I have not penned anything in months because I have been gestating. Spectacularly. Painfully. Anxiously. As with most new phases of my life I have sought to learn about myself, and ultimately what it means to be a woman. More specifically, I have been trying to position myself as a mother-to-be in a word full of mothers.
Interestingly, it is when women are doing the very thing which genetically distinguishes us (and some would say makes us superior) from men that the rules of feminism seem to apply the least. It seems to me, that some women seem to turn against each other, largely to validate their own choices.
A case in point: mothers judging other mothers because of breast-feeding/ bottle feeding, staying at home/ going out to work/ controlled crying/ self-soothing. We don’t do this to each other in any other facet of life, so why do this to each other throughout motherhood?
And how about those women who revel in telling pregnant people that they’ll never sleep/ get dressed/ care about their careers again?
Howsoever well-intended this advice, I want to scream that I want to find these things out myself! I want to decide how I feel about my career, I want to find out for myself about sleep deprivation. After 40 weeks of not being able to control my own bladder, I think I’ll have earned it!
This is to say nothing of the things people say to you, sentences like “you’re massive” and “are you sure there’s only one in there?” have started to feature more and more. Why at the time when we are most self-conscious and vulnerable do social boundaries and decorum seem to matter the least?
My absolute biggest bugbear is that if I dare to suggest that I’m tired, someone is always willing to say “you’ve seen nothing yet!” with a little too much glee.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to all mothers, and since announcing that I’m pregnant the interest, care and love people have shown has been truly humbling, and to be honest, pretty integral to surviving the journey thus far. Perhaps I am being hypersensitive and hormonal, perhaps I eventually I will be confined to pyjamas pining for someone to instruct me how to cope. I hope not.
It strikes me as ironic that by definition, mothers are selfless, compassionate loving beings with limitless tenacity and generosity, yet they don’t always show this to each other. With that said, the one resounding message mothers give me is that no matter the hardships, the final outcome is more than worth it, and I am most definitely holding on to that!
Until next time… B xx
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