My Journey Through Reluctant Motherhood

Motherhood Personal Story Single Mothers


I didn’t choose motherhood. It chose me. I was the reluctant mother. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son William. He is the apple of my eye. But truthfully I was reluctant to become his mother, even after he was born. I always wanted the career, the husband and the freedom to live life.

Having Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a hormonal endocrine disorder very common in women, made it easy for me not to worry about having children. PCOS is responsible for 70% of infertility issues in women.

I was 28 years old, living in New York City, attempting to make my journalism dreams come true. This Texas girl was determined to make it in the big city. Professionally, I had a few journalism opportunities I was pursuing. Creatively I had become a spoken word artist performing my poems at open mics weekly. I finally had created a life that I truly loved. I was even seeing a guy. It wasn’t anything serious, but I really liked him and we spent a good amount of time together.

I initially went to the doctor for a well-woman exam to get birth control pills. But once there my intuition told me to ask for a pregnancy test. I found out I was expecting my first child. It was a Saturday in May. I walked the streets of New York in a daze. Everywhere I turned I saw pregnant women. I couldn’t believe that I was pregnant.

When I told the father, he really pushed for abortion because he didn’t want more kids. This request from him made me think of Tami Roman and her abortion on the second season of The Real World in Los Angeles. At the time it aired, I was in elementary school watching TV far too advanced for me. I watched it again on YouTube and knew I could not go through with the process. I am thankful Tami was bold enough to share her truth with the world when it really was groundbreaking television. More than 40% of all women will end a pregnancy by abortion at some time in their reproductive lives.

To prepare for my child’s arrival, I let go of my attachments in New York: my journalism opportunities, performing poetry and the father of my child. Leaving the father made me fragile emotionally so I sought therapy. Mentally I was not prepared to be anyone’s mom. I needed to get myself together. Therapy was helping me do just that till my son arrived three months early. He was born right on the threshold of life and death.

Life had spiraled so quickly, in many directions, I often sat in a daze at my son’s bedside wondering how I got there. I didn’t have a mothering instinct in me, yet I knew I was responsible for him being here. My son’s early entrance to this world meant I was at his bedside every day. I learned how to care for him, how to stimulate him to breath and how to be his mom. I rushed to the hospital every time he took a turn for the worst. I did what was required of me.

Being a reluctant mother doesn’t excuse me of my responsibilities to my son. But being a reluctant mom does mean I resent having to put my life and plans on hold for my child. During one of many hospital stays for my son, I met with a social worker as part of the protocol for our local Children’s hospital. This medical stay coincided with the passing of Whitney Houston. I lamented how much life had changed for me. I told her I missed my old life in NYC but more importantly I missed my career. I wanted to be in a newsroom. I wanted to share in the thrill and excitement of breaking news. I wanted to recite poetry so piercing that even your partner felt my words. I wanted to be free of medical establishments. By this time, William had done 84 days consecutively in the NICU and was on his third hospitalization since birth. I was worn out and tired. I was operating on autopilot.

William was eventually released from the hospital. The third time must have worked like a charm because till this day he has never been admitted for an overnight stay again. The last hospital visit brought Child Protective Services into our lives. The hospital worker to whom I vented my frustrations called CPS. Her coworkers called back afterwards to discourage CPS from pursuing the case. Their call back didn’t stop me from a required meeting with CPS officials at their offices. Her reasons for contacting them were unfounded. My case was dismissed. Reluctant motherhood almost caused me more issues and headache than I was ready for.

I was reluctant to be William’s mom because it meant giving up so much of myself, so quickly. I never saw motherhood as this positive thing and to a certain extent I still don’t. I certainly don’t think it’s the greatest thing I’ve done or will do. As time has progressed, I’ve sought to live for him and me. So that means hiring an overnight sitter sometimes. That means taking a trip without him. That means allowing myself time and space away from him if it means making me a better mommy for him. I am slowly but surely becoming the mom I want to be for William. But I couldn’t have gotten there without reluctant motherhood.

I wasn’t allowed the space to speak openly and truthfully about my feelings about motherhood. Reluctant motherhood is all about allowing the space for women to share their open and honest truth about their difficult journeys with motherhood. I want to foster that conversation and allow women to speak freely. It has taken four years for me to get to this point.

Watch William’s first year of life below.



Leave a Reply


  1. Arlett (Chasing Joy) September 5, 2017 9:34 am

    I Have been trying to conceive for 2 plus years so this was a little hard to read at first. However I’m glad I read the entire post. Just as it is important for me to share mu journey it is important for you to share yours so other reluctant moms can know they are not alone and that it does not make them bad mothers.

    • oliviadsanders September 9, 2017 1:02 am

      Hello Arlett! Thanks for commenting! I wish you nothing but success on your journey towards motherhood. It’s amazing how God works out our stories/lives. I’m thinking of having one more child in the next year and honestly I’m scared because of my age. God Bless!

  2. Kiwi September 5, 2017 1:31 am

    what a beautiful video you made for his first bday you definitely have a newroom voice! I am not a mother yet but I am so happy you are honest about your reluctant into motherhood.

    • oliviadsanders September 9, 2017 1:03 am

      Thank you Kiwi! God constantly had me telling the stories of others even in my darkest time. Telling my son’s story has been a joy!

  3. Jamala Wallace September 4, 2017 11:20 pm

    Happy Birthday to you precious angel! This was a wonderful tribute to your son and I’m so hear he’s doing well. Praise be to God.

  4. Toiia L. Rukuni September 4, 2017 10:27 am

    This is a wonderful read! It took awhile for me to decide to start a family too. However, I would not trade motherhood for the world!

    • oliviadsanders September 9, 2017 1:04 am

      Hello Toila! I don’t mind being an older mother. It helps me focus on the major things and not the minor things. Now that I’m a mother, I can’t wait to have him a sibling!

  5. L.C. @ A Life of Authenticity September 3, 2017 12:23 am

    It is so important for women to have the forum to be authentic and true to themselves, to actually have a voice to speak their truth outloud without judgment. I’m glad you had this forum to do so. Be blessed.

  6. chantal September 2, 2017 11:34 pm

    Great read! I had my first child my sophomore year of college, so I can definitely relate to this.

  7. Ola September 2, 2017 10:42 pm

    Being a parent certainly demands a lot from a person mentally and emotionally. It’s a totally selfless, and humbling job.

  8. Ngumabi September 2, 2017 12:07 pm

    This is touching
    It’s sometimes good to be honest with our feelings and that way we can move on
    This could have happened to anybody
    Courage my dear!

  9. Felecia Monique September 1, 2017 11:28 am

    This really touched me. A friend of mine and I were just talking about being honest about the downside or negative emotions we experienced as moms. For me it’s what would’ve happened if I continued my goals in my freshman yr of college instead of returning home to be a teen mom…great post!

    • oliviadsanders September 9, 2017 1:08 am

      Hey Felecia! I’ve had to return home on this journey too and hated it. Thats why I spent a little over a year away from my son preparing a way for us in NY. During that time I’d stay with him for a month at a time then go away for a month or two. It was difficult, but this site, O Girl Media wouldn’t exist if not for me taking that break to build on something better for him and me. It was incredibly difficult to be away from him given our rocky start. But God has a plan for all of us! Be blessed!

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