“When are you having kids?” “You’re nearly 30, the clock is ticking?” “You’ve been married for so long, isn’t it time?” What could I say to these people and these terribly invasive questions? I had no real response because I truly didn’t have any answers. To be honest, I was getting pretty jacked off with the interrogation! And so it begins… my highly tumultuous journey to deciding if motherhood was for me.
Growing up I always thought I would be a mum. I pictured myself with a few kids, busily running them around to all the extra curricular activities they were enrolled in, just like my own childhood. I didn’t really think much about it. I just thought I would eventually get to a place where I would really want to have kids. My upbringing exposed me to certain ideals about life and the “way” it is supposed to go. Go to uni, get a job, meet a man, buy a house, marry the man, have babies, live a long life together to eventually die with a million grandchildren by your side. It all sounded pretty straight forward, and I followed the “natural process.” Except, I was missing something, something that I thought I was born with, something pretty important, and that was the real deep desire to be a mum. I didn’t have it. I didn’t have that feeling you’re supposed to get when you’re 29 and childless. I wasn’t clucky, I wasn’t yearning to be a mum, and in fact, I was starting to question whether I wanted to have kids at all!
As you can imagine, telling my Greek parents that I didn’t think parenthood was for me was the equivalent of ripping my mum’s heart out of her chest! I started to feel such intense pressure from those around me it sent my mind into a spiral of anxious thoughts and feelings.
I looked around and my friends were having children left, right and centre… and I was being left behind the game. I was torn between my childhood ideals, family pressure, my peers and my own heart. When was I going to get “that” special feeling?? Why don’t I want kids yet? What is wrong with me?
I decided to speak to a Psychologist to sort through my thoughts and feelings. My mind had been totally taken over with “baby thoughts” all day, every day and I was starting to lose focus of anything else in my life. My work life took a dive and so did my marriage. I couldn’t sort it out and I didn’t know why. My whole world was spiralling into a dark pit of anxiety and it was all because I realised that I didn’t know my own truth. I started to become resentful of my family dynamics, and the messages that were implanted into my mind as a child. It’s these ideals that have fogged my brain and distorted my ability to make decisions for myself as an adult. It doesn’t help that I am a good Greek girl, from a loving family who is ALWAYS doing the right thing. Basically, I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. However, this time, I couldn’t come through with the goods, even though so many times in the past I was able to make my family proud. That’s when “The Three G’s” kicked in… the “Greek Girl Guilt” as my brothers and I have endearingly coined it. Shout out to all my Greek sistas!!
The “work” I went through was real! I spent so much time practising self care and really getting down and dirty with my inner core. Who was I? What am I supposed to be doing? The words “early midlife crisis” rang true to me! It started to get so much that I decided to just forget it. That’s it! No more thinking about babies and parenthood. It was time to get present with my day to day life. It’s time to make peace with the fact that I didn’t know what I was doing. I don’t have that clucky feeling, and that’s ok. I might get it, I might not and whatever will be, will be.
A year later, you know that feeling? The one I thought I would never get? Well, I got it. It didn’t come screaming “I’m here!!!” But there was certainly a hint of it bubbling up in my heart. I guess taking a BIG step back from the pressure, and becoming peaceful in myself and my own decisions got me there. Deep down I had faith that whatever decision I make will be the right one. And whenever I choose to make it will be the right time. Letting go of all the ideals, drama, fear and pressure actually provided my head and heart some much needed space! The space and clarity it needed to welcome the right thoughts and feelings to make informed decisions.
On November 27th 2016 our son Louis entered the world. The second I saw him I knew I was meant to do this. Being a mum WAS for me and even though my journey to parenthood was rocky, it taught me a lot about who I am and the sort of mum I want to be. Louis healed me and I’ll be forever in his debt.
If I can leave you with anything it’s this. Making big decisions (like being a mum) is something that needs to come from a place of love. Not from fear, pressure, insecurity or “Greek Girl Guilt! Not everyone gets clucky, and that’s ok. Not everyone has that deep desire to have kids, and that’s ok too. You see, I got to my truth in the end when my head finally shut up, and my heart could be heard! Turns out I WAS supposed to be a Mama, I just needed time and space. And if you need time and space to make a big decision, then take it Mama. You deserve it!
PS. I have to say a very quick thank you to my hubby Vince for the love, support and most of all patience during that time. He’s the best partner in crime I could ask for and a wonderful father! Thank you sweet Vincerelli x
Angelique says: I’m a Mama to the coolest cat in town, our baby boy Louis! But before that, I spent my days teaching other peoples’ babies. Being a teacher was incredibly fulfilling… but it was time to make my own bubs.
My husband, Vince, is my best bud and I feel bad for anyone who doesn’t know him because they’re totally missing out. Hehe! Even though people said things would change after having a baby, we are still totally in love with our first baby… our spoodle Henry. I bet you thought I was going to say we are still in love with each other!?? Psych!! But we totally are!
My family and my girlfriends are the ones who keep me sane! I have a wonderful network around me and feel grateful everyday.Yoga and meditation are my jams and I live by the mantra “Aparigraha” which means “non grasping.” That one really helped in labour!I’m totally in love with books and what they can do for little minds. I spend time researching picture books and sharing them on my Instagram page so parents can see how to use them in a fun and educational way. I don’t mind a good novel for myself too!Brunch, movies, nature, food trucks, laughing and kindness all make me happy! When my kid falls asleep before 11 makes me happy too!
I also spend time dancing in front of the telly so no one can see, and singing loudly in the car! Sorry, not sorry!
Hood: : Reservoir
Children: 1 baby boy, Louis.
Motherhood in 5 words: Exceeding expectations, good and bad!
Fav family-friendly place: Warrandyte River
Coffee order: Weak latte
Blog: Heads Shoulders Knees
A dedication to picture book recommendations for little kids and how parents can use these stories to get the best learning out of their little ones!
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