Am I the only one who feels it? Because I am not a Mom, sometimes I feel as though perhaps I’m not much of a woman, maybe I’m not as intelligent, not as equipped for life, not as sacrificial, not capable of real love, not as tired, not as burdened.
I can hear the patronizing articles, and I cringe when I see the memes that start with My Friends without Kids Say….you can fill in the blank. You know what those comics look like. I see post after post of women claiming their awesomeness as stay-at-home Moms or working Moms. I see the fights between both groups and I’m disheartened.
I keep my lips tightly closed, because I don’t want to say something offensive or hurtful. I don’t want to say anything at all, because I feel like there is a shroud that envelops so many women of this generation.
And this could be my interpretation, but it seems like so many voices of social media yell, “You don’t know anything, you don’t have kids! You don’t have a hard life at all, because you don’t have kids! You don’t sacrifice ever, because you don’t have kids! You don’t know exhaustion, because you don’t have kids!”
The message resounds: You don’t know anything yet, because you don’t have kids.
But my lips move slightly apart today, and my voice comes out.
I start by convincing myself, but then there is certainty. I start digging to the root of the problem and am almost there, but not quite.
I am not a Mom, but I do have a brain. I am not a Mom, but I do love deeply. I am not a Mom, but I have already sacrificed dreams. I am not a Mom, but I do become greatly burdened in life. I am not a Mom, but I still feel pain. I am not a Mom, but sometimes my body is so weary, I collapse. I am not a Mom, but I do have a voice. I am not a Mom, but I am still a woman.
And I fully believe that when I do become a Mom, I will grow and learn and develop, but I am no less of a woman because I don’t have kids right now. And I look forward to bearing, nurturing, and loving a child, but that day hasn’t come yet and I’m no less because of it.
I am not to the root of the issue yet, but these admissions pull back some of the tangled webs. I move my hands through the knotted articles, the blog posts, the words of people. My callused hands keep pulling at the roots.
Perhaps, it’s just the overwhelming number of Moms speaking up that crushes the women who don’t have kids. I don’t believe those Moms should stop speaking, but I do believe that someone needs to tell all the young women without kids, that they are are capable of harboring passionate, unquenchable love, of sorrowing deeply, of being broken and hollowed out, of being happy, of sacrificing greatly, of being life-worn, of learning how to better be a woman for God.
And I am convinced that you don’t need to have children to do this. Some of us will never have the opportunity or the ability to have children, and so if this is the case for our lives, we are still fully women with vulnerable hearts, worthwhile voices, and capable minds.
And more than all of this, as I drain these thirsty words dry, I realize the heart of the matter….
I have found the end of the tangles, because now—
I remember that my value, my whole of womanhood rests in Christ. It is not the status of motherhood that will make me love more, be more. It is not even the status of wife that has elevated me to some great stage in society.
It’s not about being a mom or not being a mom.
It’s not about being a wife or not being a wife.
I am convinced that—
All I must do is love Christ with an abandon that irrevocably attaches me in obedience to Him. And when I walk with Him that is when I will love more, live better, know wisdom, and become more of the woman He has for me.
That is what it’s about.
I don’t need to be a Mom to know love.
I don’t need to be a Mom to understand life.
I just need to be walking in Christ.