able to share with all children.
This article reveals the honesty that being a woman is not dependent on having children, but totally upon our choice to live our life in full. For some this is to have children, for others it is different. What we tend to not see, is that every woman carries a natural nurturing within, most narrow this to being a mother, but others have the wisdom to see and feel the grace of this energy in all of our interactions and how society doesn’t need mothers, what it does need is women willing to live from their natural nurturing essence, in everything they choose to do.
Very profound Mariette, for women to know they are complete BEFORE they do anything, whether that’s to have children, or not, to have a job or not, to have a partner and marry or not… nothing is a measure of our completeness and our worth except the very essence we are, inescapably so.
A huge and deep decision you have made Mariette! The truth is we are all complete as we are. A beautiful sharing that will help many women in the same situation to move on in their lives with grace.
This is a very poignant sharing, being willing to go within and feel what is the true path for you, letting go of the pressures of society and what you your self think is profound and powerful. This sharing is one of honesty, openness and deep trust.
I agree totally, this is what I am choosing too, ‘that having a life where you can work on the relationship with yourself, starting to truly love yourself and deepen the connection with yourself is actually a true gift.’ An absolute gift.
What I got from your blog Marriette, was how much our ideals and beliefs are set up to block us from what truly is on offer. We hang onto them, guard them, all so we have no need to deepen and feel what is underneath them. Which is crazy considering when we finally surrender and let them go the immense expansion that is on offer is far more than what our ideals and beliefs had to offer.
I have come across this with many people, and I used to be like this, ‘I have always been searching outside of myself for love. There has always been that aching feeling that something was missing’, when all along it was my inner-self I was missing, my connection with me.
When women value the fullness and preciousness within, the need to be loved or seek that love from having children dissolves. Miranda Benhayon is the most gorgeous and powerful example of a woman living in her fullness without the need for children of her own – although she is a mother to many.
It is amazing to reconnect to the truth that we are enough already before we become or do anything, and joy is not conditional as that is what we are.
Step away from the connection to who we are from within, from the fullness we are in our essence, and we make room for the myriad of pictures, beliefs and ideals around who we are as women and what we need to achieve, do or be in order to make ourselves complete. Connect back to our innermost, as you so beautiful describe, and there is no further need to identify ourselves by any outer means.