Motherhood is {not} For Me

When Sergio and I began to get serious about our relationship, I remember having conversations about what our future would look like. Let me tell you, one thing I didn’t see in mine was children. Nope, not at all! I remember sharing my sentiment about children with Sergio and not believing him when he told me it wasn’t a dealbreaker for him. “Are you sure?” I would ask. “Yes, babe. I’m not going to love you less because you don’t want to have kids.”

I laugh now when I tell the story of our conversation the week of our wedding. I called him one afternoon and said, “Are you sure you’re going to be happy marrying someone who doesn’t want to have kids? Because if you’re not, this is your chance to run!” He laughed and reminded me that he knew what he was signing up for.

Why didn’t I want to have children? Well, here’s the truth and it will sound selfish (because it is, and that’s ok). I couldn’t understand how anyone in their right mind would want to work hard to invest in and for someone else without any guarantee of reaping a reward. I saw how hard my mother worked to ensure my sisters and I had all the things we needed and wanted. She chose to put aside her “wants” to give us ours. And oftentimes, we didn’t say thank you because we expected her to do it as our mother. As I got older, she would tell me, “One day, you’ll understand, Franchesca. I am proud to see my daughters living out their purpose. It brings me so much joy to know that all my sacrifice has allowed you all to do the things in this world that I couldn’t do.” I just didn’t understand why she chose that life…

Until 4 years into my marriage. Sergio and I had been living our best life on road trips, doing ministry work, making late night runs to Walmart, and going out almost every night of the week! It was the most fun we had ever had, yet, it felt like something was missing. There was so much we wanted to accomplish in life, but no one to share it with. We had this grand idea of building an empire - becoming entrepreneurs, investing, and living out our passions. But when we died, who would we leave it to?

I realized my mother was right all along. It didn’t matter if I built a legacy so grand if there was no one to remember me. People might remember the business I built, the church I planted, the blog I created, but who was going to tell the stories about the person behind it all? Who would use my journey as a motivator to keep walking out their own? I realized that the day I died, I wouldn’t be remembered because of how much I invested or how great my church or company were. People are remembered for the direct impact they have on their relationships with others.

The moment it hit me hardest, I was sitting in my in-law’s living room listening to them tell the stories of their grandparents. They laughed at the traditions passed down, the memories of odd habits and different characters who were part of the family. I listened to his grandmother talk about how they were raised and the values they instilled in my husband. I understood why he was so hardworking; why he was resilient and refused to give up; why he was able to connect with people the way he does and genuinely love them. I fell in love with a man who was the product of the people who influenced him. And he wholeheartedly believed he could influence others also.

That’s when it hit me. Our greatest impact on the world would be in the way we raise our own children to serve others. Can you imagine a world where all parents teach their children to live selflessly and love others? We would eliminate crime, world hunger, wars, bullying, homelessness, and the list goes on. I realized that Sergio’s grandparents left their mark on the world by raising up children who honored that belief. My mother did the same with us. And here we were - two young people who could teach our children what it means to have a lifestyle of generosity. I had the power to influence multitudes of generations through my own children. And so, on the ride back home, I turned to my husband and said, “I think I want to have a baby…”

So here I am today! Two girls down and who knows how many more to go - haha! But, one thing I know for sure: I wouldn’t trade the gift of motherhood for anything in the world. It is an underestimated job and our society doesn’t give mothers enough of a break or applause for the work they put in. But seeing another human being emulate the things I do and say is proof of the influential power we hold as mothers. So, if you’re a mommy reading this (or have a mommy friend, pass on the message), remember that you play a vital role in helping our world be a better place for all!