Finding Peace With The Decision To Not Have Children

April 22, 2018 Health, Relationships

Deep breathes. This one is hard to write my loves. I feel every ounce of resistance pulsing through my body as I start to type this blog for all of you but while reflecting on what I wanted to share with you this week, I knew it was time to fully share this.

I just left my beautiful friend Amanda’s apartment where I spent the morning with her and her precious daughter Arya. In a few hours I will be heading to my other friend Kavita’s home to see her and her newborn son, Sohum. On Tuesday I have my weekly playdate with my other bestie Michelle and her 6 week old son, Ryker. And in two weeks I am headed to Massachusetts to celebrate my soul sister Sarah having her third child and play auntie with her other two children, Marshall and Anabelle.

For someone who has decided to not have children, there are so many beautiful little ones in my life but it wasn’t until the last two years that I learned to fully embrace the role of “Auntie”. It’s been a process of learning my truth and fully owning it in order for me to show up in a way that feels amazing for everyone involved. But the process of owning this truth has been harder than I could have imagined. It’s only now that I am standing a bit more on solid ground with it all, that I can share it with you.

Around the age of 31 I started to get this strong pull inside of me that was begging to be explored. It was like this question screamed out of nowhere, “do you even want to have kids?!” as I was frantically searching for my person and wondering how my future would turn out. You see when I was married I was incredibly sick and at the peak of my pain with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis so kids weren’t really something my husband and I had talked about because we knew it wasn’t going to be an option any time soon. I had always assumed that I would be healthy one day and that when that day came, we would have two children (a boy and a girl) because that’s what my parents did.

When my life opened up after my divorce and I got healthier, started my own company, ignored a lot of the “rules” and started learning more and more about my truth, I started to deeply question if having children was a part of the future I truly wanted for myself.

I tossed and turned about this for YEARS. I remember when I first told my parents that I had decided I didn’t want to have children I was ready for battle, thinking that they would be devastated and would try to convince me that I was making a mistake. Only to find out I couldn’t have been more wrong. My Mom and Dad both looked at me and without hesitation they said, “we actually think that’s the right decision for you and your health. Plus, having children is a huge deal and not to be taken lightly, so if you don’t think you want them you should not have them.” I was shocked and almost a little confused because without their objection I was really left to feel into what I really wanted, which was scary for me.

I have a lot of reasons I had been thinking about not having children. Mainly being that my health would put me in the high risk category and I wasn’t sure my body could handle anymore high risk situations after everything it had already been through. I also have to take medication just to be able to walk and keep my psoriasis from becoming debilitating. Getting pregnant would mean that I would have to get off of my medications and I am honestly not willing to put my body through that much discomfort. In addition, and this one is a hard one to admit, I was pretty certain that I wasn’t interested in being as selfless as I needed to be in order to be the kind of mother I would want to be. I had spent 20 years putting my disease first in every situation in my life and having to put aside what I desired in countless moments so that I could manage my health. I wasn’t up for putting aside my moment to moment desires any longer so that I could love my child for the rest of their lives. Even though I knew that there was tremendous beauty and it was an incredibly rewarding experience for most parents I knew, I was also really present to how selfless you have to be in order to embrace motherhood. I was already burnt out by nurturing my illness for over two decades and was ready to focus on what NITIKA wanted in life.

Over the years I played around with these ideas a lot. I would be so clear whenever I spoke to my girlfriends about having kids and I would always say that I knew I would never have any. But then, I would inevitably meet some man that wanted to have children and find myself confused again. Maybe I did want to have children? OMG have I been wrong about this for this entire time?

My closest friends would get a tiny bit excited and remind me that I am the most nurturing person that they know and would be an incredible mother. But then also remind me that until I met this random dude I was really clear, so maybe I shouldn’t rush into anything. Ah, don’t you love good friends that love you enough to remind you of your truth? They were always right, I was certain, but I really didn’t want to be.

Why? Because as I have continued to date in my late 30’s I have been forced to really sit with the discomfort of this major life decision. For most men it is a total deal breaker and having to sit in the fact that this is my truth, while staring at a man that I like, is painful in a way I didn’t really understand at first. It’s just painful to own who you are while hoping that someone will like who you are but having no idea if they will. It’s emotional torture.

I have been lucky that the last few men I have dated, while they haven’t resulted in the partnership I desire, they have been a beautiful practice for me to own my truth. To own that I will never give birth to a child. To own that I might be open to adoption but I might not be and that I have no real desire to be a mother to my own children.

Over the last two years I really started to see that a lot of my energy around children was based in a ton of fear. I was terrified I would never find anyone because of this decision, I was terrified that I was making the wrong decision, I was terrified that I wouldn’t connect with any of my friends once they had their children. Fear was definitely running the show for a long time where kids were concerned. But once I realized that, I started to tap into the beauty of the children that I will have in my life. All the little angels that I get to love so fully and so deeply, as if they were my own, but also take care of my needs in my own life at the same time. What a gift.

I have gotten so close to Arya, Marshall and Anabelle over the years and can’t wait to see my relationship with Sohum and Ryker develop as they continue to grow. It’s filled my heart in a way that is deeply fulfilling and my relationships with each of their mama’s have been enriched in the process. Now I feel like I have so many nieces and nephews that I have an abundance of children in my life and I don’t feel that I am lacking anything because I am choosing not to have children of my own. I have also come to peace with the fact that the man who is right for me is going to want the things that I want in life, otherwise, he’s not the right one.

Thank you for being a safe and loving audience for me to share my truth with, my loves. I wrote this post today because I know a lot of women (chronic illness or not) struggle with this decision and feel a ton of shame around it. I hope it helps you know that you aren’t alone and that there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Your body. Your choice. And that is a beautiful thing.

Please share your experience and process in the comments below if this blog resonated with you at all. I always love hearing from you!

Thank you for reading.

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