Why Don’t I Know If I Want To Be A Mom?

book motherhood motherhood clarity course resources Jun 30, 2016

Many women feel they should know what they want to do about motherhood. It can seem like everyone else just knows! You’d be surprised how many women feel inadequate because they’re undecided about becoming a mom. Since 1991, I’ve counseled and supported many women with this dilemma, and I’ve seen them move from indecision to certainty.

Some life choices become so difficult that we stop making them. We stand still. But in my work, it has shown that we can work our way out of paralysis and live our lives as fuller human beings. Over the years, I’ve noticed some patterns emerge that help me guide each woman to resolution.

There are very few places to talk freely about what it means to become a mother. We’re taught early on through dolls, fairy tales, games and societal pressures that we should want to be mothers; yet, when we propose the possibility of a child-free life, we’re judged immediately. With no room left for exploration of our feelings, isolation becomes the norm, and we feel like outcasts. Only with honest discussion can we move through the process of making a decision that feels right for us.

Another reason we can be unsure about motherhood is because pain in childhood can sometimes be a barrier that gets in the way of knowing who we really are and what we really want. I’ve heard women say, “I had a happy childhood, and my parents loved me.” That can be true, and yet still you may have received messages that left you feeling confused or insufficient.

I always assure my clients that there is a good reason why they're unsure about becoming a parent. Even if you don’t know what the reason is, I ask you to trust that it's a good reason. It's not because you’re broken or there’s something wrong with you. You just don’t have access to that reason because it’s either in your sub-conscious or it’s something you’ve made an assumption about that you haven’t known to question.

Hang in there and try to be kind to yourself as you ponder this question. See if something shifts for you internally if you spend the next period of time saying to yourself, “There’s a really good reason why I don’t know or why I can’t figure this out. And it’s not my fault.” When I work with women this is the one of the first places we start and women let me know how freeing it feels. Try it for yourself.