Why I Choose Yoga Over Motherhood
Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I’m not a mother. Does this mean the other 364 are for me? Sweet!
Until around two years ago I thought I was supposed to be a mother. It’s been haunting me my entire life. After all, I was baptized Catholic and we Catholic girls are supposed to breed more Catholics. That’s our job. And all these years I’d unconsciously thought that I wsan't complete unless I had children, that I’m not really a woman - I’m a loser.
The Grass Is Greener Right Here
A few years ago, I’d recently moved back to the DC area. I was actively dating (ew) and in pursuit of a baby daddy. My girlfriends were entirely supportive and thoroughly entertained by my match.com tribulations. I must have changed my preference for kids 100 times because I wasn’t sure which one made me sound less desperate.
Some of the men I dated were very nice. Most of them seemed like they wanted a mother versus being a daddy. Yuck.
So, I’m entertaining one of my girlfriends with a dating horror story. She’s divorced with two kids. And, after finishing the tale I sigh heavily, and with utter misery in my voice, complain that “No one envies my life.”
My friend immediately starts laughing. “Are you kidding me? I’d kill for your freedom. Weren’t you in Bali last year? Shut up. I’m not talking to you anymore.”
Wow. Envious of me? Really?
This really woke me up. And I started paying close attention to the complaints from my girlfriends with kids. One of them hides in the bathroom or the closet to have a peaceful phone conversation with me. Two of them feel their education was a complete waste of time and money. Because after having children they have no brain cells left... And can’t always formulate a complete sentence. Wait a minute. Education a waste of time and money? Aren’t I in grad school? Well, it looks like the grass is definitely not greener in the closet!
Life Is Awesome As It Is
When I was in India earlier this year I made the decision that I definitely do not want children. I made the decision in a funny place: the bathroom. I wasn’t on the phone hiding. I was hugging the throne, horribly sick with "Delhi Belly". And as strange as it might sound, I thought to myself: “I’d rather be here, sick as hell in India, than have kids to worry about.” Because if I had kids I’d have to worry about what would happen to them if something happens to me.
For all the suffering I’ve experienced in life, I have zero interest in the visceral worries I’ve witnessed on the faces of my girlfriends with children. Most of them say the joys outweigh the sorrows, but there are others who say that if they had it to do all over again they’d make different choices. I think it’s okay for them to feel that way. They aren’t bad mothers any more than I’m a loser or incomplete. They’re just honest enough to admit that, for them, being a mother is wrought with suffering. And not just your own.
A huge thanks to my honest girlfriends who made it okay for me to be without. My own body and mind are plenty to worry about. My yoga practice tells me that. Because I pay attention to it.
And a special thanks to my own mother for supporting me in my decisions. And for all of her honest counsel in recent years. Mama, you rock. Even on Tuesday.