Motherhood Was Not My Dream

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“Do you want to hold her?”

“Um … no, it's okay. I don't want to drop her!” I said, hoping I hadn't offended my cousin, who had just given birth to her second child. I had stopped by to visit on my way to the airport, after a business trip. I was 28 years old, single, and pursuing a fulfilling career in public relations and marketing. 

My dream, growing up, was to be a journalist, a writer, a storyteller. I wanted to forge my way into a world of words, perhaps even fame. I wanted to rub shoulders with fellow writers, celebrities, the who's who. I had no aspirations for being swept off my feet, a white wedding, or children. 

 I sang lullabies to her, and did that mother-rocking thing all women seem to come to naturally when they’re holding babies. My mind was changing by the day about having my own child. 

I spent much of my early and mid 20's, in a long-term campaign to persuade my parents that being unmarried was not a bad thing. That weddings were ‘stupid', and children, well, I was just not a ‘child person'. All my energy went into finding myself, stumbling around in the job market, trying to find my feet and passion, and eventually, settling down to a career where I could finally say, “I am good at this.”

Even when I did meet my life partner shortly after the visit to my cousin, we didn't think beyond plans for the next week. We simply enjoyed each other's company, traveling together, forming secret jokes and nicknames, and fell deeper and harder in love. Even when we decided to get married after a long, perhaps impetuous engagement (on his part, since he proposed), we did not really think about having children.

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It all changed for me on October 25, 2007. I met my niece – all 7 pounds, 7 ounces of delicious baby, only 12 hours old – and was smitten. I had never felt that way about a baby before. I held her, gingerly, and her body fitted naturally into my arms. I sniffed her hair, that baby hair smell permeating my senses, digging deep into my soul. 

I did not want to put her down. 

That first year of being an aunt, I visited my brother's home often, just to see my niece. I loved being able to rock her to sleep when no one else could. I sang lullabies to her, and did that mother-rocking thing all women seem to come to naturally when they're holding babies. My mind was changing by the day about having my own child. 

Is this what love is? If it is, I want more. I want my own. 

In 2009, I quit my job, after months of discussion with my husband. We decided in January that year, that we would try to start our own family. On May 1, I showed him the positive pregnancy test, deliriously happy. On December 29, we welcomed our first son. I was smitten. I held him just as I'd held my niece. I put him to my breast, and watched with fascination as this little person, just a year ago, a dream, a concept, a hope, was now in my arms, nourished by my body. 

And I said to myself, “I am good at this.”

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When did you realize you wanted to be a mother?

What do you think?

Motherhood Was Not My Dream

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, she traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison is a former blogger (Writing, Wishing), and her writing has been featured on Mamalode,On Parenting at The Washington Post,The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, Club Mid, She is one of 35 essayists ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Allison Allison says:

    I think I was like most little girls and just knew I wanted to be a mother. That stopped rather suddenly by the time I was a teen, and gained all kinds of traction as I entered my 20s. At the ripe old age of 23, I’d declared I was never getting married (and was genuinely OK with it). Two years later, I met the man who would become my husband. One of the first things I said to him was, “There’s a no-breeding clause in my contract.” Somehow he stuck around 🙂 A few years into our relationship, we started talking marriage and suddenly all I could picture was him with 2 kids crawling all over him. It was so strange because kids were never really on the table and neither of us was particularly broken up about it. We married in November 2011 and welcomed our first child in October 2012. I’m due with our second next month.

  2. Profile photo of Olivia Olivia says:

    I never wanted to be a mom. I literally cried when I was forced to hold my nephew when he was born. Babies cried, puked, and pooped themselves. That was not for me. Ever. And the pain of birth? Nooooo thanks. To appease my mom and dad I said maybe someday way way down the road I would adopt. Then one day, bam. I was pregnant and severely frightened. Turned out to be the best thing that could of ever happened to me!

  3. Profile photo of RF Dietz RF Dietz says:

    I was that girl too- kids? Psh- aint nothing slowing this train down! Love is a crazy drug, that’s for sure.

  4. Profile photo of Janice Trinh Janice Trinh says:

    I love this post. So sweet. It’s quite amazing how a little one can change one’s point of view, eh? 😉

  5. Profile photo of Kristin Kristin says:

    Oh, I loved this! I fell in love with my niece and didn’t want to put her down, either. I love your perspective – look at you now!

  6. Profile photo of gfunkified gfunkified says:

    I felt the same way! Although, I think I was mostly scared to have kids. I was 25 before we had our first, and for our family, that’s kind of old. 🙂

  7. Profile photo of Kerstin Kerstin says:

    You are good at this, my friend! I did not want kids either, thought I was too old at 25… the rest is history 😉
    Time flies… xox

  8. Profile photo of LauraORourke LauraORourke says:

    Beautiful! I think motherhood “hits” us at different times. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but I didn’t really know what it meant until I was one. Well, maybe I’m still learning. 🙂

  9. Profile photo of Jennie Jennie says:

    You ARE really good at this. I didn’t know you before but it’s not so hard to imagine you in another world than this one. But this one suits you so well.

  10. Profile photo of Arnebya Arnebya says:

    I keep trying to remember if I was sure I wanted children. I think in my early 20s I would have said I could have gone either way. But in reality, by the time I was purposefully pregnant with my first, at 28, I knew I’d have been lying if I said I could have been fine with never having any.

  11. Profile photo of Jennifer Jennifer says:

    I was the same. I never wanted children until I held my goddaughter. I was smitten.


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