Mother’s Day 2014 was the first time that I felt I was missing out. My husband and I have been married for nearly seven years. Having struggled with severe depression, motherhood is something that frightens me. I’m terrified I won’t be a good mom; that I’ll get sick; that I won’t be able to have kids.

I have fears and while women tell me I should not fear, I still do. People ask us all the time when and if we are going to have kids and start a family. I don’t know how to respond to them. I think I desire to have a family, but in this season I am wrestling with question marks of motherhood: the uncertainty of if we are able to have kids, the un-assurance (or mostly fear) of wanting them, whether we would have our own biological children, adopt, foster or all of the above. I am living in the unknown while it seems as though the majority of the women around me have it all figured out with their 2.1 children.

Though the truth is that is a lie.

On Mother’s Day I shared on social media this sentiment of the holiday not being the easiest of days for every woman for a variety of reasons. Some women responded with their heartfelt stories:

“You’re so right. Which is why we retreated to the lake house and didn’t mention that it was mother’s day. I had to give up my dream of being a mother this past year because of my declining health and today I’m remembering the two babies we’ve lost.”

“I’m thirty-eight and still single. It’s another reminder of my unfulfilled dream of being married and having a family.”

“It’s hard to celebrate when the only two babies you’ve ever been pregnant with are waiting for you in heaven. This desire and ache in my heart to have my own children only gets stronger with each passing month.”

Motherhood is absolutely one of the most precious gifts in this life. It is to be celebrated and revered. However, we also need to remember that, for some, the journey to motherhood doesn’t often go as planned. It can be warped with pain, loss, heartache and disappointment. Yet, if motherhood is a dream of your heart, it’s one you don’t have to give up — cling tightly to it. It might not play out in the way you imagine it might, but it will still be worth it. As a woman, there are many roles you’ll have the privilege of playing if mother isn’t one of them: aunt, mentor, godmother, advisor, wife, sister, daughter, or friend. Your mark in this world is irreplaceable and absolutely significant — you can still be instrumental in someone else’s life regardless of the genes that you share with them.

Motherhood is absolutely one of the most precious gifts in this life. It is to be celebrated and revered. However, we also need to remember that, for some, the journey to motherhood doesn’t often go as planned.

Err on the side of sensitivity and be mindful of other peoples’ journey — do not be quick to ask when and if someone is going to start a family, as you never know what they are really walking through.

As for me, I am slowly working through my fears of motherhood. I don’t know what lies ahead, but gradually peace is replacing the anxiety. I might be living in the unknown, but I know that no matter what my maternal destiny may be, my worth and significance as a woman is not determined by whether or not I have children that I specifically call my own. And neither is yours. Our value is irrevocable.

Is motherhood a sensitive or fearful topic for you to think about? How have you learned to walk in your unknowns?

Image via Melissa Miller


  1. “Your mark in this world is irreplaceable and absolutely significant…” Thank you so much for sharing this little tidbit. I needed to read it.
    My husband and I have been trying for children for a few years now, and the longing for them has only gotten more pronounced as time has gone on. It has shaken my self-image and my faith, but I think we’re more compassionate and sincere than we were before we started trying. I think we realize that there could be a chance that we may always be a family of two (Three if you count the dog, of course)…and we need to live this life joyfully and intentionally-not like we’re waiting on another person to show up before we feel gifted. It has made me mindful of the things in my life that make me lucky and blessed. For everything we wish we had, I know there are people who would give anything to have just what I have right now.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story Allie! Motherhood is a sensitive topic for me and there is that fear that I’ll never be able to be a mom (my husband and I have been trying to conceive for some time now). And I could not agree more about others being more mindful of what they’re saying when it comes to this topic, especially if they don’t know the whole story. After inquiring whether we have children yet, I was shocked with a “how could you possibly not want to have children!” statement. Hurtful to say the least.

  3. Thank you for this! Having just experienced a loss in January, you put into words what I’ve been feeling for months. It’s such an isolating experience and you feel that jolt of pain every time someone asks you about starting a family. Having been through this experience, I know that is a question I will never ask anyone but I think it’s difficult for others who have never had those experiences to understand how painful the question is. So my answer is yes, it’s totally a sensitive topic and I hate the small piece of jealousy I feel in this social media culture we live in each time a new person announces their pregnancy. I spent a few weeks being really angry but I kept telling myself that the answer to why this happened would eventually be revealed to me and I think it finally has. I have the opportunity to go on a medical mission trip, which has been a dream of mine for years, in August which would’ve never been possible had I carried out the pregnancy because my due date would’ve been around that time. I feel like learning to walk in the unknown has been the hardest part and keeping the belief that everything will eventually fall into place!

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