I recently read an article about the one question a childless stepmom dreads. That look people give you “equal parts pity and wishing they had never asked.” Look, I get it. I’m not like a lot of other people. I suppose if I could, I would have had children of my own. But I can’t and so it became a bigger decision than just getting pregnant. Do I want to adopt? Do I want to do a surrogate? Can I afford either of those options? Can I afford a child? Do I want to be woken up in the middle of the night? Do I want to take care of someone else? For me, those questions were mostly…No, I didn’t want that. And yet, sometimes at 38 years old, I wonder if I should have had a kid. Which makes me look deep inside myself and into a dark place I don’t like. I did want a kid. But I wanted one for all the wrong reasons. I want a kid to fit in and to be taken seriously other parents. And those aren’t good reasons to have kids.
If you are a stepmom with no biological children, people generally assume one of 2 things- 1) that you know nothing about raising children and 2) that you’re super sad about not having kids. If you’re not sad about it, you must be a stone cold bitch. (Believe me, it’s not the first time I’ve been called that.) And as far as the knowing nothing about kids, well, I was 14 when my brother was born and my mom worked full time. Guess who babysat? That’s part of the reason I was fairly certain I didn’t want a kid- even though I adore my brother, I’m not a natural care taker.
Wait…aren’t all women natural care takers? Truthfully, I don’t know. I just know that I’m not. I’ve had to do a lot of looking deep inside myself and I know myself well enough to say I wouldn’t enjoy most of motherhood. I like doing what I want when I want and the idea of being on someone else’s schedule would probably cause an aneyurism. I like my house clean and tidy and picking up after other people makes me bat shit crazy. I like spending my $$ on myself. And I like peace and quiet. Some people may call that selfish. I call it knowing myself.
This is probably all odd coming from a stepmom isn’t it? I mean, I chose to marry a man with kids. And if we’re being very truthful here, it’s a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be. I’ve made mistakes when dealing with my stepkids. I used to try to be a super stepmom but I’ve learned to let my husband handle almost everything because it goes over better when he does it. For a Type A person, that’s not easy to do! Let’s say I’ve mellowed out a little….
I’ve been listening to a few podcasts regarding the subject of not wanting kids, and I have to say it’s refreshing to hear there are other women like me! One of my best friends is also a childfree stepmom and she has a lot of the same feelings I do. It’s so good to not feel alone!
Please know that I’m not judging anyone who wants to be a mom or who loves being a mom. If you do, that’s fantastic! Everyone is different and you need to do what’s best for YOU. You’re not any less of a a woman because you’re not a natural caretaker or because you have a different idea of what you want in life. And don’t get me wrong, I love my stepkids. I enjoy having them around and I love being a part of their life. I like watching them grow up and turn into people and grow into their personalities. And now that we’ve moved away, I miss them! (Thank God for technology!) But that’s the thing- I like being a stepmom and an aunt. I wouldn’t enjoy being a mom. And at 38, I’m learning that’s ok.
** The above picture is a pic I actually took on my own! I’m not paid for this blog. Mostly because no one wants to hear my opinions.