From Maiden to Mother

It’s been a bit difficult for me to transition from maiden to mother, and I think I dragged my heels quite a bit. I can really relate to the maiden archetype, and I think I am just young at heart. I often make the statement, I’m not mature enough for this, or, I never grew up properly. What I mean when I say this is quite often I feel like I’m not a proper adult. I think I got stuck in my mid-twenties. Sometimes I feel I never made it past the age of five.

I believe in reincarnation, and I think I am a young soul. That is, I don’t think my soul has reincarnated very many times. We often hear someone referred to as an “old soul”, but that is not me. I’m the opposite.

I just turned 39, so by age I have really been in the mother status for a few years. But I still easily stay up until 3:00 am and sleep until 11:00, I love toys, particularly My Little Pony, I love light movies and cartoons, I hate cooking and cleaning and am just not that interested in home making, I can still hang at an all-night dance party, I don’t like “boring” things, which in my world (among other things) are plays, the symphony, and sitting around talking. And I don’t want kids.

That last statement is a big one, and one that was not easy to arrive at. But honestly, I never pictured myself with kids. I thought maybe I’d want them eventually, but that feeling never came. Every so often I’ll have a fleeting moment where I think it’d be cute to have a three year old running around, but fleeting it is. Listening to my friends tell me about how they yearned for kids and were completely driven to have them affirms for me that kids are not my path. I have never felt that kind of feeling or longing in my body towards having a child of my own.

It took multiple years for me to even make the statement I’m not having kids. Really only in the last year have my husband and I truly begun to acknowledge that kids are not really in our cards. I know this is rough for our parents, because they really want grandkids, but they understand their desire to have grandkids is not a good reason for us to have kids.

The absolute lack of desire to have kids fuels my feelings of maidenhood. I love my child-free life. I have a good job and I love the freedom I have in my life. Some people would see my decision as being very selfish, but is it really? I am acknowledging that kids are not for me. I also do not think I’d be a particularly great mother. Isn’t it better to acknowledge this rather than have a kid because I feel that’s what society expects me to do?

Yes, I’m selfish! I have a great life that I worked very hard to get. In the summer I sleep until 11, then I get up and do whatever the heck I want. Maybe I’ll clean a little, maybe I’ll play on the computer, maybe I’ll go ice-skating, maybe I’ll take a dip in the pool, the possibilities are endless, and I relish that I have a life and career that allows me this level of freedom. I love my husband and my career, and I am very driven to make art, and I do just that. I think the love and dedication I pour into my artistic endeavors will sustain me into old age. I’m good with having to move into a home when I can no longer take care of myself. I don’t see the need to have a child just so I can call on them when I’m old and feeble.

Yes, being a woman I do have some mom instincts, but I fulfill those in different ways. I teach dance in a college, and this allows me to get close to my students. I guide them, advise them, and in many cases love them. Yes, it’s all fleeting as inevitably they graduate (or drop out) and leave. But then a new crop comes in. Having these students to nurture stimulates my mom gene just enough. I can advise, love, and mentor, but I do not have to raise them.

I have a dance company, and most of the dancers are substantially younger than me. I work closely with them and have to provide a lot of love and guidance, and they love me back. Some of them have been in the company for five+ years so we have a tight bond. They often call me mom.

And there are my animal babies, which I can’t even describe the level of love I have for them. I know it’s not the same as the love a mother has for a human child, but it’s pretty damn strong! They are my children, plain and simple.

But, all in all, I know I have made the transition to mother. I can stay in touch with the maiden, but I have grown-up, and have made many grown-up decisions to get me where I am.

Interestingly, I’m not scarred of becoming the crone. I identify more with the image of an old lady knitting in the rocking chair than with the image of the mother with kids running around.

This post is truly not meant to offend anyone with kids or the desire to have kids. I know that is a path many women want to take, and I have no issue with that. Of course I want people to have kids if they want them! I’m just speaking from the less common viewpoint of not ever feeling my biological clock go off and sound the kid alarm.

I have lived a good life, and I have become the mother, but my mother takes a slightly different shape. And mother does not have to mean kids. There are many ways to fit the mother role without having kids of my own. I may have been slow to accept this, but accept it I have.