(I Never Intended to have) Children

by Anne Malatt, Australia

I never intended to have children. I love them and always have, but I did not feel I was capable of the long-term, stable, happy relationship that I felt they deserved, and my life was full and I did not feel I had time for them.

Well, I was right on both counts; but I have had children anyway, and they have enriched my life beyond measure.

When first I realised I was pregnant, I felt the happiest I had ever remembered feeling. Even though I had only just met her father, and even though I wasn’t too sure about him, and even though I had not planned to have children, I was more sure about having her than anything I had known before.

We moved to Byron Bay while I was pregnant, and lived in a little house in the middle of nowhere, far from the support of family and friends. It was not an easy situation. We had two children, close together, and separated shortly thereafter.

Raising two children as a single working mother is no picnic, but it is so much easier than raising them in an unhappy relationship. If I had cared for myself as well, it would have been fine, but I felt sad and lost and lonely and started to drink. This was a slippery slope for me to be on, and I made my life harder than it need have been. I suffered abuse, but more from myself than from anyone else, and my children suffered from my being the way I was. I always loved and cared for them, as best I could, but often gave from my emptiness rather than the fullness of love.

I met a man, Serge Benhayon, who showed me another way of being. This way came from the love inside me I had always known, but had long forgotten. To be treated with such gentleness, such tenderness, such love by a man – was a healing in itself for me. I started, very slowly, to live from that love, and to raise my children in that love.

This absolute love, which I had felt on the day I first held my children, but could not sustain in myself, began to be part of my daily life. And the more I loved me, the more I was able to truly love others. The feeling of love was fleeting at first, and sometimes only felt while gazing on my children as they slept! As my connection to myself and my love for myself grew, I was able to love my children more and more.

Now, I truly love them all the time, and if for some reason I don’t feel that love, I know it is because I have chosen to separate from the love that I am.

What is so great about having children?

They are a reflection of love, all the time. The love I feel for them is always pulling me, asking me to be more, to be more me, to be more love.

I cannot give up on them. Even when I was tempted to give up on myself, I kept going for them.

They push my buttons, expose my weaknesses, my fragility, and keep me honest and humble.

They keep me young and in touch with what is happening in the world.

They keep me caring about what is happening in the world, about the kind of world we are creating for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.

They keep me connected with my community, through school, sports and other events they are part of. They help me to meet people I may not normally meet, through their friends and the school community.

Most of all, my children have helped me return to love. Every day I give thanks for having them, for the joy they have brought into my life. I have learnt more from and with my children than from all the rest of my life.

I still marvel at how they came to be… and when I look at these two amazing beings, I still wonder what grace allowed me to be the one who brought them into the world.

143 thoughts on “(I Never Intended to have) Children

  1. ‘I still wonder what grace allowed me to be the one who brought them into the world.’ Something to ponder on because I have never looked at it in that way, thank you Anne I love your simple and divine way of writing, it is as if I sit next to you on the couch.

  2. I can relate so much to what you have shared Anne, especially having been a single parent for 12 years. And yes there were times when although “I was tempted to give up on myself, I kept going for them.”, even though the keeping on going was very challenging, usually exhausting and often ending up with me getting sick. Now as adults with children of their own I look at them and wonder where the years have gone, but always loving the fact that they have been in my life all this time.

  3. Thank you Anne for sharing your experience. I quite often marvel, as one who has not had children, at the way I see children help to keep some adults young and in touch with life in general, becoming friends with their friends and so on. As I do not have children, I have found another way, by having interests and friends such as singing that involves people of all ages in my life on a regular basis. And also through my work. It feels very healthy to do this in whatever way.

  4. I fully understand how you feel, Anne, about your children. They are truly our best teachers and I have found that they gently expose and call me out when I am being less. They know and understand that in terms of their self care that it is harmful for them to live with someone who is being less and this has been my boys’ greatest gift to me.

  5. We have the opportunity to learn and grow from all our relationships but there is something very special about the honesty of a child and how that honesty can lift and revitalize you.

  6. Beautifully said Anne and very true, children enrich our lives in so many ways, my daughter at 8 has a wisdom that is well beyond her years and she amazes me at way she so lovingly pulls me up at times.

  7. Having children is something I always knew I would do and when it happened I loved being a Mum, even with the challenges, doubts and unsureness that plagued me and affected how I parented, having children was a great joy in my life, and still is.

  8. I never imagined not having children, and do remember when it was confirmed I was pregnant and the beautiful feeling that welled inside me. The gorgeous men that have come into my life as my sons have shown me so much, how to let things be, not to hold on or harbour hurts and that it is not bad to choose to do something for yourself. So much to appreciate.

  9. In this era, our personal revolution takes place not in a cave, or in a retreat, but in our interaction in the world… Having children certainly places you in the middle of the path of interaction.

  10. Children offer us so much by reflection and are great at keeping us grounded, and often come out with pearls of wisdom that stop us in our tracks, leaving us wondering how such great wisdom could come from one so young. They have a beautiful way of lighting up our life, no matter what sort of day we have had.

  11. This is a beautiful appreciation of having children, thank you for sharing this Anne. From the position of not having children possibly for similar reasons, it’s great to feel what you share and expand and unblock previous thoughts, pictures and ideals.

  12. This is deeply beautiful reminder Anne, that we can never underestimate the power of what we can learn through our relationships with another, regardless of age. As though any relationship, if we are open and willing to be honest, we can learn, grow, and evolve together as such we deepen our connection to divine love, who we all innately are in essence.

  13. “And the more I loved me, the more I was able to truly love others.” There is no greater foundation to love than this.

  14. With children we have the opportunity to break from our learned perception of the world and return to what we innately know is true.

  15. It is so beautiful what you have shared Anne about having and loving children. So many many children in the world lack this parental love that you experience, all because they have not learnt and connected to the love they are and grow that love in their relationship with their children. They are precious beings gifted to us.

  16. I hear many parents say things like they love their children more than life itself. Whilst that may be true for them, the question it raises for me is what kind of role model are we if we are willing to sacrifice ourselves for our children? Surely they then grow up thinking this is what they have to do to show they love their children – and so it goes on. This will only stop when parents do what Anne has done and brought this love to herself so she is equal to and just as important as her children.

  17. I love what you have shared about what your children have brought to your life. A realness, an honesty and a greater connection to who we are and what we are made of.

  18. It is gorgeous that through being shown the love you yourself possess, you were able to reawaken and deeply connect to the love you felt for your children through that which you came to feel for yourself… a beautiful foundation upon which to raise them on so that they too would know and be able to hold the love they are. Stunning.

  19. Oh that is just a delicious offering of love! I too am so appreciative of all my children have brought into my life and that they chose me to do it with. I have grown so much because of their constant reflection and call to more honesty.

  20. The care, love and support we can express to another can only be genuine and of true quality if it is first expressed with ourselves. Mothering is a beautiful reflection and marker of this, as you have described Anne. Mothering from an emptiness or from a need is communicating to children that it is ok to forsake yourself in favour of others.

  21. I was very similar Anne in that I chose very early not to have children and took what I thought was permanent steps to that effect… Sometimes we just don’t know what is in store for us do we ☺

  22. All our relationships may reflect to us our imperfections and weaknesses that we need to work on resolving, but the equal blessing is that they also reflect to us our potential.

  23. Our children are one of the greatest reflections on earth. All that you have said Anne .. we just need to be honest with what is being reflected back and claim our truth.

  24. Prior to having my children I would tell myself and other family members that I did not want children, but when I found out I was pregnant those thoughts just disappeared. Now looking back at how I was, it all came down to lack of confidence in my abilities to be a decent mother, as I had this idea that things had to be perfect. I also remember feeling overwhelmed when my first arrived and felt this huge responsibility for this life I had brought into the world.

  25. ‘Now, I truly love them all the time, and if for some reason I don’t feel that love, I know it is because I have chosen to separate from the love that I am.’ Great line Anne, and one that applies to all our relationships. Just last night my husband was saying how he now knows when he gets frustrated with someone or something, it’s because he’s experiencing a lack of connection to himself… exactly what you are sharing here.

  26. While I don’t have children I am very close with my friends kids. At first this took some adjusting and letting go of a lot of pictures of how I needed to be in this relationship. I have a huge love for these kids but because they were not my own I held back from expressing all of it. I am now in a process of letting this go, fully enjoying them and letting them know and feel how much love I have for them. These relationships are key in my life- while I am not their parent I also play a huge role in parenting them.

  27. The truth is that none of us have any clue how does it feel to have kids until we do have one. And then, life changes and you have to keep dancing and dancing to a music that is not entirely of your choice. That notwithsatanding, the crucial bit is what are your choices to dance to a music that is not entirely of your choice. Getting lost of what is happening is easy, but to spot your movements and never get lost in the way is key.

  28. When we look at what is happening in the world, it is not hard to see we are failing at bringing up our children through parenting, education and community, and some of us are clearly not fit to be a parent. Grown-ups are needing to be re-parented as well in a way that would bring back who they truly are, and this can only be done by themselves. We have a huge responsibility to be and live who we truly are, and that is the most basic ingredient of being a parent whether we have our own children or not.

  29. Anne I loved rereading your blog this morning and particularly the appreciation you have for your children and what they bring, they are a true blessing and have the ability to bring out the best in us, from a simple smile to asking us questions about life itself.

  30. What a brilliant blog, I especially relate, having two unexpected children myself in Byron Bay, very close together in fact and shortly after I met their father whom I also separated from not long after, let’s just say, this blog is very familiar. I have to agree that being a single Mum is easier than living in a bad relationship though and that children are our biggest reflections and teachers. Every day my understanding and appreciation of them blossoms more and more and I feel so blessed that I was chosen to be their mother this time round.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s