When I posted on Facebook that our book, Motherhood – Is It For Me? Your Step-by-Step Guide to Clarity, is available on Amazon.com, a reader posted the following comment:
“To be fair, if you need a book to make a decision like this then...don’t. Just don’t. Get a goldfish.”
This was a knee-jerk reaction from someone who clearly had some feelings about the topic—so much so that she felt compelled to write a shaming comment. This kind of instant, negative judgment is exactly what so many women deal with day in and day out. No wonder no one wants to bring up the topic and talk openly about their worries and concerns. No one wants to be shamed when they are feeling their most vulnerable.
I felt angry on behalf of all women who struggle in silence while feeling ashamed that they don’t know the answer to this very important question. "If you don’t know, then don’t do it" is just not true. It’s one of the many myths that are floating around out there in the ether. I believe that our book is a worthwhile read even if you feel like you know what you want. If you decide to become a mother, the process this book guides you through will, in my opinion, only make you a better, happier mother. If you decide to live a childfree life, the process in this book will likely result in you living a more thriving life. It’s win-win for either path you end up choosing.
I decided to delete the reader’s comment and not engage with it. This person can have her belief. That’s her business. My interest is in letting women know there are resources for them to ponder the question and that engaging with the question, no matter how difficult, is a worthy thing to do.
I believe there’s an upside to not knowing an answer. The not knowing allows you to be open to new information, which is why, when people choose to work with me, I ask them to choose to not know on purpose and with intention. I ask them to stop trying to figure out something and help them to do this without any self-judgment.
When I work with women who feel tormented by the idea that they think they should want children but feel in their hearts that it’s not for them (and often feel “broken” because they can’t reconcile the two), I recommend they read Laura Carroll’s book, The Baby Matrix. Carroll unravels these beliefs—her book can help you understand why this is the case and why these beliefs are so pervasive in our “pro-baby” or "pronatalism" culture. She also shows why they no longer serve us—or why they were never true in the first place.
The Baby Matrix helps you not to feel crazy. Motherhood - Is It For Me? will help guide you to your truth, so that you can feel grounded in the face of other people’s judgments. So, then when someone says, "If you don’t know, then don’t and buy a goldfish"—you’ll roll your eyes instead of feeling judged and hurt.
When you know your truth, and why, and what it’s about for you, then you rarely feel shame or judged or hurt on any level.
Copyright © 2016 Ann Davidman
The Motherhood Clarity Course ™ is based on the original Motherhood-Is it for me? ™ program: co-created in 1991 by Denise L. Carlini and