This is the 8th and final Mothering Matters blog in the Spring 2017 Blog Series:
A Must-Read Resource When Making the Motherhood Decision…or ANY Major Decision for that Matter
“When you isolate your desire first, and then weigh it carefully against your personal circumstances, it’s easier to make your decision.”
– Ann Davidman and Denise L. Carlini, Motherhood: Is It For Me?
Book Review of “Motherhood: Is it for me?”
For many women, the motherhood decision is a given. For some, the decision not to have children is just as clear. But for many of women – myself included – the motherhood decision is not so cut and dry.
In fact, I spent two decades struggling over whether or not I wanted to become a mom. In the end, life – and my choices – pretty much chose for me.
And as glad as I am that I ended up not taking the path of raising a child/ren, I could have saved myself an awful lot of time and energy…that was spent thinking about the decision, if the brilliant book, Motherhood: Is It For Me? Your Step by Step Guide to Clarity, had existed to help me work through the process of making a decision.
Alas, it wasn’t published until 2016.
But for all the other women out there, currently struggling their way through the “Should I or shouldn’t I…become a mom?” question, I highly recommend reading this book.
And yet, here’s the thing: even though I read the Motherhood: Is It For Me? book at the tender age of 49 ? I actually found it to be extremely useful in helping me make another major life decision over the past few months (more on that in another blog).
In my opinion, that’s the sign of a very good book!
But why, perhaps you may be asking yourself, would a 49-year old single gazelle have taken the time to read a book entitled, “Motherhood: Is It For Me?” in the first place?
Well, here’s the scoop: one of the authors, Ann Davidman, contacted me several months ago, after watching our documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood.
Ann is a Motherhood Clarity Mentor and a Marriage and Family Therapist. Ann has been helping women work through the motherhood decision for more than 25 years.
In fact, the book stems from the Motherhood Clarity Course, which is a 14-week program that helps women who are struggling with indecision about whether they want to become a mother.
Ann’s co-author, Denise L. Carlini, is also a Marriage and Family Therapist. The authors know from their professional experience that an analytical pros-and-cons approach often fails to successfully answer this most personal question.
Because of the Whatever Floats Your Boat documentary and the Mothering Matters blog series, Ann asked me if I would read and review their book. I said yes. And I’m awfully glad I did.
Right off the top, Davidman and Carlini explain the difference between determining one’s desire – what the heart truly wants – and making one’s decision: what course of action are you actually going to take?
This is important because: “When you isolate your desire first, and then weigh it carefully against your personal circumstances; it’s easier to make your decision.”
So often, we get caught up in trying to MAKE a decision before we’ve taken the time to really think through what it is we truly want…and that goes for anything in life, not just motherhood.
Here are just a few gems gleamed from the book…perhaps you might find, as I did, that regardless of where you’re at on your path, there is some very sage life advice here:
“Sometimes an important piece of information needs time to completely unfold, and sharing it prematurely can disrupt the unfolding…even the most well-intentioned feedback from others can disturb the feeling of safety you’ve been creating for yourself and push you off track.”
In other words: it is very wise to keep the early part of your decision-making process to yourself. Don’t let the riff raff in until you’re ready to let them in!
“Slowing down may indeed feel uncomfortable at first, but we’ve learned that allowing yourself time and space to examine and accurately perceive the various aspects of your life is far more effective than generating those pros-and-cons lists that only seem to keep you stuck in an endless loop of indecision.”
“Thinking is good, of course, but so much more happens when you write. The writing itself takes twists and turns in a way that thought processes can’t, creating a fertile environment for more and more to emerge.”
Ahhh…music to a writer’s soul.
“Bring intention to your process while you suspend judgement, and trust that on a deeper level something is happening.”
“Most women find that when they grant themselves permission to not know, they feel less fatigue and have more energy for exploring.”
“What needs to be known first is what you want for yourself regardless of the circumstances of your life.”
“Trying to make a decision based on your internal emotions and the external circumstances in your life at the same time creates all kinds of pressure…trying to figure out your desire and your decision at the same time creates gridlock.”
“There are no appropriate or inappropriate fears. There are only the fears that live inside you for good reason.”
“Human nature compels us to seek answers actively. It can feel excruciating not to know, and fluctuating between answers creates the perpetual illusion that at any moment the answer will come and provide relief…making a case for ‘yes’ and then making a case for ‘no’ doesn’t help you get any closer to getting off the fence; it only serves to temporarily soothe anxiety, nothing more.”
“When you relax into self-acceptance, the result is spaciousness. From there you can more easily gain access to the answers that are already there.”
“When you’re able to say yes to a big dream or future possibility, whether or not you know how it will come about, you move forward toward it and life tends to meet you, often filling in the details.”
“As you imagine your future, do you feel that you’re entitled to have things go the way you want them to?”
See? I told you it was a brilliant book ?
Here is the link for further information on (or to purchase) Motherhood: Is It For Me?
“At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
– Lao Tzu
Getting to the Heart of the Matter – To Be or Not To Be…a Mom?
Undecided about Motherhood? A Motherhood Clarity Mentor Shares Her Personal Story and Professional Advice on Making a Decision
Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. She is the executive producer of the documentary, Whatever Floats Your Boat…Perspectives on Motherhood. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.
Mothering Matters is an initiative of Pink Gazelle Productions Inc.
For further information about the Mothering Matters blog series, here is the link.
If you would like to receive the Mothering Matters blogs and/or read the other blogs, please click here.
6 thoughts on “Making Motherhood Decision? Must-Read Resource…”
This was very interesting Maryanne. Like you, I too came to the decision that motherhood wasn’t for me and I was glad I never had a child/ren AFTER life just sort of…..didn’t work out that way!
Had my circumstances been different….had plans I put in place come into being, I most likely would be a mom today. Thank God for unfulfilled dreams.
We plan, but Allah is the best planner….
Hi Sherelle! Great to hear from you and yes…it is SO interesting to think about how we wanted our lives to go one way – at one time in our lives – and then often, looking back, we are very glad they didn’t!
Take care and have a great summer…stay cool 🙂
PS Hope your writing is going well!!
This sounds like an interesting read. Whether to have a child/children is a very personal choice but when you really want to conceive and can’t it can be a heartbreaking experience – that goes for the would be parents but also the grandparents too! Thank heavens for our 3 grandsons that our son and daughter-in-law had!! Our daughter and son-in-law not so fortunate.
Sigh…yes – all good points, Marjorie.
It is an very interesting question. In my early years I didn’t even question whether or not to have kids, I just knew I would and wanted children. I did not have life change those plans. And most days I am grateful for that. However, now that I have aged and experienced life, I totally understand the question and others – what we once called the “facts of life.” I wonder about so much and how life can be different and have more understanding about different decisions and thoughts. I Wish everyone the best in their journey.
Hi Joyce! Great to hear from you and yes, our perspective certainly does change as we get older and have more life experiences – both our own and others – to draw upon. I hope you are doing well 🙂