Dear Future Children

:: THE LOVE LETTER TO LIFE SERIES ::

Dear future children,

It is exciting to write to you, finally, in my late twenties, with a loving partner by my side, looking forward to your existence.
Before this moment in time, it was more frightening to write to you, to dream of you, to question you.
For a little while I wasn’t sure you would exist.
Or if I would ever feel ready to have you exist.
It feels obvious to say, but like everything, the older I get, the more I realise, ‘ready’ is rarely a thing.

There was a time when I was surrounded by brothers, in a large home, full of noise and joy and tension.
A time when I thought I didn’t want you to exist or that I didn’t want to bring you into a family unit like mine.
Where love was clear and complex but financial pressure and marital tension was ever present.
I thought motherhood looked too challenging and like too great a sacrifice.
I thought it would mean I would have to give up on all other dreams, that parenting was a singular path.

Then there was a time when motherhood seemed to be linked too tightly to the patriarchy.
The limiting expectations of a broader society that only wanted women to be breeders, homemakers and full time cooks & cleaners.
I felt the question of ‘are you seeing anyone?’ and ‘when will you start saving for the future?’ too heavily coincided with ‘when will you become a mother and a wife at the exclusion of any other ambition?’
That feeling that women in their early twenties can experience of ‘wanting something’ only to realise they don’t want it all, but society wants it for them.

The next stage of pondering you, was in my mid twenties, and I remember it vividly, of my ovaries, hormones and brain having a secret meeting together before wildly announcing to me that it was time for procreation.
I remember feeling it all over my body, and in the familial parts of my heart, a yearning that I could not control, that said: impregnate me, to no one in particular.
It took a solid few months before I realised that this was straight up biology.
Evolution of the species and all that.
And had nothing to do with me or my desires.
I had settled in a degree and career path that I was finally excited about and you were truly not on my radar.
I had started to think about you intellectually but not in practicality.
I had also begun to believe that there might be only one of you, and I might almost certainly need to parent you alone.
I believed no one would truly love me enough to partner with me, to parent with me and be my equal, my lover and my teammate.
So I decided it might just be you and me kid.

Next up, I fell in love with a man.
I fell harder than I’d ever fallen and it was very, very complicated.
He wasn’t the right man, in a number of ways, but he was the first time I’d truly started imagining a future.
One with the picket fences and the puppy and the rolling hills, but also a never ending sense of adventure.
He was the one who made me think about being a mother and a supported, loved, teamworked type one.
Not the one where I had to do all the cooking, cleaning, homework, admin, caring, scheduling and the loving of parenting.
But one that was in a team.
I knew as a woman I might still need to do most of it, but I wasn’t alone, necessarily.
Needless to say, that was not the right person for me, and I was still subscribing to a muted, suppressed and reserved version of my fullest self.

So on I went.
I travelled, I explored, I self developed.
I re-discovered my love for business owning, creativity, independence and art.
I remembered who I am. I embraced my queerness.
I imagined a world where I may fall in love again.
With a man, or a woman, or someone in between.
And I still kind of believed that that might not happen.
And I was ok with the idea that I was going to have a strong creative career, and it was going to be just you and me kid.

And then three of the most magical things happened.
Firstly, I happily strolled into my late twenties and was more honestly ignoring the ‘single spinster’ trope and suddenly all my people started having babies.
My beautiful cousin and her fantastic partner, my fabulous friend and her loving husband, all of my other cousins, both ladies and gents.
With gorgeous husbands and wives. Teaming up on this most exhilarating and exhausting challenge of parenthood.
And they showed me a version that felt so possible to me.
I spent time with their children, their versions of you, and I loved them.
More than I’ve loved anyone else’s children before. 
I saw myself in my cousins and my friends, and their strength, bravery and honesty, reassured me that I could be some kind of mother.

The second most magical thing is that I was lucky enough to become an aunty.
And oh my goodness does that change you.
I thought it was so cliche before.
When people would say that once you see that child, hold them, and feel your biology in them, that everything changes.
But it does.
I looked down at that fresh mini human and it disarmed me.
My nephew came into this world and I loved him instantly.
I will protect him, and help raise him and spoil him and take him on adventures.
And I am honoured, and humbled and moved.
It made me remember, that love and connection, is really all there is.
We can be our best selves and create our best communities but all in the pursuit of love and connectedness and caring for each other.

And the third, and even more magical thing happened.
I met your other future mother.
My glorious, adorable and beautiful girlfriend.
To be fair, I did not meet her.
As you will one day hear.
I knew her.
Very, very well.
And she knew me far better.
She was one of my closest friends, and as it turns out, had loved me for a very long time.
All through those times of not knowing what I wanted or who i really was.
She loved me anyway.
And through an enormous amount of self reflection, and a few perfectly imperfect and confronting coincidences, I realised I loved her too.
And then my dear future children, I knew you were possible.
I already knew she would make a phenomenal mother to someones children.
And fuck am I lucky and excited that it gets to be mine.

Loving your future mother, and more accurately being loved by her, has shown me how you can exist.
How I can be a mother and an artist and a leader and a human in this world.
She has shown me that I do not need to do anything alone again, if I don’t want to.
She has taught me that it is ok to ask for help.
To NEED help.
To surrender to my health, my heart, my fear.
To lean in.
She has shown me what my ideal version of partnership and teamwork looks like.
And you know how I told you I didn’t think sharing parenthood was possible.
That was a lie, I knew it was possible, I knew what sharing the physical load, emotional labour and joy of parenting looked like.
I just heavily doubted that I would find it in anyone.
That I could handle waiting. Or committing. Or heaven forbid, being comfortable enough to let them in.
But it is possible.
She is possible.
She exists.
Awkward that she was here all along, but we’ll forgive me for the personal journey I needed to wander through first.
Because this is so so worth it.
I am scared in an excited way now.
And I feel ready.
Ready in a way I’ve never felt before.
Just before I knew she was my person, I had already fallen in love with the idea of you, and I knew I would find a way to make you happen.
But now I know she is my person, I have fallen in love with the reality of you.
Now I think about where we will live.
What we will name you.
How we will teach you that gender is a social construct.
And how you can love whoever you want to love.

We will teach you that every version of self expression and using your brain is valid, worthy and can carry you through your life.
We will remind you that your body is yours, it is enough and you can do whatever you like with it.
We will show you that adventure is everything, that the world is so big and so small, and that all cultures matter.
We will take you everywhere we can possibly manage.
We will find ways to expand your learning opportunities at every moment.

Your other mother will show you what clean looks like and will give you the very best sense of humour and adventure.
I will show what delicious food tastes like and will give you the very best sense of art, craft and expression.
We will both take you to every sport, dance, music, body combat and language class that you ask for.
And we will show what the city has to offer whilst always taking you through the joys of a country lifestyle.

We will be a team. We will make mistakes. We will get scared but we will lead by example and be honest with you.
And I will hold you.
Like my mother held me.
And I will tell you that everything is going to be alright.
Even if i don’t know how.
Because it will.
And I will tell you that no matter what happens, or what time of day or night it is, that if something goes wrong or you’re scared, you call me.
Like me mother told me.

Because loving you will be one of my greatest joys and I’m sure the greatest challenge.
And I am ready.
And I already love you.
More than I thought possible.
Not because I think I have to, or because society wants me to, or because your Nanna is the best Nanna a kid could ask for.
But because I want to.
For myself.
And I am ready.
And I already love you.

Thank you for calling me to learn about what womanhood means to me, what parenthood looks like for me, future children, I love you x

Sarah xx

 

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash