Many years ago I had a “pregnancy scare”. At that time, while living a life away from my faith, if I had seen a positive test result, I thought there was only one option – abortion. I never saw that positive reading, so thankfully I never went down that road. But I still vividly remember the all-consuming fear.
It was only just over a year ago that I held a baby for the first time. I’ve never really been around babies or children. They were like little aliens to me – I had no idea how to interact with a small human. I would be my most awkward self around kids. But I was curious to understand better why people fussed over them so much.
As the woman who still thought about that scare, and genuinely didn’t know how to feel about children, I was searching for something that told me “yes, you could be a mother.”
While living here in Brisbane, I’ve been able to observe many beautiful families and my perspective has shifted. Their interactions have really changed what I once negatively assumed children to be (and only be) – needy, annoying, loud, dream-killing and like life is over once you have them.
Okay, so needy, loud and annoying are accurate descriptions at times… but so much of my picture was incomplete. I’d never seen how much joy parents have – they exude a very real definition of love. I never saw how the smallest of interactions with children can make your heart melt or see the world in a new way because of their innocence.
I’ve seen people’s dreams come to life with so much more meaning because they now have children that are a part of that picture.
I know becoming a mother will be all kinds of challenging – I don’t have blinkers on. But personally, I think the common narrative leaves out how incredible having children can be – that your life isn’t over – you begin living for more.
More than yourself.
When I sat in that fear, I’d never heard of more. Another choice didn’t exist, because in my mind, positivity or possibility also didn’t exist.
I know personally, I love hearing from families who share the raw and real realities of parenthood, but also why the challenges are worth it and why their children are a gift. A positive narrative needs to be the prominent one. A much louder one. Or I don’t think we’ll ever treasure new life as we should.