<I did draft this on May 11/19, but was/have been busy with other stuff. Finally posting it now.>
Kind of this almost “sacred” thing … isn’t it? (Well, except that in the patriarchy, all things female & feminine have decidedly not been held at all sacred. But that’s another musing altogether – of which there are several, in the Collections posting. Patriarchy really sucks, as I’ve been known to say.)
Of course I’ve thought plenty about motherhood over the years. (Been a mother for 38 years now.)
I’ve never once regretted having become a mother. Well, okay, there have been a few, very few occasional moments when I’ve felt a slight taste of ashes in my mouth. Never mind, very-very few of those indeed. & they were super-short-lived.
Being a Mom! It’s pretty darn awesome, in a whole variety of ways. Wouldn’t have missed it for anything!
Sure, there’s an occasional ambivalent moment or two.
This is for sure:
There is no One Mom Story line that fits all.
No “One size fits all.”
So, I could say some things about how great it is. & it is!
& some things about how hard it can be, on occasion, too. (I’ve had my fair share of the “hard moments” – especially after my marriage blew up wayyyyyy back in 1995. That was the thing that “changed everything” in my little life. I think I had felt a sort of more or less semi-motherhood-equilibrium at that point. Since then? Not so much. For the record, my children were then 14 & 12, & a joint custody arrangement ensued.)
So much more could be said, of course. But there’s no need to go deeply into all of that. It’s just a challenging aspect of life that’s had some pretty long-lasting repercussions. Luckily, #LifeGoesOn
(Shit happens. We step in it. Then, we grow. We evolve. Life goes on. Many more adventures ensue!)
“Life is change...Growth is optional...Choose wisely.” – Karen Kaiser Clark
The easy & fun stuff about motherhood? The wonderful memories? There are many-many-many of those, for which I’m very grateful indeed.
I do recall one thing from the really early motherhood daze (yes, the misspelling is deliberate).
I kept wishing there was one definitive Mommy Guide.
Like, you know,
A “Bible” of sorts.
All the rules from A – Z.
Tons of sensible guidelines.
A “One size fits all, this is for Everyone!” rule book.
Things were sometimes so …. weird. Exhausting. Perplexing. Stressful. Unexpected.
I/we muddled through (as a mother, & we as a couple, as parents).
Probably did about as well as could be expected. Could’ve done (a lot) better. Could’ve done (a lot) worse.
Mistakes, inevitably, were made. Have been made. Likely continue to be made!
Would I do some things differently, if I had it to do all over again?
You bet your sweet patootie I would!
Quite a few!!
I put some of those here
(A few, briefly:
Midwife, not MD. (I’d get a recommendation for one I could trust, from someone I trusted.)
Home birth - not a hospital one.
No injections at birth (i.e. no Vitamin K shot, thank you very much!)
Avoid antibiotics to the degree humanly possible.
Check out homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, osteopathy.
Much less trust of / reliance upon the conventional medical (“health” care) system.
My advice to all human beings, of all genders, & not necessarily having anything to do with parenthood?
#NoPedestals – put no one on a pedestal. Not your parents, your partner, your spouse, your friends or colleagues. Not your doctor. Not scientists, religious leaders, politicians (duh!?), the media. Not any person or institution. Nobody is perfect or anywhere even near infallible, & it is dangerous to give away your own power! Putting things/institutions on pedestals – failing to remain skeptical – is almost 100% guaranteed to backfire on you. Sometimes it may even result in truly ugly, even disastrous outcomes. I’m not kidding, & I expect you have an idea of how true this can be. More musings on the pedestal thing here.)
Other things I’d do differently? Sure. Take myself less seriously. Haul the kids out of school more often & do more fun stuff with them. More outings. Or just picnics. Fun! Have more of it. Go camping more. Sooner. Ward off the divorce. Divorce. Is. Not. Fun.
Now. Here is something important I recall figuring out before I ever became pregnant & went on to have my two children.
This: the urge to reproduce?
It’s an instinct.
A very-very powerful instinct. Very powerful indeed – it certainly hit me with tsunami-like force!
In other words, a phenomenon that is beneath the rational.
It operates beneath reason.
In fact, it’s an urge that can be pretty darn irrational … depending upon one’s personal circumstances, say, or …. the state of the world, maybe.
In some ways
I kind of have to wonder
Given the state of things in the world … now
If a mental “override”
Might be the most rational, reasonable choice?
Possibly the wisest choice.
Given current conditions.
Now, no one ever asks me if I think they should go ahead & “start a family.”
(Nor would I expect anyone to! I certainly never consulted my parents or in-laws or anyone else about this major life decision. That was strictly between me & my then-husband to figure out for ourselves.)
So, yes. Motherhood/parenthood is awesome. It really is!
Family life can be very damn fine. It really, really can. I’ve had me some of that, & I am mightily grateful.
(I know we can all hear the “but.”)
… with the state of the world being what it now is?
Over-riding the impulse could well be the wisest choice. At this time.
It is very definitely something to at least seriously consider.
All things, as they say, considered.
p.s. the people who are here on the planet now? Already? Well. We’re already here. Here we are! I love so many of us. I really want us all to treat one another well! It’s just that I think it’s almost certainly going to get a little… well, rough, in the days ahead. “Pretty intense,” as I’ve heard someone put it. (This was Dahr Jamail, in this amazing & informative lecture.) More recently, Jamail has written ‘Climate Crisis Forces Us to Ask: To What Do We Devote Ourselves?’ <May 6/19>
p.p.s. Motherhood quotes here! One cool thing: one need not be a literal mother in order to experience maternal feelings!
p.p.p.s. I have been writing about near-term extinction (NTE) for a while now. Many of those postings are collected up in the Collections posting. There are also musings on grief there. Resources on both grief & NTE. Graphics. Quotes. Etc.
p.p.p.p.s. It occurs to me that maybe not everyone has connected the dots about how/why things are liable to go so badly sideways (maybe soon). It’s fairly simple, really. For one thing, there’s climate change. & that changes everything … even if you don’t “believe in” it!
Let’s face it: we can all see & feel the climate changing around us. More & bigger storms. Torrential flooding, forest fires, rising water levels. Late Springs, like the cold & rainy one we just had here in Ontario. There will be difficulties & challenges growing food to feed us all. (I believe this will start soon. Some of that flooding in the U.S.? Not sure how far-reaching the impacts will be. You could check it out, of course. Even here, in Ontario. So much rain. Wet fields. Challenges to growing crops.) The equation is a simple one. Humans need food (& habitat) to survive. Climate impacts are going to hit both of these hard. We need food to eat. Food is going to become (is already becoming) more & more challenging to grow. That’s all. It’s simple. It’s not rocket science; not at all. Just requires connecting a few dots, is all. (This posting mentions a # of other things that are involved. It isn’t “just” climate change – although frankly, climate change alone is bad enough even without the other stuff!? But it’s about synergies, right? Unpredictable synergies that we cannot control. Unintended consequences. The history of our species, hmmm? Sooooooo many unintended consequences.)
A few quotations, just ‘cos I can!
“[T]hose who insist they’ve got their ‘shit together’ are usually standing in it at the time.” – Stephen Levine
“A woman’s body is (a human being’s) first environment. Whatever contaminants are in a woman’s body find their way into the next generation. I think there is no better argument for the precautionary principle.” – Dr. Sandra Steingraber, author of Living Downstream – An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment
“You need to claim the events of your life to make yourself yours. When you truly possess all you have been and done, which may take some time, you are fierce with reality.” – Flonda Scott Maxwell (from Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much, edited by Anne Wilson Schaef)
“Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.” – Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), English writer
“If you haven’t forgiven yourself something, how can you forgive others?” – Dolores Huerta (quoted in my dog-eared Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much collection, edited by Anne Wilson Schaef)
“To be hurt, yet forgive. To do wrong, but forgive yourself. To depart from this world leaving only love; this is the reason you walk.” – Wab Kinew
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S Truman
“Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.” – Sarah Bernhardt, actress (1844-1923)
“When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.” – Adrienne Rich (quoted in Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much, Anne Wilson Schaef)
“Be joyful, though you have considered the facts.” – Wendell Berry, American poet, farmer, writer, thinker
“Wake up. Kick ass. Be kind. Repeat.” – Rob Brezsny, Dec. 31/14.
“Conflict is everywhere: water hitting rock, teachers pushing students to learn, or wolves trying to coexist with ranchers. It is our call to evolve. It challenges us to look beyond our current views to an expanded reality. It is a relentless teacher that asks us to see unity where before we found opposites.” – Deidre Combs, mediation specialist, quoted in Sacred Journey (feb/march 2005) – quoted in Utne Reader may/june 2005
“Pain and conflict are, to a large extent, the result of a discrepancy between the way we think others should treat us, react to us, and appreciate us, and the way they actually do. Many of our miseries are thus rooted in self-pity, the most worthless of all human emotions.” – Ann Davies, Qabalist teacher
Alexander McCall Smith has the character Angus Lordie say, in Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers, “He [psychiatrist Dr. Macgregor] told me that the solution to so many problems is to talk about them. If you talk freely about a problem, then you take away its power to distress you.”
“THE WORLD NEEDS a new weapon: the estrogen bomb. Imagine: you drop it on an area of violent conflict, and men throw down their guns, hug each other, apologize and say it was all their fault, and then start to clean up the mess.” – from the UTNE Reader -- Original from THE GUERRILLA GIRLS, activist artists
“Love life. Take great pleasure in small offerings. Believe that the world owes you nothing. Understand that every gift given to you is just that.” – Maya Angelou, novelist, Iris (#44) – in Utne Reader, Jan-Feb 2003.
“In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Albert Clarke, quoted in Speak Peace in a World of Conflict – What You Say Next Will Change Your World, by Marshall B. Rosenberg
** many great quotations about gratitude here
“Life is change...Growth is optional...Choose wisely.” – Karen Kaiser Clark
“4 Rules for Life: Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. Don’t be attached to the results.” – Angeles Arrien, U.S. teacher, author (1940 – )