Being Maternal Without Wanting Children

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Throughout my life, I have been very vocal about my not wanting children. I used to say things like “I’m too selfish to have a baby,” or “I hate children.” Neither of those things are (entirely) true, and I don’t need an excuse. I just don’t see my life including a child.

However, I innately have a need to care and nurture. All women do to some degree. And while I don’t see myself as fulfilling these needs with a baby, I take care of many aspects of my life with a maternal scope.

Not too long ago, I had a big problem with codependency. And while many of the parameters to this problem lay in many different emotional problems, a big part was a need to care for another more than I cared for myself. This is an extremely unhealthy practice, but it was basically my maternal needs exacerbated times a million. I think this is why, statistically, women more than men struggle with codependency.

Once I got through and saw what my actions were doing to myself and my relationships, my needs became more clear and I now take care of them in a healthy way. For example, my cat, who I got towards the end of my relationship, fulfills a maternal instinct. Giving my sister advice fulfills some nurturing. Caring for my friends and listening to their problems fulfills some caring. The only difference is that I set boundaries to make sure I don’t get swept away in a codependent flurry again. My friends and my sister are not my children, and I should not treat them as such. I take care of myself first.

While it is true that mothers will and should put their children before their own needs, that is not the reason why I don’t want children. That doesn’t scare me. I just plain don’t want them. I fulfill my needs in healthy ways that make me happy, and that’s all I need. Stay fulfilled and stay witchy ( *)

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