Proposing a New Model for Women Considering Motherhood
When women are considering motherhood, to really start thinking about it means walking into a web of scary, complex and even overwhelming thoughts and emotions. I’ve had enough conversations to know that this is true for the majority of women in the “considering motherhood” space in their lives. It’s a sensitive topic. Questions are abundant. Questions like, “Do I really want a child or do I think I’m supposed to want it out of cultural pressure?” or “Am I ready for this?” or “How can I possibly have time for this?” Women want the answers and, yet, in my experience, it seems easier to put down the questions and continue doing what they’ve always been doing.
Why is that? Because getting the answers demands something of us, a “something” we’ve never been taught to face without confusion and/or making ourselves feel wrong. We don’t know how to process it all and we just hope to somehow figure it out.
I will illustrate what I mean from a recent dinner conversation with a friend. She is someone considering motherhood and had a lot to say about her own experience of finding answers for herself. I was super curious to learn her thoughts. What I heard was a lot of uncertainty, which is scary. While she is delving into the work for herself, at the same time, she admitted that she sees the process easier to navigate in a state of naïveté. I can see how that would be appealing. How do you face questions for which you may not even want the answers and do it all under the pressure of the “biological clock” and your internalized, nagging cultural norms?
I want to be clear that the purpose of this article is not to convince you that your approach to motherhood is wrong. But, rather, to expand your possibilities and consider there may be another way to look at this.
If you are intrigued, I invite you to…
Come with a beginner’s mind
Be open to new perspectives
In my experience, women who say “yes” to a new way find more freedom, agency and peace of mind. And at the highest level, create a more eyes-wide-open experience for themselves. At the end of the day, they get to show up for themselves with more love and trust and be at-cause no matter how this part of their life unfolds.
Our Cultural Tendencies
When it comes to this topic, the reality is that we have not been equipped to take it on. Add to that the spell we live under that says “motherhood will just happen.” And if it doesn’t, who wants to talk about it? That would mean admitting failure, right? So we’re caught in a push-pull space that is confusing. And because of all the emotions and the lack of guidance, it’s common to wait until we’re right up against our “biological clock” before we do anything. And when we do, we often find ourselves unraveling the overwhelming thoughts and emotions all alone.
Whew that is a lot.
As I said, we have not been equipped to handle the complex web of questions, the obligations we feel and all of the cultural demands. In fact, I would go so far to say that we may not even be aware as to how entrenched we are in our thinking. A woman who completed my course said this…
I didn’t realize just how much there was a part of my brain that did not want to become a mom, that was totally terrified of becoming a mom.
This from a woman who was certain that becoming a mom was her path.
What if we change our experience of moving toward motherhood? What if together we explore a new possibility?
What if your journey looked like this?
- A clear vision without years of angst to get there
- Alignment with what YOUR soul wants, not based on the expectations of others
- Identification of the default cultural messages getting in your way and freeing yourself from them
- Education about your biology and fertility
- Support from other women like you who want to work through their questions together
- Knowing your boundaries around how you want to be a mom and what you are willing to do to get there
- Having the answer to the question “what if motherhood doesn’t happen?”
Maybe that’s a tall order. Maybe I’m being too optimistic. Or maybe it just seems optimistic because this approach is so foreign to us. We’re not accustomed to a culture where we are taught how to approach motherhood in this way.
For many women, the reality is that, at some point, they do have to think about it. So let’s think about it together. Let’s talk about it together. Let’s reframe the struggle in a way that takes you out of the self-judgment game and normalizes the experience.
The Great Reframe…
- What if you are simply a woman living in a paradigm that no longer works?
- What if the struggle you feel is more about the fact that you have not been given guidance?
- What if the emotional weight you feel is about the gap you are trying to fill, the gap between an outdated paradigm and what it’s going to take to move toward your vision?
Before I go on, I think it is important to reemphasize that living within the current model is not wrong. You can choose that. AND let’s start to see it as a choice rather than a default we just do. Let’s pause to notice the water we’re swimming in and lift our head high enough to see that there is another pool or pools available.
Let’s start to see our current approach to motherhood as a choice rather than a default we just do. Let’s pause to notice the water we’re swimming in and lift our head high enough to see that there is another pool or pools available.
Let me be clear. Choosing a new pool is not for the faint of heart. It requires being with the emotions and thoughts that have you running scared. It means being open to new perspectives. It means learning new tools to step into the gap. Bottom line, what I’m proposing demands responsibility and choice, more than we are taught to exercise.
As you consider which path speaks to you or aligns with you, ask yourself this question…
What is the quality of the experience I want to have in this area of my life?
The reality is that you cannot erase all of those scary thoughts and feelings. What you can change is your way of being with all of it. You can stop being “separate and alone.” You can find more freedom from default messages. You can create a vision and then exercise agency to live into it. You can choose to be educated. And you can do it all while nurturing a new self-love and trust along the way.
Which way do you want to go?
I would love to know your thoughts and feelings on this.
Don't Miss a Beat!
If you find that The Great Reframe appeals to you, I have created a space for you to explore it, a curated experience where you get to be with other women like you to find a new freedom in this part of your life.