For most of my 20’s, I was confident that I did not want to be a parent. Looking back, I think this was due to my own childhood trauma. I didn’t want to bring a tiny innocent human being into this world, feeling unable to protect them from all the bad things out there. I had a few partners where I flirted with the idea of starting a family, but nothing concrete or centred in reality.
I was in a relationship with a boy who was one year younger than me. I turned 30, and suddenly, I started experiencing a yearning to be a mother. While there were some other serious reasons for departing that relationship, one major factor was that I didn’t want to wait around, only to find out that he did not want the same. His behaviour was too similar to what I had experienced growing up. All I could see ahead was me sitting alone at home with a newborn and no one to share it with.
I am still unsure whether I want kids of my own, but I have recently stepped into a relationship with a man who is the father of two small children. I find it difficult to express in words the positive impact these children have had on my life. Being someone who has had a long battle with mental health, I benefit from being reminded of the things that matter. These children show me every day that unconditional love, joy and playfulness are upstanding values to live by.
They have humbled me incredibly, and I take myself less seriously day to day. I also show more profound compassion and care for people’s flaws and imperfections. For example, one of the kids spilt a drink on themselves, and they were very upset about it. Luckily, I spill things on myself all the time and could use my clumsiness as a way to help them feel less shame. They have unlocked a new part of my heart, opening a more profound ability to love and be loved.
This piece was written by one of the ICLA eFriend Peer Support Workers. eFriend is an online platform where you can connect with a trained peer support worker whom has their own lived experience of feeling lonely, isolated, stressed or worried. You can speak to your eFriend Peer via video or phone call. Your eFriend Peer will listen, validate and provide hope. If you like, they can also assist you to identify any other services you may like to try or help you create plans to improve your personal well-being. Or they can simply listen.
To book your first call visit: https://my.efriend.org.au/preregistration/