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March 30, 2014

I Am Childless, But I Am a Mother. ~ Katherine Smith

sound of music

I received a rather large shock today. I’m a mother.

At 21, I was told I had a condition which may mean I am infertile. At 25, I broke up with my long term boyfriend and have roamed this earth alone ever since.

I’ve been busy.

There has been much transition in recent years. Like a caterpillar evolving into a butterfly, I left behind my teenage dreams and life as a London-based producer, grew wings and took flight.

I charted a course in the direction of my two passion: yoga and exploring the world. I had no idea where it would lead.

I live a nomadic lifestyle, which means I haven’t lived in any one place longer than six months for about three years, or perhaps more (who’s counting). So, like many 30-something women, producing little people has eluded me.

Where are all the eligible men?

As my 20’s matured me, my single years stretched out behind me. I wondered if I was baby-fit. If I was made of the same material as my mother, and if I was cut out to be a mother myself.

I watched as friends got married and then got pregnant. Rarely did I attend their weddings or baby showers, usually because I was up a mountain or in a handstand in some far flung corner of the globe.

Without a baby-making partner, a lifestyle that would support a child, or so much as a hint of my body-clock kicking in, the question of kids is one I continued to sit on the fence about.

Traveling, yoga and the perpetual pursuit of happiness occupied me more. There has always been much I have wanted to do with myself to the point that I was never certain where I’d actually even fit in having a baby.

My life has been so consumed with moving on and moving around that the truth is I’m not sure I imagined meeting someone or finding somewhere that made me content enough to commit. I assumed it was something best left for folks who prefer to be grounded in one place and had a lot of patience (and ear plugs).

Then yesterday a colleague and friend commented that my job title should simply be “Mummy.”

I laughed, baulking at how I don’t have a maternal bone in my body. She looked rather taken aback and we proceeded to have a conversation that made me see myself in a new light.

You see, I now basically get paid to play house (and a fairy tale house at that). Tucked away in the whimsical wilderness of the Portuguese mountains there is a yoga retreat centre where I am part manager/part resident writer/part ayurvedic chef/part yoga teacher, and an occasional life-coach/dog walker/party-planner/nanny.

I am here to look after everyone else, make sure they are warm, fed, watered, entertained and intermittently inspired.

It gives me the most incredible satisfaction.

I am childless, but I am a mother. I am pregnant with possibility. I know that as much as adventure inspires me, indulging my nurturing nature makes me happy.

I love to love.

I still have no idea whether or not I will ever have babies.

And I’m comfortable not knowing. Popping out pigmies isn’t something I’m desperate to do tomorrow.

But, now I see how my maternal nature is manifesting itself in other ways. I am more open to the idea than I was before. Perhaps if and when the timing is right, my priorities will change, my perspective will shift, someone will appear and I will be happy to hang up my holdall because creating a carbon copy will make me happier.

Maybe not.

For now I’ll just trust that I will find whatever destiny awaits me. There are many possibilities.

I won’t pine for something I don’t have, won’t worry that getting pregnant could be a problem or wonder if kids are for me.

I’ll simply live each moment in the recognition that each is precious and utterly expectant with all eventualities.

 

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Apprentice Editor: Sarah Qureshi / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: The Sound of Music

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