Common “triggers” for reconsidering motherhood

Although some women decide early on in their lives that they want to have children, many other women are ambivalent about whether or not motherhood is for them. These women often go through their 20s and 30s, feeling quite satisfied and fulfilled pursuing their educational, career, and personal goals. For a percentage of these women, the ticking of the biological clock in the 30s will cause them to take stock of their lives and seriously consider the motherhood issue.  Other significant life events may also serve as a trigger for reconsidering motherhood. For example, some women may find themselves experiencing pangs for motherhood after witnessing their siblings or close friends become mothers. For other women, the end of a long-term relationship may cause them to reflect on their priorities, including the issue and importance of motherhood in their lives. For some, it may be a significant birthday. Sometimes, it is the loss of a parent – in particular the loss of a mother – that serves as a trigger for self-reflection about mortality, family, and motherhood.   

Singer Lisa Stansfield has recently shared her story of suddenly wanting to have a child after her mother’s death in 2006. Like many women, Lisa had never felt a maternal instinct or drive to have children. However, after she lost her mother Lisa said she felt “like [her] body was just crying out” to have a child. She suddenly found herself fixated on babies and pregnant women. Given that Lisa was already in her 40s and facing the realities of age-related fertility decline, IVF was her only option. With the support of her partner, she underwent 4 years of fertility treatments, which were ultimately unsuccessful. Eventually, when she felt she had done everything possible to become a mother and couldn’t bear the thought of more invasive treatments, Lisa resigned herself to the fact that being a mother was just not in the cards for her.

If you never really wanted to have children and suddenly find yourself questioning that decision, you may want to ask look at what’s going in your life that might be triggering this reassessment of parenthood. These life triggers can be important opportunities to reflect on your life and your values – even if that reflection confirms your original decision not to have children. 

To read more about Lisa’s story, click here:

Lisa Stansfield: My mum’s death made me want children, but IVF failed [Express] 

To read more about personal readiness for parenthood, click here.

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