The only time I wonder if I'm missing out on anything is when I watch too much daytime television. I want to stress here that it's not that I actually feel I'm missing out, it's that I *wonder* if I'm missing out. It's really the "what's wrong with me" factor.
It's odd, because I spent the entire weekend with my husband at a gaming convention, spending time with friends, meeting new ones, staying out 'til the wee hours, staring in wonder at the families with kids and wondering how they could possibly do this convention with them. Of course they experience the Con differently than we do, spending more time at the Yu-Gi-Oh! booth than with their own friends, and it was really cute to see the dads who were helping their sons with their Dungeons & Dragons games. But, as usual, the moment I get a glimmer of "I could do that", I get hit in the face with "oh my gods I could NEVER do that".
I feel fortunate that I know before making the leap that I am not equipped to handle being a mom. And I feel like I beat a dead horse on this, but I hear the women on these talk shows speak about how it's the best thing in the world to be a mom, etc etc etc, and when this happens, I ask myself "why don't I want that?"
I read and hear it implied that if I don't want children, I must be suppressing my natural instincts, that I'm fighting against a desire because I want something else. Even within the childfree community I hear about people and their surrogate children (usually pets), or finding a replacement for kids, or an alternate outlet for maternal feelings. As much as I love my cat and consider him part of our family, I don't consider him a child-replacement. There's no need for one.
I don't feel like I'm missing out on motherhood any more than I'm missing out on, say, the skydiving outing my friends are doing in a couple weeks. They can go ahead, have fun, tell me how I'm missing out on a good time; but if it's something I have no desire to do, that I fear and find unpleasant at the mere thought, then how can I be missing out on it? Sure, if you want to do something and chicken out because of fear, there might be some regret. It's not that I fear it -- it's that I don't want to do it.
Building analogies helps me understand my feelings and realize they're okay. I think when I watch daytime TV and start feeling this way it's because I'm looking at my situation and seeing it through the Mommy filter. I'm glad I have this blog to sort out my feelings. I'm much better than I was at the beginning of this post.