Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A mother? Never ever did I think...

I never wanted to be a mother.

My mother never wanted to be a mother.

I took her attitude and built on it. She felt, and was, trapped by us children in a marriage to an abusive, manipulative, alcoholic womaniser. Two weeks after my birth she was back at work, her safe place.

I grew up with an internal vow: I will never be trapped. That's why marriage was never a big goal for me; I had things to do, places to be, a big world to explore. When I became a Christian at 21, that didn't really change - I was out to experience as much of the world as I could, see places, do things. I did begin to serve God, but on my own terms: in my strengths, as a marketer, through work, in my friendships. Not in ways that would require real sacrifice or inconvenience.

Children have always been, to put it mildly, an inconvenience in my view. They are needy, endlessly so, and whenever I would visit friends with kids I saw them as annoying interruptions to the (adult) conversation. I've never babysat other people's kids. I would (politely) tolerate them when visiting friends' houses, since that was where they lived - but if I'm honest, I didn't visit those friends too often. Much easier hanging out with fellow single and/or childless friends. I remember one friend in Winchester, mother of two or three small kids, who looked after her kids full time. I saw what her days were like and thought, if I had to live that way I would die from mental boredom. What dullness, endless, daily, unrelenting drudgery.

There have been some kids I enjoyed. Also in Winchester, one couple with lots of kids, I loved being at their place. Their kids were smart, easy to talk to, polite, well-mannered. (They were also years older than the previously mentioned friend's, obviously). I admired their parenting and thought, if/when I grow up enough, this is what I want too. But I didn't honestly think I could do this - I haven't experienced healthy parenting and, simply put, I just wouldn't know how to do it.

That is my background. Years of walking with God have diminished my worst fears about getting trapped. Even five years ago I would never have given up my work and entwined my future with a man's. Depended on his provision. Cast myself at his mercy. I've grown to trust God more since then: I know I'm always at his mercy, and he is merciful.

Still - if I didn't trust my man as fully and implicitly as I do, if there was any doubt, any insecurity, I would never have done it. I believe that's why God gave me this particular man: reliable, solid as a rock, committed. He's many more things than that, but I needed those as foundations to trust him.

A year on since from our marriage I'm now facing what is, to me, the ultimate renunciation of everything I stood for before I knew Jesus. Attitudes I carried into my Christian life, that had to be purged slowly and gently; and they are still being purged. I'm going to be a mother.

Baby at 12 weeks. This is inside me...!