Can I Be Fulfilled Without Being A Mother?

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.

176 thoughts on “Can I Be Fulfilled Without Being A Mother?

  1. Universal Medicine is supporting true change and honouring a way of living that holds everyone as equal to the continuous development of what is needed for each of us to evolve.

  2. Not a ‘rare breed’ at all Mariette. A woman is no more or less by virtue of having a child. And nor is she necessarily needing to ‘work on something’ in herself if she is without one. When one lives from the inner-heart, from a depth of knowing of who we are and our innate connection to God and the All, we do come to know very clearly what our choices are in this regard.
    How very diminishing it is upon women, that we are looked upon as somehow incomplete if we have not birthed and/or raised children. This not only diminishes the woman without a child, but all women.
    Collectively, there is much for us to wake up to.

  3. This is a great article Mariette as we all need to break the consciousness of motherhood as it has such a hold on society and on the way women are viewed and how they view themselves. In my life I have seen so many women go into motherhood with rose coloured glasses and romantic pictures. This does not fare well for the mother or the child. It is a set up for problems as the relationship is built on need and expectations and therefore is a rejection of the very child they wanted so badly. Other women are made to feel like they missed out on something essential if they don’t have children. I have had children and have worked with many children. Working with children made me realized that you can love every child and that loving them is about not holding any expectation, investment or need for them to be anything for you. Meeting them as who they are and being firm enough to bring them back to who they are when they stray . . . so in a way it is less entangling to love a child that is not your own because it is very challenging to not be invested when they are.

  4. What’s also interesting to me is that even when a woman has children she can be so identified in her role as mother that once the children have ‘flown the nest’ she can return to the feeling of not being enough without them. This exposes it is the roles we identify with that give us a false confidence, or sense of worth, belonging etc. but without them we are still lost and lacking self-worth.

  5. This is a great sharing, thank you Mariette, something that needs to be a more coming topic to talk about, as the belief, that without a child we are not real women, is one that is very strong in our society.

  6. I too am a woman in my forties with no children and I too do not see myself as a victim. On the contrary, I know that I have made every choice that has led me to where I am today so I am responsible for my life and where I find myself. It took me a while to let go of the belief that as a woman without children I was less than women who were mothers, or missing out on something special, but the truth is that I am not. I am learning to honour and deeply care for and love myself – which I was so desperately far from – which is revealing a depth of relationship with myself that I can bring to every relationship. I’m not saying this isn’t possible to do when you have children, of course it is, but for me, what has been and is deeply healing, is to give myself the space to be able to reconnect deeply and unwaveringly to myself – a constant work in progress – so I am then able to have truly loving relationships with others.

  7. There is a saying that you always fight/do not like what you get… But why did we got what we have? Is there a purpose?
    I never wanted children – never! Deeply so. Than I met my partner who had 2 boys…. and so I did take what I’ve got and learned out of it.
    Imagine we would only get what we want – there would be no learning, no expanding. Just comfort.
    In this world there is so much more than I see in the moment – how could I know what is the best for me? I have to surrender to a higher plan and live my best/honest way in openness to the reflection I can learn of.
    To love what I get, as I accept and know that it is my next step to grow.

  8. This is huge this topic, I was recently talking to Natalie Benhayon about going to a family wedding as a single woman in my mid thirties and feeling like somehow I was a failure because I hadn’t ‘achieved’ what others in my family had. Natalie said you are measuring yourself against pictures, and in that I could feel this falseness and that my life is actually amazing and that I didn’t need to play that game.

  9. It seems like such a fundamental question when we first read it… as for many being a mother is such an existential question. For a businessman it might be ‘can I be fulfilled without becoming a millionaire?’ or for a dancer ‘can I be fulfilled without performing swan lake’ etc etc. Yet it all comes from measuring our success, from ignoring our day to day, moment to moment lives and investing everything into whatever picture we have of success or achievement. If we bring it back to a moment by moment appreciation of our lives then a conversation, a smile, even a challenging very real conversation can bring a fullness to our lives.

  10. Such a great confirmation of the fact that we are who we are first and our gender, in truth, should not be dictated by society’s made up roles.

  11. How many things are there for us to pursue in life, to obtain, to feel ‘good’ – surely like a never ending supermarket store the list just goes on and on of things we might like. But what if we are enough today? What if we stop and end this ceaseless searching? Perhaps then we would find an emptiness inside where our self love and true care is designed to reside. This may be tough to admit at first as your sharing shows Mariette, but surely it’s better to know rather than to stay on this endless treadmill chasing tempting carrots.

  12. There is so much we can learn about mothering even without children, as there are countless opportunities in life where that quality of mothering can be applied and is appreciated, for example in the service industry or in any kind of caring profession.

  13. I find it quite sad that society almost projects onto girls from young that they should have children… to the point that they believe themselves to be less in some form when they don’t… but there is something deeply beautiful about having a life where you have the time and space to develop and deepen a connection and relationship with yourself and are by no means less in any form. As such we need to change the narrative so the choice to have children or not is ones own and not laced with beliefs of others.

  14. Beautifully said Mariette. I have been told a few times that I would make a great father – but my feeling is that being a father isn’t just about the act of fathering a child. There are very many people in our world who need a ‘father’ – for example, I have done a lot of work with people with Learning Disabilities and feel how my fathering presence has been so supportive to them. Perhaps there are ways in which, without having our own children, we are still ‘parents’ in our world as part of a much bigger picture.

  15. We all need to let go of the mentality that to have fulfillment as a woman you have to bear children as it is simply untrue.

  16. Like you, Mariette, I don’t have children and as a woman I don’t tick quite a few number of boxes that society at large asks us women to tick. I knew it was perfectly ok for me not to be a mother or anything else these boxes were presenting, but for a long time I could still feel as though I was kidding myself by saying that I was ok as I was, and there still was a feeling of being less intellectually denied. It has been an on-going process of truly accepting and loving myself in a bigger picture.

  17. There really is opportunity in every situation and circumstance in life. I love this sentence that you shared…”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”. A very beautiful opportunity.

  18. Thanks for sharing this Mariette, I have 3 children that spend most of the time with their Mother. For me I chose to struggle with this for a long time as I wanted to paint the perfect family picture and have the children around as much as possible but I feel that it was me ‘needing’ them to be there rather than parenting. Over the years I’ve let go of a lot of this and use the time when they are not with me to deepen my connection. Now when they are with me they get the real me not the needy one.

  19. Thank you Marietta for sharing the up and downs of becoming a mother and in the end realising, “That I am enough, just by being me.”no need for roles or looking outside of oneself, just beautiful.

  20. Mariette, I love what you share for all of us here, and it’s very important to know and understand that as women we have a choice, to be a mother or not, and that we are not less whether we do or don’t. No matter if we become mothers or not, we are always women first, and nothing ever changes that. It’s great to hear and know of women living life to the full and not being in loss because they do not have children, and it is very confirming and something for all women and girls to know and see a woman living her life in full without children and breaking any ideas people may have that such a woman might need to be pitied – far from it, as you share it’s an opportunity to live and develop a deep relationship with yourself.

  21. Mariette, thank you for sharing so honestly about your experience of being a mother. I have to admit that I am one of the “rare species” who would never want to be a mother as for me this was not a fulfillment at all. Not that I do not love children but for me it was the other way round – children would stop me to do what I want to learn and do. So it is not such a bad thing to belong to this “rare species” as it supports every women to get the possibility to feel: “That I am enough, just by being me.”

  22. Stories like this are so supportive for us all to understand the personal choice we have around having children or not. There are so many ingrained ideals and beliefs behind the pictures we often grow up with of the white picket fence scenario. The responsibility is ours to let go of the hurts we carry that can often lead to women wanting children to fill emptiness within them.

  23. “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.” There is this experience but children also provide reflections of how we are living that are not always comfortable and can, at times, be challenging so awareness is a great thing to have both of our own reactions and what our children are bringing to us as well as what we are here to bring to them. And being a mother is just one of the many ways we can express in life with one not being any more than another. More important – as you’ve expressed Mariette – is the connection we have with ourselves and that we are enough just as we are.

  24. I just loved to mother others too, Mariette. I often took on the role of mothering my four brothers and Dad when my Mum was ill. I also looked out for the animals we had over the years and when I was a bit older, I often looked after my neighbours children. I did know from a very young age that I would not have children, this was a deep knowing, and I don’t ever recall being envious of my friend when their babies were born. I loved to visit them in hospital and loved to hold and welcome their new baby. It was not until more recently, that I realised that my life this time round is about deepening my connection with myself and who I truly am….and who knows maybe in my next life I may choose to be a mother once again.

  25. Great post Mariette that brings truth to what it truly means to have children. Many people have children out of the same need you describe and this is an absolute lack of responsibility and we can see it in the kids today who do not feel loved and connected to and totally miss their true purpose in life. To be a mother from the need of self identification is most unloving and it is time to deconstruct the myths about motherhood.

  26. When we put conditions on to our lives we will be always missing something when these conditions cannot been made and that to me shows me that living in this way comes from a lack of self worth, and in that always in need of any recognition of who you are in any way shape or form. How exhausting this way of living is compared to live the amazing woman or man you are in full, by just being and shining in full what you already are?

  27. It is really important that women know that there are these choices and that it is not just a natural conclusion that they become mothers. It is a beautiful thing that the world has people like you Mariette to reflect this important choice to the world.

  28. The still pervading belief that a woman is not quite a whole woman unless she has children does not honour the woman for all that she naturally is but puts pressure on her for what she can do. True love has no boundaries and we are all God’s children.

  29. This is such a supportive article for women to consider really valuing themselves for the beautiful beings they are. It is time to sincerely do this.

  30. Valuing ourselves as women first is so loving and valuable. The presumption that everyone needs to have the experience of having children is silly. There is so much pressure on all of us to do what is normal, yet there are many things about normal that need to be challenged. Many people fall into having children without realising that there is a choice. There are plenty of children around that need great, loving role models. Not everyone needs to be related to everyone to truly care about them. This is a theme that will come up more and more, not just here but in many forums and is something that truly needs light shone upon it.

  31. ‘Women without children were a rare species, and to be honest, I always thought there must be something wrong with them.’ A deeply touching account of the development of your own views and emerging reality about choosing not to become a mother. I don’t have kids – out of choice – and the worst thing about it is other people’s ‘sympathy’ – where it’s evident they believe your life is lesser without when the reality is, it’s anything but. A candid blog that sets the record straight.

  32. Beautiful blog Mariette – such an important post. “There is a huge difference in wanting something from neediness (to better or fulfil your life) or wanting something from your inner heart.” This is gold – and so true.

  33. Even if we do not bare biologically children there will always be children in the world. Once, collectively, we start living a real interconnected community it will be natural to care and nurture children whom aren’t your’s. Everyone has a role to guide and raise the children of this world. No matter if your single, married or divorced.

  34. Great blog Mariette, having a child doesn’t make us more or less successful than another, and not all women will become a mother, however that doesn’t stop us from having a motherly instinct or wisdom when it comes to children. Children learn from everyone not just their parents, and when they observe others who are joyful and loving, we reflect that there is still another way.

  35. An important sharing Mariette highlighting the ideals and beliefs humanity can hold around women and fulfilling a role as a mother. I recall when I was trying to fall pregnant and this wasn’t happening so easily and feeling no matter what happens I am still a beautiful and amazing woman. I know many women who have chosen not to have children and their sense of self worth and love for themselves is beautiful to feel – the greatest gift we can give ourselves as women is to deeply love and honour ourselves first.

  36. Thank you for sharing this Mariette, a great example of how societal and gender expectations need to be questioned.

  37. Mariette thank you, your honesty is very touching and what you’ve shared is such an important thing for ALL women to ponder, regardless of whether they have children, plan to or not to. Attaching our sense of self and our self worth as women to having children is such a pervasive ideal. The fact it actually has no bearing on who we are and our inherent value or worth is a truth that few can subscribe to. I didn’t even think I had any issue with this but when I consider not having any children (I have had one), there is a sense of missing out on something fundamental in life. Feeling complete regardless is such an important place for every one of us to re-claim.

  38. I have recently had an important ‘aha’ moment. After years of holding the picture of getting married and having children ahead of me as where I am heading, I have decided to consciously let this go. And to let go of any pictures of how my life will be or should look. I have been hiding since becoming a mother at age 30 and because it didn’t go how I had hoped, I have been fixated on doing it again with love. But this is taking so much of my energy and in the meantime, I am holding back expressing myself as a woman in the world. I have so much to bring, a greater purpose to align to. What feels important is that I simply stay present with myself, confirming and knowing my strengths and keep challenging my perceptions of what I am capable of, keep expanding my capacity to be involved with life. It feels like a gift to remove that expectation, to know that it really is more than ok and in fact amazing to make that choice. It is in fact a huge responsibility to have a child and I feel, must be done from a place of a deep and steady relationship with myself. This is now my focus in the here and now, honouring and appreciating me and not getting lost in the role of mothering.

  39. Great outlook, Mariette! The belief-system about having to be a mother as a woman is too huge… And I can see, how Universal Medicine works: it doesn’t work from a foundation of beliefs or ideals. It frees from beliefs and ideals. I for example always thought I could never be a father as a gay man. Now, after knowing Serge Benhayon for 3 years, it is the most natural thing for me to think about being a father. Belief deleted!

  40. Wow Mariette, a really powerful sharing and topic to be aware of with all the expectations and pictures to fit in as being a woman and therefore a mother. I don’t know, if these expectations are actual less in Germany, or if it is just a very personal perception, because I grew up with the belief, that it is better to not have children, because life itself is already arduous enough. But essentially there is maybe no difference as generally becoming free of having expectations or pictures or beliefs, leads to the wonderful being me, that “I am enough, just by being me”, as you so beautifully completed your blog.

  41. Beautifully said Marietta. Your life is no less amazing and fulfilled because you do not have children. I hope that what you have shared here inspires others to see the value they have in themselves. I have only learnt quite late in life the difference between wanting and needing children and have seen the consequence of each approach reflected in the the children.

  42. Mariette your decision to forego having children was your own and well considered. Too often we women fall in the groove that society imposes on us. There is no reason why a life lived without children should be any less rich than any other. Your commitment to life will flow over to others. I appreciate this very honest blog, thank you.

    1. Yes Patricia I agree… I have seen plenty of women who had children because it was expected, and the result is not so happy families. I have no doubt children can feel all of this, regardless of a parents best efforts at love and care.

  43. Thank you for sharing your journey of acceptance that being a mother was not part of this life for you and the support you received from Serge Benhayon, presenting 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 feel this is deeply empowering for all women to recognise whether they have chosen to have children or not. I am currently looking again at my attachment to the role of being a mother and also mothering not just with my daughter but also with other people in my life that I have felt a compulsion to mother. I am valuing that with my father’s passing I have an opportunity to develop my relationship with myself and challenge the ideals and beliefs around mothering which are being exposed.

  44. Maybe it is time that society begins to question why everyone is so fixated on women valuing themselves as women on the premise of whether or not they have children or not. That any women is made to feel in any way incomplete, unfulfilled or inadequate simply because they have not met societal’s expectations to have children is merely a symptom of our societies mechanical tick box mentality that is based on an absolute lie. Thank you Mariette for so beautifully expressing your experience and for bringing this topic out into the open. Great blog.

  45. Thanks Mariette. Your article is an important one for me as it really starts to make me think about my attachment to having children. It’s something I have always just expected to do. The marriage part not so much, but I’ve always wanted children of my own. There was a time when I was in my mid twenties in a bout of depression and felt desperate to have a child. When I look back at that now it makes me feel sick that I wanted to use a child to fill the emptiness I was feeling. Having learnt so much about how we choose to distract ourselves from who we are, I’m more aware of how I am feeling within myself, and whilst that is improving all the time, I do still have some old patterns that need some changing. My attachment to wanting a child is still there, although I am now allowing myself to ponder the possibility that perhaps it’s not a written thing, and it’s hard to swallow, but I’m slowly learning that it’s ok.

  46. Thank you for your sharing Mariette. I am 47 and also did not have children, not entirely by choice, as like you, my partner and I did try to conceive. It was not to be and when the relationship broke down I felt very grateful that a child would not have to be in between what happened when we separated. Serge Benhayon has helped me enormously to understand the woman in her fullness. She is no less of a woman if she bears no children. I do not feel alone as there are many women in my life who have not had children and we are all very well rounded, very full women with extraordinary lives. We are blessed either ways as there will always be many children in all of our lives.

  47. Mariette, your finishing line ‘..I am enough, just by being me.’ says it all, and is huge. So many of us as women define ourselves in our roles, in what we do, be that as a mother, a work colleague or the many roles we can take on in society. And the truth, there is a beauty, an essence in us which is amazing, in and of itself, no additives required and what I feel reading your piece is how you’ve come to a place in you where you deeply appreciate that which is just gorgeous. Thank you.

  48. A very valued topic to bring out in the open. There are so many pressures put upon us ‘to have children’ – it was for me, once I got married. Within 6 months it was almost expected! and the questions started. Thank you for sharing your journey with us Mariette.

  49. We are so identified with the roles we play and what we achieve in life, rather than appreciating one another for who we are and our amazing unique expression.

  50. This is a great blog, and definitely a topic worth discussing. I have never felt the urge to have children, but at 38 years I have felt a lot of judgement from others about this, and for the last few years some pressure to consider a family because of my ‘body clock’. I feel it is important to feel for ourselves whether we want children of our own or not, without feeling we are less of a woman if we do not – we still express love, care and nurturing with or without children and there is so much more to being a woman…

  51. Thank you Mariette for exposing the pressure, assumptions, beliefs and ideals that are a part of our society and how that plays out in the narrowing of what is possible. Your comment – ‘I have however, always had this far away feeling that maybe there is something else for me to do in this life’ opens up further insightfulness. Is it possible that if we grow up knowing how amazing we are, to explore all that is available and if ‘roles’, whether you are male or female, are challenged, our world could be a very different place.

  52. What an awesome blog for all the women that have not had children and choose not to have children, sharing that it is totally fine. It is their choice and they are no less then another woman who has had children. They are equally an amazing woman with a purpose in life.

  53. Thank you Mariette for sharing such a beautiful story, I was caught up in the role of being a mother and needing to have children to feel complete, my children are grown up now, but recently in a situation I saw myself fall into the mother role , and suddenly I realised, I am not a mother, I am not that role, I am me, I have a life, with or without children. I love your words “I am enough just by being me”

  54. Reading your beautiful blog Mariette, I stopped and felt something clearly: as a man, I was under the same consciousness. Without a child, life is not complete. I have clearly aligned to the belief that a child is the crowning of a relationship, and a source of meaning that is beyond words. So, not having children was not in the menu (if possible). I can only imagine that being a woman, this belief is even much more intense and so the dilemmas it generates are quite something.

  55. Reading the blog, and then all the comments, I was struck by just what a massive subject this is for so many. Society does like to judge, and as a result a stigma builds up around talking about such things. I enjoyed the way Elizabeth was sharing that she is comfortable to leave an awkward silence and allow others to really feel that ideal.
    Mariette has been so open in sharing her experience, and I’ve learnt alot reading through it all – thank you.

  56. A beautiful blog Mariette. Society puts expectations upon women of the need to have children in order to feel ‘complete’ as a women. Your sharing will support other women to feel empowered by being who they are, and not feeling less for not having children.

  57. I love this article and many of the proceeding comments from women who chose not to have children. I am always inspired by this choice as there is enormous pressure to have children if you can. I would love the opportunity to have a life where I could focus on my relationship with myself as a woman and fully claim who I am, not having children gives you more space to do so. So to all the woman whom have chosen this for themselves – amen!

  58. With children you could not have offered the same blessing you have here to all those who can’t or choose to not have children. This was as beautiful to read as it was empowering, thank you for sharing it.

  59. This is a great post Mariette, showing the reality of what so many women go through. And your words here hit the nail on the head: “I have always been searching outside of myself for love”, since without this honest awareness, feeling fulfilled cannot be. Not having a child is similar to not having a partner too – and being an example of both myself I have come to realise that when the emphasis and focus is on the inside and having a deep connection to this, what happens thereafter is neither here nor there, just so long as the connection-with-self is present. This is where the true joy and goldenness is. Either with child, or without.

  60. So true Mariette, women are very heavily imposed upon by societies beliefs that you are less of a woman for being childless. This is such a crushing ideal that is so ingrained in our communication for all young girls are asked, ‘how may children are you going to have?’ As if to say you have no choice and it’s your duty to. Society must expose how damaging ideals and beliefs are to everyone’s lives.

  61. Thank you Mariette for a truly thought provoking sharing. I didn’t think about the fact that I had a choice in the 70s , but I know I made the right decision for me and would make the same choice today. I am very pleased that today women do (and always did) have a choice and are realising that.

  62. Wow this is quite a question for a woman Mariette, questioning all our ideals.
    Your article is very supportive to look at the ingrained beliefs we hold and a powerful claiming.
    I became a mother at 29 but from the need for fulfillment and what a journey it has been, returning to feeling enough as me! It feels to me that once we have made the connection to ourselves then any choice we make from there in honor of that connection is perfect. I will be very interested to see what choices I make in the next five years as I deepen my connection and approach 40.

  63. Mariette this is a truly exquisite expression that touched me deeply, as I could feel how honouring it is of all women. The belief, that as women we must become mothers to be complete, seems to miss the fact that we are complete as we are. I know I have held this view, but only now am I recognising that I am me first. We all have an amazing quality to offer the world that does not come from the roles we play or what we do, but in truth comes from the beauty we all hold within.

  64. Super important topic Mariette. I have grown up being told the very same thing, that I would be a great mother. I’ve always wanted to have children, but since attending Universal Medicine presentations I’ve become more aware of the reasons why I’ve wanted to be a mother, and most of all it’s come down to a need to be needed. This ‘need’ has shifted significantly over the last few years although there is still very much a part of me that would love to have my own family, especially as my awareness around what true love means, grows. I’m also working on accepting that my life may not go down that road, and that if so, then that is ok, as there is more to me than my porential to be a good mother to someone else.

    1. I love the honesty that you have shared here Elodie, an honesty that on so many levels is truly lacking in today’s world.

  65. Thank you for Mariette for sharing your experience and feelings about this topic. When I was a young I just assumed I would have children but pretty quickly in my early 20’s I realised it was a choice and I was uncertain if I would choose to have children or not. I was in a long term relationship so it was a choice that I would consider on and off. I was even told that women were not ‘real women’ (by a man and another woman) until they had had a child (!). This was well before Universal Medicine and I knew even then the absolute falsity of this yet this is a view women contend with. I am in my mid thirties, married and even though I have not made a final decision about having children I am clear it is a choice and not one I would like to make ignorantly, from neediness or some romantic notion of wanting a baby. As I am often asked if I have children or going to have children I have become aware these questions are loaded with assumptions and ideals that confine women, the way the question is often asked does not leave space to simply say no and understand it is an absolutely valid choice that does not require justification, even to say ‘no, I have chosen not to’ suggests it is a choice to be justified. On my 34th birthday my mum called to say happy birthday and that I had forgotten to do something. When I asked ‘what did I forget?’, the reply was ‘to have children’. It was incomprehensible to me to imagine my mum’s world at age 34 as she had 6 children by the time she was 34.
    It would be great to bring more awareness and discussion to a woman’s choice to not have children as well as the reality of having children as very few women fall pregnant with a sense of the changes in store and some feel guilty to admit they are not enjoying being a parent so the cycle continues without the mother or mothers-to-be receiving support.

  66. I have often asked myself the question; do I want to become a mother? And I still don’t know but what I do know is that either way I will be fulfilled in my life choices. I have seen mothers and women without children absolutely shine in life and so really the question I could ask my self is – how bright do I want to shine in life? Commit to this and see what happens. Thank you for the confirmation that motherhood or not, as a woman I am whole.

  67. Beautiful Mariette, thank you blowing that myth out of the water that women should be mothers otherwise there is something wrong with them. This way of thinking is still prevalent in society although speaking from my own experience of not having children, I feel it is also up to me to show that I am enough just as I am. Thank you for sharing

  68. This is a beautiful sharing and a powerful claiming Mariette. I can relate to so much of what you have shared. There is so much pressure from society to feel abnormal for a woman to not have children, that there is something wrong, that you are missing out. And I also was told by friends and family that I would make a great mother (and I know that this is true). I can fully understand and appreciate the joy of having your own child and the connection of love between a mother and a child however I have not had the feeling strong enough to choose this for myself, I always said ‘yes I might have children one day’. I have wrestled at times with this choice and with the thoughts of missing out on this experience. More so in recent times as I have recently married at 43 and feeling the end of the possibility of being able to have children drawing near. I have come to feel that this choice is something that I have not truly claimed for myself, until recently. My husband has two children that visit us and I love the relationship we have developed and can feel the beautiful mothering quality and love I have to offer them. And I have realised that the more I claim my choice as a woman to not have children and enjoy who I am in full and that I am enough, the more I feel I have to share from my true power of my self-love and my connection to me, to my essence. Now I do appreciate that I am a complete woman who has chosen to live her life loving and connecting with children but not having or needing my own to feel complete. That I am more than enough being me and absolutely love the gift I have chosen to give myself to deepen my connection to my Soul. And that from here there is so much love, beauty and wisdom to share.

  69. Mariette, perfect timing to read your blog today. That we are enough as women in and of ourselves whether we have children or not, and this is important for all women, with / without children to know and feel. What I feel those who don’t have children do is reflect that fullness for all to see, and I feel strongly how you’ve embraced that – that is just beautiful. You’ve also reminded me that I always knew that this life for me was about re-developing and building a relationship with me and that children might not be part of it – I knew this deep down and your celebration of your choice is helping me to see how and where I am today is amazing – thank you.

  70. This blog really resonated with me Mariette. I have felt that I would not have children this life for a long time and this has been confronting at times. I can also feel the huge blessing it is to have the space and grace to develop a relationship with myself. It feels very supportive for me to read this blog and hear about the experience of another woman who is making this choice. Thank you.

  71. It was beautiful to re-read this Mariette and how you write with such honesty, tenderness and clarity to your question: Can I be fulfilled without being a Mother? And what really stood out for me this morning was this line: ‘ 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’. What if it is that simple, that when women find themselves without children it is because they have chosen already not to, because they have another mission or gift to bring…. and when you allow and accept this, you find yourself on the right path where and as you wrote: ‘Amazing how life takes care of me’. I love how when understanding and love are brought to situations, how this provides a completely different view and life path…

  72. Thank you Mariette for opening up the conversation on the choice to not be a mother. This was an area I had little understanding of less than 20 years ago as my first born daughter announced at that time she had chosen not to bring children into the world.
    I at that time felt I had somehow caused this decision as a result of my parenting. This decision of hers was totally foreign to me and at the time felt I had failed her in some way as I had always known I was going to be a mother. I’ve since learned to understand that my wanting children was from a neediness within me.
    A declaration from my second daughter at 17 as she then announced “she was not going to just be a mother as mothers as such had no real purpose in life” – so that gave me another angle to consider. Much water has passed under the proverbial bridge since then and I have learned much from the presentations of Universal Medicine and now appreciate that which we bring into our lives from many different angles for our development and return to our true loving selves. Much to ponder on.

  73. Thank you Mariette for sharing and all of the other comments that have followed.
    I have had two children and to be honest, I feel it was so deeply ingrained in me that I would automatically have children because I am a woman and that is what women do – that I never would have considered not doing so.

    That being said, it has come very naturally to me and I definitely would not have it any other way.

    What we often don’t realise and have real conversations about is the fact that a choice to have a child is never truly about our want or need as individuals or couples but always about that child we will bring into the world. Are we equipped for that? Are we living responsibly enough and with enough self-care for ourselves that allows us to truly care for a child and to raise them to also live in a way that truly supports them?

    1. That’s a great point Shannon. Just yesterday I heard a terrific interview with the judge of a very busy family law court in New York that deals exclusively with issues related to children – a man who deals on a daily basis with the often disastrous fallout created by women, and men, who are ill-equipped to bring children into the world. Their irresponsibility has wide-ranging implications.

    2. Yes- well said Shannon- many children are born because ‘it’s what you do’ or ‘I want to have a baby’ and the real conversations about bringing a child into this world are not being had. A family member of mine was very open about struggling with the changes after her first child was born and asked – ‘why don’t women talk about this to other women and why did she only learn the reality of being parent once she was a parent?’
      Lovely to read as well Shannon that you would not have it any other way, very few parents would have a child and say ‘take it back’ but I suspect some may not have chosen it if the real conversations had been had.

    3. Great point Shannon – there is a reflex that of course people will have children, and in that reflex there is no choice. Just an ideal that plays through us. Mariette is presenting a different approach – learn to be yourself first with a love filled life, and then make the choice to have kids or not, depending on how you feel.

  74. Beautiful, Mariette. I live in a country where the declining birth rate is a big national concern, amongst the whole raft of other things. The pressure on women is huge, and last year the government attempted to introduce a diary to be distributed to young women so that they can understand and plan their reproduction process (this was met by an angry reaction and the plan has since been shelved). It’s so true, even though more people are choosing options other than being married and have children, and that’s becoming more accepted in one way, somehow it’s still seen as a king of booby prizes, as if to say that it really was not their choice, but they are victims of their own circumstances. So, to answer your question – yes, absolutely.

    1. Hmm yes, it’s not a good look when the state intervenes, or attempts to! And when you imagine the possibility of a reverse scenario – pressure on men to be fathers – the idea that we insist women be mothers starts to look ludicrous.

  75. Thank you Mariette for a powerful blog. I also fell for wanting children because I held a belief that I was getter older and that was what women did. I went on to have two daughters who are all grown up now, but I now know it does not have to be the same for them, as they too have the opportunity to make their own choices.

  76. Awesome sharing Mariette for all the women in this world. I have 2 children, but I definitely wanted them out of a need: finally somebody who would love me unconditionally.. but I could never get enough children to fill that empty feeling inside. Great to get my awareness on so I could let the pressure off my kids as well. And I agree with you: children are amazing, but you don’t have to get them yourself to be able to enjoy them, learn from them and educate them.

  77. What you have presented Mariette is inspirational and empowering for any woman with or without children as it shows the relationship with ourself is super important. I have learnt that if / when I am having this connection with myself the choice can be made from here, and then it doesn’t matter if what I choose fits the ‘norm’ or not. This is what we can reflect and share with young girls so maybe over time these ‘norms’, assumptions, and pressures will drop away. Thank you for your honesty.

  78. It was great to read your article – I also felt that there was something more to this life than having babies, but I ignored this and over-rode what I knew to be true. What’s done is done, but the life to develop love and then have babies with love as a foundation, what a wow that would be. Ariana Ray, UK.

  79. Thank you Mariette, for you have elaborated well on the same feeling of dawning revelation and freedom that came with Serge’s suggestion that a woman need not have children but by a loving choice. I too share a connection with children so very naturally, and I have assumed that I will end up to be a mother (and yes, there are needs there). But now my life has changed and I am embracing being stronger in myself, in my expression and the opportunity that being alone brings. I can’t see how children would ever be a part of my life (my own children, that is). And although I feel a sadness and a resignation to this, I am determined to embrace the opportunity to grow and redevelop me.

  80. I am so glad that I am growing up around you guys 🙂 Thank you for your beautifull article Mariette.

  81. Mariette, thank you for the honesty and inspiration in your writing. I too chose not to have children, it was never on my radar, though many asked me ‘when was I going to have children’. I love not having children, and at the same time I love children – and there are plenty in my life in one way or another. You are so spot on in your final sentences – how about women empowering themselves that it really is okay not to have children, and that it really is a true life choice that many women make.

  82. This is a great and important subject you raise Mariette and so well written too, thank you. Yes there is such enormous pressure and intensity on women by others (society) plus ourselves as women to be having babies to the extent that if they choose (directly or indirectly through health complications etc.) that bearing children is not the right path for them, that life is therefore unfulfilled/ing however absurd that is, is nonetheless the notion that is held by many. Women at a certain age from say 35-40 years who have not borne children are often considered desperate to have them, or barren, ‘soiled goods’ or unlucky in life – thank you greatly for breaking this ill belief/myth to bring about change – that life without one’s own children can be and is equally full and fulfilling. After all there will be countless other opportunities and moments to offer great joy and love to other’s kids… for love is not dedicated to just one’s own child, but to all.

  83. I am 40 and I don’t have children. At one time it was painful when I didn’t conceive but now I am connecting with myself and I have found my place with it.

  84. Mariette, I used to be similar and thought that I “wanted” children as this was of course the natural thing for a woman to have. It was just a question of the right guy to come along and my life would fit the picture that I was brought up to have. It was never a consideration that not having kids was an option. Initially when I was in my late thirties and life didn’t work out to the given picture I had to let go of the ideal of having kids. Yes, I was sad for a time but now I actually celebrate every day that I don’t have them! Yes, I really celebrate! How wonderful… all the time I have in my life in work and outside of it, is to build me and focus on the relationships I do have. I am with kids all day and everyday, with my work and I truly love them and I love and enjoy my nieces and nephews too, but the most joyful thing is that they go home at the end of the day… and I get to go home to be with me… oooh lovely!!

    1. How awesome is your daily celebration Rachel, the opportunity women have to deepen their relationship with themselves when they don’t have children is seldom spoken of, let- alone celebrated.

  85. Mariette thank you for sharing so beautifully. I never wanted to have children and never felt a need to have them, but I have been blessed by the children of friends and family. A dear friend, knowing I would never have children, invited me to the birth of her second child. I caught the baby in my hands as she entered the world and held this wee baby in my arms the moment after she was born and it really was the most beautiful moment of connection and love, I do not feel the less for not having given birth myself, I know that I have shared in the life of the beautiful girl who I met on that day. We can be deeply connected by love to all children even if we are not the one who gave birth.

    1. ‘I do not feel the less for not having given birth myself’ – what a powerful line. I feel the same and agree, there are plenty of opportunities to bring our nurturing energy to others. Defining women by motherhood alone is a confinement that is neither true nor warranted.

  86. What a powerful story Mariette. By giving ourselves permission to allow what we are deeply feeling to be expressed, rather than allowing societies ideas about how we should be is so empowering. Thanks for sharing and thanks to Serge for creating a space where you to connect to what has hidden inside.

    1. Hi Mariette, great that you shared your story! It was also great to read at the end that, yes you can have a fulfilled life without being a mother, I felt the strength or power in your words. It only takes one person to reflect something else – you are that inspiration.

  87. Mariette – thank you – this is such a beautiful development and I am so glad you shared your story with the world. I am a woman who has decided not to have children this life – for no other reason other then feeling that this is my way. I too grew up always playing ‘mothering’ with my dolls. But as I grew older it became apparent to me that having children is not my priority and I was only going to go there if life constellated in a way that I felt would be truly supportive for the child and myself … Well it never did in such a way but in many other powerful ways my choices led me to create a life that I can now say is helping me claim myself in full so that one day (in a different life) when I am ready and so choose I can be a mother from choice and not just because society puts a pressure on girls to grow up to become mothers. A life without children has become a true healing for myself. I am sure, your article with help other women to also feel into heir situation and make choices form their own being and not from societal pressure.

    1. Thank you Mariette and Desiree, I agree, ‘societal pressure’ starts at a very young age and has many, many ideals and beliefs that most people hide in or behind, so this pressure is not just presented to the young about families and raising children, but also about so many aspects of life. I now understand what life is like without ‘societal pressure’ thanks to the presentations by Serge Benhayon.

  88. It seems parenthood is almost an automatic follow-on as part of a steady partnership, yet most people are unaware of an underlying neediness that influences the decision to have a child in the first place. By sharing your feelings and discoveries about yourself around not having children, Mariette, you have given others the opportunity to discover the depth of awareness and beliefs they may hold about having children as well.

    1. That’s so well said Judy. I know the couple of times I (briefly) flirted with the ‘idea’ of having children (for that is what it was), it was really the by-product of a partnership and or societal expectations (‘biological clock ticking’ was a good one!) and nothing to do with the real me. Thankfully, the idea never gained traction because the strongly felt truth would always re-emerge – in my body I knew that I didn’t want children and I even had a strong sense that having a child would actually result in health complications. I too, as others have mentioned, felt this was to be a life where the opportunity to rest, reflect and develop as a woman could be taken.

  89. Very beautiful Mariette – you have brought tears to my eyes. I have a 41 year-old daughter who is going through a similar situation and you have expressed what I have sought to express to her, as simply as I can, while holding her in my love and understanding. Thank you for your courageous step in the acceptance of your amazing life.

  90. Thank you Mariette. I loved reading your post. I am one of the rare species that has always felt I would not have children (in this life). I feel, as you wrote, that this life I am dedicating it to developing self love. Pure and simple. Besides, being self loving in this world there are always children around that benefit from an adult who is not there mother being and showing love. It never goes astray! 🙂

  91. I come from a culture where women who have no children ‘Have Nothing’! This belief is very deeply ingrained and the pressure on women to have children is enormous.
    What is very sad in this malformed ideal is that it is showing how women are primarily valued by this one thing that they can offer to the world – an ability to bear children! It is openly suggesting that woman is not enough as she is, and that she is incomplete without giving birth. Again where I come from even adoption is not good enough – it has to come out of woman’s womb!

    But to love, to offer support, care and guidance to a child is 100% possible without any genetic similarity or blood relation. We do not need a DNA relationship to love a child and show them that we truly care. With my ex partner I raised four boys – three were not biologically my children, (they were a gift from his previous marriage :)), and one boy I gave birth to. I never felt any difference between them and I raised them all with equal amount of love, care and attention – the best I could…

    1. Nice one, Dragana, I love what you present. I’m an adoptee and have never felt less, or less than loved because of it – DNA has nothing to do with it! I do know my mum felt the pressure of the judgements that came with being a woman in the 60s who clearly was not ‘producing’ within the desired timeframe, and that is a sad indictment of the false pressures we put on women – no doubt still with us today although perhaps less overt.

  92. Hi Mariette, I really enjoyed reading your article. I don’t have children either. Just about everyday I get asked if I have children and when I tell people that I don’t there is almost always the comment “oh that is a shame”. I use to think I had to explain myself and I would say things like “I didn’t have children because I never found someone I wanted to have children with”. I didn’t get that I was justifying myself until not that long ago, that is how automatic it was in me. I came to realized that I did think I was less of a woman because I didn’t have children. I had never really given it much thought but clearly the belief was there in me. This was great to start getting a handle on. These days when I am asked I let the awkward silence be there for a moment and then I will say to people that there is no shame in not having children. This kind of shocks people a bit, some want to continue the conversation and others don’t. It certainly has made me realize how much most women have taken on that belief that they cannot be fulfilled without being a mother and how much of a lie it is.

    1. What a great response Elizabeth, to clearly let others also hear that ‘there is no shame in not having children’. This will surely help deconstruct the ideals and beliefs that exist around the notion that a worthwhile woman is the one who has a child.

    2. Absolutely Elizabeth, I agree, not having children was also a choice that I have made as a man. For me it was a matter of, if I do not love myself or at least understand love, how could I possibly raise children? After meeting Serge Benhayon I began to understand love and all the values it holds. After seeing the loving family relationships that are prevalent in the Universal Medicine student body. I now connect to what it is like to raise a family in love. Children need to be loved, not in a way where they are allowed to have their own way or run-a-muck, this is not love. When children are loved and are shown boundaries and responsibility, their choices become different. It becomes simple for them to live in a loving way with truth and integrity, as they mature through the teenage years.

    3. Great to feel how claiming this choice dispels this outdated belief that to be fulfilled as woman you must have a child. Having one child I feel there is still a heavy belief that once you have one you must have more, yet as is shown in Mariette’s blog and in what you share Elizabeth these are just ideals or beliefs that as a society we often impose upon each other, when in fact all we need ever do is honour what is true for us.

  93. Hi Mariette, thank you for sharing your experience which I am sure a lot of women can relate to. I have a different experience in that I already knew very clearly in my mid teens that I did not want to have children and would not. Happily I married a man who felt the same way so that worked well. Not having children was clearly the right decision for me this life. I have a feeling that in my next life I will have children again. In the meantime many of my friends have children so there are plenty around!

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