Register Monday | April 19 | 2021

Becoming Not a Mother

A photo essay.

There is a kind of sadness in not wanting the things that give so many other people their life’s meaning... There is a let-down feeling when the great things that happen in the lives of others—you don’t actually want those things for yourself.”—Sheila Heti, Motherhood

When I decided I wouldn’t become a parent, my life didn’t simply carry on as it was before. I experienced intense feelings of loss, alienation and unworthiness in the wake of my choice. So in 2019, I started exploring what life as not-a-mother looks like. After all, when you decide not to become a mother, there’s no word for what it is you are becoming.

In the months that followed, I documented this period of transformation by taking spontaneous snapshots of my day-to-day life, creating a journal of things that comforted me: the shadows cast by a flower ...

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