Desire to parent means wanting to BE parented

As a childless (do rats count?) gal, I wouldn’t dare to make this statement myself.
I was in my weekly oppression class, with today’s topic being the discrimination of parents, when a mother spoke these words.
She spoke of the love one can only experience through their offspring (which pissed off all the childfree people on the zoom).
But also why some feel called upon childrearing.
Do people have children when they want to be unconditionally loved?

“You are enough” the meeting leader was saying to the parents.
I wish someone had told me that as a child.

I have definitely thought so myself.
When you grew up with abusive and manipulative carers, you feel unwanted when not pandering to their every need.
At the danger of generalising my experiences, isn’t even the desire to give your life to someone else selfish? Don’t all parents ultimately want something from their children?
Please do comment as I am genuinely asking.
I haven’t encountered all-loving parents who do not become disappointed when their expectations aren’t met, who do not identify themselves with their children or pass on unprocessed traumas.

My mother often told me that I wasn’t her daughter,
but her mother.
As a child I would hold her as she cried,
and yearn for her touch when I did.
After cutting my firstborn who gave birth to me out of my life, how could I not be terrified of having children?

I thought I didn’t want to have children, in fear of messing them up as badly as I was.
It was when speaking to a therapist years ago when she pointed out every time I spoke of hypothetically having kids.
I made it my #1 priority to heal my childhood trauma because I knew my parents never did.

I’m scared that if I never have children
I can’t prove to myself that I am not my mother.
I’m scared that I only want children to be mothered
just like I mothered my own.

There is no real resolution to this post, but I thought my musings might resonate with other trauma survivors.
The title of this post that a mother spoke truly moved me, while I’m sure many parents might disagree with it.
If you liked this mother-angst kind of reading, you should check out this other post of mine:
Iโ€™m so terrified of being a bad mother, Iโ€™d rather not be a mum at all sometimes

10 thoughts on “Desire to parent means wanting to BE parented

  1. It sounds like you had a similar experience growing up to what I had. The reverse of parent/child caring for upbringing. I recently read a book by Bell Hooks called “All about Love ” and I understand that my parents cared for me in the most basic of ways but love, no they weren’t capable of that. They hadn’t been shown that from their own parents and so forth so on. I have forgiven them. They did the best they could with the tools they were given. Now when I had children it was because I wanted to do it all different and share intentional love with them. I took parenting classes and read books. None of that really matters either. I use my heart and soul with every interaction I have genuinely and purposefully because that’s just who I am. Love is about giving. With or without having offspring. I’m sorry that what that woman said triggered old wounds from your own upbringing. What you described happens far too often and is a prevelant condition in our fast faced culture of people walking around with unhealed trauma from their own upbring of lack. The beautiful thing is that we can reparent ourselves and connect with ourselves in the best ways, the ways we need to now to feel whole. Sending you lots of love my friend.

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    1. Hi, thank you so much for your reply that is insightful and full of compassion as always! I will check out All About Love, I love the approach you have to parenting and it is obvious you have healed the scars inside of you. Vocalising my fears around motherhood is so helpful and I know that I am not destined to become my parents simply because I care so much. You are right, we need to forgive as they tried as much as they could. Thank you so much for your words! x

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      1. My pleasure my dear, my mentality, especially with other ladies is it takes a village ๐Ÿ˜‰ we are all in this together and if I can shed light and put things into perspective then I’ve done something ๐Ÿ˜ I could immediately feel you have learned, as I have from the mistakes around us that we survived. You learned. Motherhood is amazing. I’m hearing Alanis Morrisette in my head, “you live, you learn, you grow, you learn…..bottom line is YOU LEARN.We grow and rise together sister๐Ÿค๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’—

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      2. Aw I feel so much love and compassion, thank you so much! It is by sharing kindness that we can all heal together ๐Ÿ™‚ sending lots of hugs and I am sure you are an incredible mother if you make a stranger over the internet feel so valued! x

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      3. It’s my soul’s destiny as an intuitive empath and a shamanic healer. It is my absolute pleasure to see,hear and feel others who are just like me๐Ÿ’— yes my dear we heal together โค blessings to you๐Ÿ˜Š

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  2. Your questions are ones I often have as well. The abuse I suffered as a child first made me dislike the thought of having children. When I was in my late 20s, this feeling changed. I spent most of my life craving love like mad person, trying to find it and feel it from anyone. There was a never ending feeling of emptiness all of the time. When I had children, this need was not met. My desire to be loved was continually clawing at me. It wasnโ€™t until I fully healed the traumas of my past that I was able to be fully present for my children. The Body Keeps Score is an amazing book about the need to heal old wounds. It talks about the affect trauma has on us physically as well as emotionally. The cuts are deep and cannot be solved by someone outside of us. When I healed the hurt, my strong and seemingly endless need to love myself through others ended. It was then when I felt the deepest love I could for my sons. Is it unconditional? Yes. Did their love save me? No. Could I have healed and loved unconditionally with or without having my own children? Yes. Good luck in your journey to heal. It sounds like you are asking so many good questions. Your post is wonderfully honest and raw. ๐Ÿฆ‹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a beautiful comment, honestly we sound so similar apart from me not having children yet! You speak so beautifully, and yes The Body Keeps The Score was my first mindopening moment to how deep my trauma goes! You are completely right, nobody else can give us the love we need to get from ourselves. By sharing what I learn and listening to amazing survivors like you we will all reparent ourselves ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you! x

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