“Finding my child”
is finding and giving birth to
a (non-human) child.
In solitude and in interactions with others, I am exploring alternative ways of being a mother if one doesn’t want kids. But this exploration is about all possible forms of children, the most curious is meaning and practice of going for such a journey, being a parent…
Photo: Lars Daniel Terkelsen (here the second ritual with my beloved girlfriend, 2 weeks before her first baby was born. I was “pregnant” with my non-human child)
I asked different people what their child would be:
A journey with love, responsibility, something that needs long-term nurturing to grow and cannot just be dropped anytime things get hard.
My child is my drawing.
It’s all about how good I’m at concentration. (…) That’s how it is with kids: they can always feel if you are not present and then they do crazy stuff. And if I am not present, the ink does crazy stuff.
My child is my kolonihave (…) I give it a lot of attention…and love.
My child would be a song, a song that I wrote, a never-ending song. A song which will write the final lines by itself. A song that I teach notes to but then the song will know how to finish its own story.
It’s an interesting question, cause It was not until I had real children and some death anxiety – in this combination – that made me have this new non-kiddy child. We are all part of this and it’s all interaction. Everyday interaction with another human beings and talking, being and feeling other people in many different forms and shapes.
I am in a process of reconnecting with my inner child. I am a bit in a chaotic situation, it’s all still within me today, neglecting stuff… So in a process of refinding this child and integrating this with my heart.
When you gave me the question, I was thinking back 5 years ago when I got my son. One thing that happens when you become a parent is that it changes you on a personal level and it does that everyday cause your child is changing all the time. I feel that the closest to that would be my startup. I am an entrepreneur. I have company that builds electric high-performance motorcycles. You will never be ready. And It’s changing all the time, you have to adapt to a situation all the time and make that kid or company the best all the time. Startup and entrepreneurship, passion and companies.
My child would be my travels, because one of the things child is doing the most is exploring
My ceramic pig (…)
4 dogs. (…) A bridge to meet people and to get out of my shell and be less shy.
My child would be a media or news magazine that would change the way people think
My children is people that are in front of me, so right now it’s you
My notebook, which I take everywhere with me. It’s affected by me, but also by the world around me, so after today you’ll be part of that (child) too.
For me it’s a really good question cause for a long time I’ve really wanted to have a kid, so I need to figure out what is it with a kid and if I should or not. This unconditional love that I want to share…how can I share it with somebody that is not in such a relationship. If I shouldn’t have a kid, (my child) would be to keep on connecting with people and try to make this connection stronger and stronger. And that is to be in a present moment for the rest of my life and that could be something that can’t stop. You just have to do it. You cannot just go away from it, because as soon as you get to understand that the connection can be stronger and deeper, it’s so empty when it’s not there.
A concept that I feel like nourishing all my life and I feel highly responsible for would be inclusion. That’d sth that drives me forward, consciously or not, it’s in core of myself.
Five years ago I wanted to find “the right one”. A couple of days ago my daughter came to this world. And she’s my child.
I want to take liberty of having 2 children:
1.Dreams when I fly or when I awake, riding a motorbike, being so close to the wind.
2.Being thankful, but grasping also bad experiences. And it takes guts sometimes.
Why not trying to embrace all what’s coming? Take it in and say thanks, both to good and bad.
Being grateful for bad times. I have just finished my thesis. Writing this paper with a broken heart has been the hardest thing -I felt – I’ve ever done. But it helped me grow. So my child is the dark times…
I have many children that can be born. It would be friends from all over the world that I have to give attention so they don’t feel abandoned.
I have 5 children and as they grow your parental attention has to direct its ways to sth else
Parental awareness is an important social feeling and I was so lucky that I turned to Burning Man community, cause I now I have trillion children.
I embrace all of you and all of your lives and I love you and I brought a bit of Burning Man dust for al of you.
My child would be understanding the world. It’s important to me to understand, why it looks how it does, how history affects how people act, how their past reacts on how everybody acts. Understanding people, society, world structures.
There are different children on my mind. My special child is a friendship with Marie. It was 6/7 years ago when Marie chose me, I don’t know how, she held on to me and it took some years for me to understand the importance of this friendship. And for the last two years we had so many experiences together (…) A friendship you have to nourish, you have to take your time to it, you have to share flaws and joy. And we are very good at that, but It’s not sth coming easy, it is easy, but it’s not coming easy. You have to hold on to it. She’s gonna be in my life for the rest of my life. It was my choice. So I’m gonna hold on to her now.
My child would be my business. I work with Sales&Marketing. I consult companies, come up with ideas, they have to think differently than what they normally would do. I’ve seen a lot of different businesses, I’ve see a lot of negative ego, greediness. My dream is to change all this so we can be who we are and don’t have to be afraid of showing who we are and still do business. We can actually do better business by changing this.
Do know this feeling when you’re meeting and looking at someone on the street and it feels uncomfortable so you look down. My child would be to challenge that moment , eye gaze and smile and laugh. For me hearing child’s uninhibited laughter is crazy, wild and full of happiness.
I realized that I am already committed to allow the child to grow, to help the child to grow, but somehow the interaction between me and the child is not going anywhere, the child doesn’t wanna get born. And I am thinking why don’t I want to give this birth? The child itself would be community. Well, everytime I come here is like giving birth a bit, but not really. I am dreaming about specific things within a community and only occasionally I experience them. You go back from Borderland or Burning Man and you’re missing that experience there, you wanna continue with that. For the last 1,5 year it felt like it will be born the way I imagine that and then it doesn’t, then I try again, and it doesn’t… And I guess that’s sth about being committed to the birth itself that I need to understand.
The child is sth you create with at least one person and you can’t predict how it looks like and it makes me think of adventures. That’s my child.
I hope I will have many children. One thing I really like, that I’d really like to grow is already rolling: the summer camps I made with … youths. It’s one week that makes a difference (…) The world becomes this little bubble of love, joy and happiness and one of the best quality life experiences is happening there. (…)
My child is letting go…
The child is already growing and I am finding it step by step. I don’t know where it’s leading me yet, but what is clear at this stage is: (My child is) letting go of what I want and keeping my heart open even though it hurts. I always wanted to have this romantic dream with a man, but it never really happened and all my life thinking that “something is wrong with me” and “why isn’t it happening?” And then I realized I want so much and it’s really about transforming ‘Desire to get’ into ‘Desire to give’. My child in a way is choosing truth and honesty over creating and maintaining a romantic dream. I realized I’m preventing so many treasures from the world, hiding my treasures, cause I’m upholding some kind of image. When I met with my ex-boyfriend after ten years, he had been my biggest love and there was so much love blossoming after that long time, surprisingly, and then there was also suspicion that I am pregnant with him (and I don’t wan to have kids).
Then I was talking to this child on New Year’s Eve: “I love you, but I don’t want you in this form, so please stay with me, just manifest in a different form”. And then I realized I have to stay in his (my boyfriend’s) life. We were not supposed to see each other and I was quite happy for this romantic image after our night together + now I’m gonna stay in his memory and heart as this beautiful image forever.
Then I realized: No! I have to sacrifize this romantic, magical image and continue being in his life because I can contribute somehow by being his friend. So this image that I’ve been building all my life to be attractive for a man and upholding the magic, I decided it’s not the most important thing …cause it’s actually limiting a lot of treasures we can give to the world.
(My child) is honesty and taking responsibility, using what you have and giving this to people even though it hurts, even though you don’t get what you want. That’s what it is here and now for me.
Maybe I am rash, but I believe that my first gut felt thought is the answer to your question.
My child would be, or is rather, the momentum I carry inside. It can be described as a journey, as a movement or an action – but I can feel any of these concepts are too narrow.
I think the core of my alternative child is an unquenchable curiosity. The unabillity to sit still, to stop expanding the mind or heart.
This child consists of strands of history, of stories that together weave new meaning – meaning that is both similar to other stories and meanings – but also in its own way totally unique.
The life blood of the child is time. The strands grow stronger with time. They are filled with extended meaning with time.
The love for my children is greater thank the love for myself.. Nothing in this world makes me feel so strongly, so greatly for another person. (…) It’s such a great, deep love…that scares me.
I’m scared of dying, because it would tear me apart, leave my children. It’s such a great responsibility to have children, but nature sees to it, that you will do ok. I’m fascinated about nature…that it just happens, the love is there.It includes a lot of strong feelings to have children, just with everything else that you are passionate about; you get angry, heartbroken, so so happy, emotional. And that’s absolutely wonderful. (…)
Photo: Diana Lindhardt, ‘The I’ of Sisters Academy
A year later, in Sisters Academy (taking over the school in Simrishamn, March 2016), I made a sharing ritual of my journey with ‘Finding my child’. As part of that, I also asked young Swedish people (16-17 years old) the same question as before. That’s what they answered. I let them do it anonymously:
For me, an alternative child would be acceptance. I’ve been struggling with accepting who I am, why I am, where I am for my whole life. But the moment I realized that all I have to do was to accept that this is my life right now, it all became so much easier. It doesn’t mean that I will always be in the same situations and surroundings, it just means that no matter where I am, I have to accept it to move on.
My alternative child is the stories and dreams in my head. I give them a lot of time and love because I learn from them a lot. Everything that books and tv-shows don’t give me, like diversity for example, I can put in my own story. Drawing, writing, dreaming about my stories and giving it time is also a way to show myself that my choices matter, and if spending time on it makes me fulfilled, it is worth it, even if the story would end.
My dreams are like an inner child to me. They affect my life so much and make me wanna live this life. Sometimes I hate them, but with love. I hate them because I wanna trust them, and that is a away to show that I love them. If I was to lose a dream, it would hurt so much. Because they are my home and they know me just the way I am.
My alternative child would be to be able to keep our family farm in the family. It’s been in our family for 400 years and I want that either me or my brother takes over it when we are older.
(on top of this, I also want a human child)
The child I am pregnant with is the child of deep feeling sensation fire emotion. The embers inside me I have to keep alive. Letting it get the things it needs to become a fire. Nurtue it so it does not only turn to cold ashes. It’s my life-fire. I keep it alive and well and then it will do the same for me. In Swedish you call it “livsglöd”. (…) It gives me the will to create, conjure, live out. In Swedish I call it “känsla för feeling”. When I’ve been without it, I’ve just been a shell, surviving not living. I love my child so much!
For me, it has always been so important with community, love and self-care, self-love. I’m not fond of the mainstream life, I don’t want to go to school for seven more years and become something fancy, where I could make a lot of money. That’s not what’s most important for me, that’s not my way, not my life.
And I think that my alternative child really is a human child. I have been longing for one for so long and I didn’t really know exactly why – but it is such a powerful and strong feeling from my inner depths.
For me it’s about loving yourself so much and trusting yourself to have and take care of another human being. To love another human being, a kid, a partner, a friend, trust, love, respect, growth, community, feeling.
It’s about starting an own independent life, to get to decide really what I want to fro in my life, what’s really important for me – and teach my child what I’ve learned through life. I want to teach my child that there are other ways than the ones picked for you from the beginning, there are freedoms, community, passion, undiscovered roads not worse than the mainstream, that’s not more dangerous or uncertain.
And I want to teach my child not to worry, because everything is gonna turn out exactly the way it’s supposed to, at the right time and place.I want to teach my child to follow the hearts song, to follow the dream and always choose a happy loving life.
My child would be the dark part of myself.
The voice that tells me I’m not good enough, that I should worry about what others think.
That I should hurt myself.
It’s the other side of me.
I want to give birth to this child . Because then it’s no longer inside of me. It’s something else. Then I want to raise this child into loving itself. And also to learn from it. Without that side of myself I wouldn’t be who I am today. To thank it.
I’ve always wanted a “real” baby
My alternative child would be change. It might be me who constantly changes or I mint try to change others hopefully for the better. To change myself and others gives me a pleasant sense of purpose and bliss.
I want a child, but I could also live with cats, but then I’d need something else to make my life meaningful (something bigger than myself).
My dream job where I do something I love and leave a lasting legacy.
I don’t want a child, but at the same time I want. I want to love and take care of someone that is going to be mine forever. I think different kinds of animals.
A sailboat, because they take so much time, but on a sailboat I feel free.
I feel it’s unfair for me to write this, cause my thoughts are so many and my words so few. (…)
My child could be a plastic thing that I have in my uterus that’s protecting me from having a human child. My child could also be my boyfriend who needs help and I’m very willing to give my help. My helping is my best and strongest weakness that I love to give.
Also my dogs, they need me, cause I (my family) didn’t give them the chance to take care of themselves, we have done that. And because we gave them the trust, it’s our duty to keep on doing that because of trust and love.
One more child of mine could be myself, my soul, my body to keep on with the journey to love myself and care for myself as I do with everyone else.
I will give my future child all the love I can. My child will think of other things than norms do. The norms will not exist in my child’s world.
I don’t know if I want kids, but if I change my mind, I hope my child wants to change the world to a better place for everyone. (S)he will be kind to all people and have a beautiful smile that makes changes. I want my child to do all the things I didn’t do as a child, but always have wanted to.
a pet or a passion. My passion is to play football. It’s hard and good times, symbolic to having a real child. It has to be hard work, tough and exhausting. But the thing is I would still want a real child to care about.
Maybe it’s something that I want to try or maybe my development as a human being.
I want to protect myself from myself in a way so I don’t lose myself in something that is not good.
*cats and dogs
*be the person I want to be
I think I crave for a human child, but now that you are saying it, maybe I just want one cause society says it’s the normal and right way of doing. But at the same time I feel having a child would be such an incredible experience. But maybe my alternative child is to find love that feels for real.
I probably want to have human children in the future. But if I’m gonna have alternative children, it’s probably gonna be my animals. Or maybe being able to help other people when they’re feeling bad. Because I want to be a therapist when I grow up. And putting your life and a lot of love into that. (…)
I want a human child. I would like to give it love and the most out of life and a great relationship to life. But I would like to live my life before I make that change in my life.
I want to learn and understand more of this world to widen my perspective and intellect, to understand both the smallest things and the biggest things and know what they are and what they mean. That is my inner child.
some sort of time consuming hobby
I want a human child. Or two.
I thought that I had no clue, but I think something with movement, change. Development.
Growing, both me myself and everything and everyone around me. Being that force to push things in the “right” direction. Creation, development, change.
I don’t know if I will have any kids.
But if I get a child in the future, I want it to be a positive person who cares about others and herself/himself well.
I want a kid who has the same interests like me. I want to dress her/him nice!
My contrasts. I want to nurture my differences and surprise myself. Embrace my everything that contradicts everything. I all never be bored with myself. Because I will evolve and frighten myself at every corner. I want to feel the most nervous and be so strong and know I could do it, being able to push myself. And then, just, not do it.
I have an unwanted child. A child I have to deal with. I hate it sometimes, at most times But I just can’t drop it.
My child is my anxiety.
My sickness is my child. I always have to take care of it, so it behaves in the best ways. I didn’t ask for it. It just came and it’s mine. I am longing for the day it moves out. It’s ok if it visits, but please, don’t live with me.
But who would I be without it. I’m not gonna miss it when it leaves, but I will miss a part of me. I will be a different person. And I don’t know if or when I’m ready.
My anxiety is real and I have to take care of it the rest of its life.
to be continued…or will you?