At a certain point in my life and “pursuit of ________ (happiness, career, self-realization, inner growth…)” I teetered on the fence about whether or not I really wanted kids, …but when it came down to it, I knew I did.
It had to be with the right person, though. And if that person wasn’t to be discovered, I was willing to discard the biological motherhood card – rather than commit to the wrong relationship. (Been there, done that.)
Said person had to be: free-spirited, athletic, handy, and creative. He also had to be kind, be true, and know God (or at the very least, support me in doing so). I wanted an adventurous, co-creative PARTNERSHIP in love, life, spirituality, and business. Side note: please also be dead sexy. 😉
If ‘person’ did not exist, perhaps I would adopt one day…
Truth be told, I’ve always thought I would adopt, even if I had my own biological kids. After working and traveling in Asia, namely Japan, Korea, and a wee bit in Thailand, I thought I would adopt a baby from that continent. I also always thought I would have a boy first in my line-up of kids. It’s funny, the things we dream up. (Or, maybe it’s not strange speculation at all. Perhaps it’s a knowingness. …Who knows; you know?!)
The thing is, whether you carry a baby in your womb, adopt, or assist in the development of the children of others, you’re mothering just the same. (For instance, my sister’s kids (mentioned in the above post, “Be as a little child – Stay FOREVER YOUNG”, a diatribe I wrote last summer on what it means to be child-like, not childish… big difference!) have always been super important to me. I also think of my aunts Patty, Lesa, and Debbie, who have felt like 2nd mothers to me – and other women in my life who have nurtured, guided, and supported me in one way or another. Lucky me, I have a wonderful mom who I love very much and who has filled my life with creative energy, zest, faith, love, and a candid perspective.)
There is a particular quandary surrounding women and children. Many women battle their own thoughts & self-interrogating questions such as:
- Should I have a career or a baby?
- Do I try baby AND career?
- Should I wait to have a baby?
- I can’t have a baby and I really want a baby; did I wait too long?
- Should I/we adopt or not adopt?
- If I decide against children will I be less of a woman?
- If I never have kids / if that’s not a part of my story – will I feel incomplete or will I be happy about it?
The thing is… it’s a question outsiders ask nearly every woman of childbearing age, and although a conversation starter, sometimes it’s a query best left off the plate and topical menu at large. You don’t know where a woman is at in her self-barrage of inquisition, whether she’s trying to have kids, or trying not to have kids, and/or considering all her options.
That said, I found my person! A man that fits my detailed list of “must-have” descriptors as long as the Declaration of Independence. (A list so comprehensive, with every word written I wagered remaining infinitely independent!) A man who I love with all my heart, who fits me perfectly – although we’ll both admit we’re two very imperfect people. The unique puzzle pieces that we are were surely designed in the stars long ago, I’ve no doubt. Unconventional and a little bit crazy… He’s just the flavor for me, and guess what? Turns out I met him 15 years ago, and he has the sweetest teenage son who is half Thai.
(Now, consider the idea that I always thought I would have the opportunity to love & care for someone else’s child, most likely from Asia, and I’d probably have a boy first. You tell me if that’s a self-fulfilling Law of Attraction thing, a God thing or an uncanny coincidence? Either way, there’s something about our Bloomer clan that makes utter and complete sense to me. It definitely came in a package I did not expect, but it’s exactly what I somehow knew would happen all along…)
Although his son is not my biological masterpiece, I love him just the same. I do, however, feel the terms, “step-mom” & “step-son” are a little bit un-fitting. Perhaps because so many fairytales attach the word, “Evil” to the title, “Step-Mother”. (Could we maybe try “Fairy Step Mama” instead?) I think what it really is though, is this: there is no “step” about it, he’s my family and that’s that. ♥
And as our family prepares to welcome in a new little girl. A biological mystery babe who’s turned my world upside down – and front-to-back, from boobs & belly to buttocks! (You know your due-date is nearing when you pass by the full length mirror and spontaneously start singing the “big butts” song. 😀 ) I think about how all of these children in our lives (our sibling’s kids, the ones we are blessed with by unions of love – whether they existed prior to your presence or are a direct creation thereof, adopted children, or any other combination), are not ours to begin with… any of them! They are gifts from above, and we are just their care-takers. They will teach us what they need, they will have their own personalities, strengths, talents, and weaknesses. We can mother & parent our best, nurture, guide, listen, protect, cheer, and support. The rest is in the hands of someone/something a lot greater than ourselves, and it’s also up to the children, who they will ultimately become.
As we raise a boy, I hope to teach him how to be a good and respectable young man, to be inventive and use his creativity, to treat himself right, to treat girls right, and I hope he is happy all his days.
As we embark on raising a girl, I hope to teach her to use her voice, to step into her power and confidence, and to always look to God for approval (her creator who loves her unconditionally (as her parents will, too)), and not to friends, boyfriends or the world.
It’s a strange society to grow up in, I think. Many live semi-fake lives within social media, and hide behind cell phones and text messages, ignorant and possibly fearful of real interaction with people, or even alone-time sans digital devices. My hope is not only for kids, but for adults and families to get outside, be active, use our imaginations, build things, and be makers and doers, not wasters and waiters. I hope we’ll fill our lives with art & music, dance and discovery, adventure, travel, nature, animals, peace & meditation, self-care, and self-acceptance. Relying not on the opinions of others, nor the pockets of others, but knowing full-well that we will always have what we need when we need it. The creator provides. I believe if more people and kids knew that, there would be a lot less fear, a lot less mockery, manipulation, and distress in our life experience.
With that thought, I’ve also gained a stronger sense of who I want in my life (and my family’s life). It’s a long process as a single person to get to the point of creating boundaries around yourself: deciding who stays and who goes in your life. But when it comes to a marriage you cherish and want to protect, and a family you feel ‘mama bear’ about, actions on the chopping block easily become more swift and concise. For yourself, your love, and your loved ones, choose to keep people close to you who are straight-shooters, who will help develop the kind of person (or people) you want to be. Know who doesn’t belong in the inner circle of you and yours, then decide who can be in the next, outer circle, and so on. It’s up to us to curate our life experience with regard to who and what we let into our lives.
In closing I have to tell you, the other day my step-son (really, can we find a better word?!) found some old pics of me from a few years ago. He thought I was so pretty, and pretty darn COOL. And for that moment, it was great. My old life and former self seemed intriguing to him. Something apparently quite different from the ever enlarging pregnant woman at home who makes dinner & homework to-do lists. 😉
For a split second I mourned the girl who once was, and then quickly realized that for all the ‘cool’ things I’ve done, and for how ‘beautiful’ I may have looked, there was always a certain level of emptiness that hung about. And now that I’m a wife to someone I love, and a mom, I may not feel particularly on top of my game in regards to career & physical shape at the moment, but I feel a sense of wholeness and fulfillment that I’ve never before experienced. I’m sure there’s a way to integrate the two as time goes on, or it’ll be a season for new ideas & new endeavors to be pursued with these people I love, and am so blessed to call my family.