The art of motherhood is such a beautiful art. I call it an art because that is just what it is. It’s one of the most beautiful, most rewarding, yet most taxing arts. It’s an art I will never truly know. It’s something that I’m halfway content on but the other half of me is broken. Shattered. So often I hear about women finding out they are infertile or that they couldn’t have children and I get so angry at myself because I have that ability. As far as I know, I can carry a child within me and give birth. I get so angry because I know, that emotionally, I can’t. I can’t have a child and live. I can’t give a child a life worth living, a life any better than the one that I live and I could never do that to a child. It makes me angry because I have the ability to bring into this world a beautiful child; a new spirit…and I can’t. I have the option of taking a child in under my arms and calling him/her my own. But I can’t. I have the opportunity to give an orphan a home. And I won’t. In this post you see a lot of, “I can’t” and, “I wont”, but I’m not using it negatively. I can’t and that is my reality. I know that there are millions of other women out there that would love the opportunity to carry a child within them, but will never. I know there are millions of family that aren’t eligible for adoption. But I can’t, and I wont. I know my capabilities. I am a very caring person. I hate hurting people, and I say hate because hate is the strongest dislike word I can think of. It is one of my biggest downfalls…one of the biggest spiral starters. I do have the motherly instincts. You know: fixing everything for the child, healing the wounds, smoothing the rough spots, making sure everything is okay. I take on the responsibility of motherhood on a daily basis, and not in a good way. I used to be a mom. I have a seemingly large amount of siblings. It was my job, growing up, to be their mom. My older and younger siblings, I feel, always looked to me for comfort. They always came to me to cover their “boo-boo’s” or kiss their wounds. When my mom left they would come to me for comfort and regulation. I was the go-to-gal, leaving me in the mom position. I was terrible at it. I know I was. But I was doing the best I could in taking care of 8+ people. It wasn’t my job to be a mom, to my mom. I wasn’t supposed to have to take care of her when she came home hopped up on drugs. But I did…because that was my role. I shouldn’t have had to make sure all homework was done and we were all presentable. None of this stuff was my job. I couldn’t love my siblings because I was so angry at them…but there is not a thing in this world that I wouldn’t do for them, if asked. Everything I do, I do for them. I work towards healing so they know it’s possible. I chose to stay in foster care so they could see that there was more; that life isn’t about drugs and being beat. I strive to do my best so that someday they will see that life is worth living. This experience, of being a mom, has helped me in so many ways. It has helped me to realize that I am not equipped to be a “real” mom. I don’t have the ability to raise my own child. It’s given me patience and a much deeper understanding of love. It’s also hurt me. It has taught me that it is my job to be the care giver. I was never taught boundaries. None. No one in my family knew what a boundary was. I still take on that role, often. I fall into the motherly role when I feel Zhanna struggling to be okay. I jump into when Bailey leaves. My brain switches so quickly to the state of, “I need to take care of everyone and make things okay” when I see any type of contention or stress. But, it’s not done fully out of love. Instead, I do it out of fear…a deep, deep rooted fear. A fear that if I don’t make things better, the world will fall apart. If I don’t fix things, the world will explode. If I don’t take on that motherly role…I will die. This deep fear allows me to take on the motherhood role fine…but it doesn’t allow me to take care of myself. I live in fear and I know that. I have come to the conclusion that I will not have any children of my own, whether through birth or adoption. It’s not what I was called to do. I know if I were to get pregnant I couldn’t give the baby everything, but I also know that I wouldn’t be able to give the baby away. If I were to have a child, I would be meeting his/her needs out of fear rather than love and that’s not fair. I’m okay with this decision even if it makes me sad or angry at times because I know that it wasn’t/isn’t my calling to be a “mom”. Instead, I choose to surround myself with children that I can help. That aren’t “mine”. I want to travel the world and work with the children of the world. I want to give to them what would have been given to a child of my own: unconditional love and support. I don’t have to be their 24/7 mom…there is always other options. I’m content, yet shattered, with the decision but I know it’s what is right. It is not my calling to know the true art of motherhood, but rather the skewed art of motherhood. And I’m okay with that.