Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Motherhood, the pathetic pinnacle of my aspirations?

I recently read an article shared by the 'Huffington Post' on Facebook. It was about motherhood and how it changes you. The worry, the sleepless nights, the self sacrifice, and how beautiful and worthwhile it all is. You know.

Now, I don't want to talk about the article really. What really struck me was the reel of comments below the article. Most of them rather derogatory and insulting, but such is the internet.

There was one in particular that caught my eye. 

'The world is overpopulated and a biological function of the body isn't a miracle to tout as the sole reason for your existence. Or at least not a very unique one. Animals breed all the time. Humans have a choice. Some people, like me, had that choice taken away and can't have children. Tho, I wouldn't even if I could. There are far too many children - and adults - who need love and support now. You don't get my respect for spitting out a kid, but you do if you adopt. Or foster. Or volunteer or donate or do anything which helps the planet and her people. But you don't get applause just because you feel special for being a parent and demand the attention. Be careful how you define what being a woman is and if your kids are your sole focus in life I feel sorry for you to have to define yourself only as a mother. Tho if it makes you happy, great. Enjoy the grit and grime - I hope parenthood isn't the pinnacle of most people's aspirations. Kids are important and need education and guidance but don't say every woman's most important occupation is child rearing. It's insulting and devalues my purpose to be nothing more than a milkmaid and nanny.'

I had to think long and hard about what this comment stirred inside of me. It's a little insulting, but I understand it completely. It reminded me of the bitterness I felt when I was an outsider, striving for pregnancy and failing miserably (at what comes so naturally to most). It reminded me about how motherhood is annoyingly expected of everyone and mothers are put on a pedestal. It's the sort of thing I would have said, to remind myself that I was no less a person for being infertile and that life could have some other meaning.

But I decided that it was these parts in particular that grabbed my attention...

if your kids are your sole focus in life I feel sorry for you to have to define yourself only as a mother

I hope parenthood isn't the pinnacle of most people's aspirations

These days, the boy is my soul focus in life. For some reason I struggle with that. I can't help feeling ashamed and guilty that I don't work. Looking at career mums and wondering how in hell they manage it (they must be so much better than me!). I have stopped achieving. I have nothing to talk about with other adults (besides the boy of course). I am no longer a valid person. 

Yet stupidly, when I was trying for a baby, it was all that I wanted. Achievements didn't matter to me in the long run. Giving my husband a child, my parents a grandchild, motherhood was all that mattered. It was literally all I thought about and it ate me up inside.  

God what an idiot I am! I wish I could make up my mind! 

I don't know why I feel this constant need to achieve things - correction - achieve MORE things.

I am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I have gained a science degree, started up two successful businesses from scratch, and I occasionally get published in a magazine. I have worked my way up from debt to a position where I actually have some money stashed away for a rainy day. I have soldiered through infertility, controlled my type 1 diabetes obsessively throughout the pregnancy and got my crappy body to actually make a healthy baby. Pregnancy was the hardest thing I ever did, by biggest achievement to date. And now I am in a situation where I CAN stay at home with my child and enjoy my time with him. Many mothers would love to be in my position.

What more do I want? 

I think what I really need to focus on is just being happy. Now THAT would be an achievement. I should play with my son and take in each moment as he grows up. I should plant veggies in the garden. I should love my husband and spend time with my family. I should walk with the dog through the woods. I should write some stuff. I should Forget what everyone else is doing and achieving, forget what others might think of me. I don't need the respect or admiration of disgruntled Huffington post readers, and I don't need their pity either. 

I'm one of the lucky ones.

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