Mother’s Day Series
As I begin a new blog series about motherhood, I want to address those who are not moms. I find this group of women to be highly undervalued and underappreciated in our society. Womanhood can, and does, exist without motherhood. Women who are not moms are no less wonderful than those who are. Yet, I have seen women without children made to feel less than far too often.
The False Notions
Why do some women not have children? I have heard others (others being those who are moms) say it is because a woman is selfish. Yes, I really have. In fact, I have overheard reasonings that made absolutely no sense, and were downright mean. The truth is, some women cannot have children. Telling their story can be painful, especially under the assuming tones of others. A friend once told me it was easier to simply say she and her husband did not want children, even though this was not the case. Why? Because the reason behind their inability to conceive was deeply personal.
There are also women who are single and have no children. This group not only endures questions as to whether or not they want a family, but also why they are still single. Merciful heavens, I cringe on behalf of these women. In fact, I feel I should apologize for all the stupid comments spoken to them. I am so very sorry. Finally, there are women who do choose to not have children. Why? The reason varies, and once again, it is really no one’s business. Yet, I have seen faces contort as the words, “I don’t want children” have been spoken. I fear these women, without children, are not esteemed as mothers are. How absurd.
Women Are The Worst
Prior to having my daughter, I remember being asked when my husband and I were going to have children. Sometimes I responded with a quick “Who knows?” Other times I would comment I was not sure if we would. Oh the looks of horror! Women would become taken aback, completely dumbfounded. What? A woman who does not long for children? How can this be? (I am not certain, but I believe that is what they were thinking.) Suddenly, I was more like a two headed monster because only a monster does not want children running around her feet. The truth was, we did want children, but I became insanely tired of questions women would ask. I also realized, motherhood has never determined the value of one’s womanhood.
Things did not get any better after having our daughter, unfortunately. Surely we wanted more because one was not sufficient! So, not having any was not okay, and being content with just one child was not okay either. With some women, there is no winning. Why women make the comments and assumptions they do, I do not fully understand. Maybe there are far too many women walking around doubting everything, including themselves, feeling insignificant and lacking. So, words fly out of their mouths and judgemental looks fall off their faces in an effort to feel some sort of significance.
Womanhood Without Motherhood
I am here to tell you womanhood is just as valuable, just as beautiful without motherhood. To those of you without a child on your hip, or pulling at your hem, I see you. Yes, I see you enduring the comments, assumptions, and looks. Ladies, I hear how you are minimized. I am sorry. Some of you chose to forgo motherhood. There are some of you who would like to have a choice.
Whatever the situation, hear me when I say: Woman, you are strong. I need your strength and grace. There are days I need to hear your stories, your adventures, and your struggles. I need to be reminded I am a woman first, then a mother. You encourage me with your confidence and daring. You and I, we have so much to learn from one another. Neither one of us is better or more blessed. We are women, both questioning, both striving. You and I are both fierce, and gentle.
Let’s Journey Together
I invite you, whether you are a mother or not, to journey with me over the next few weeks. We will be diving into the topic of motherhood, but I believe there is something all of us can learn over the coming weeks. It nothing else, maybe we will learn to be more sensitive, and more understanding of one another. Ladies, we are a force to be reckoned with, especially when we stand together.
Have you ever been made to feel less than because you didn’t have children, or because of how many children you do have? Motherhood is wonderful, but it should not trump our womanhood.