Mother’s Day

I’m going to be thirty-seven in two weeks. I always said that, if I wasn’t a mother by the time I was thirty-five, I would just go ahead and do it. But then you get to be thirty-five and you have a couple of nephews and you have some friends who are parents and you think, “My god, that would be really hard to do alone” and so you don’t.

I like being an aunt a lot. I wouldn’t mind if the Butcher had some kids nearby I could go hang out with.

I don’t know. It’s set up a lot of times like it’s childless women v. mothers, but I don’t feel against mothers at all. I don’t feel like I’ve missed my calling or anything. You get to be this age and you know something about yourself and I think I would have been a fine mom, but not great and I think sometimes, in some ways, looking at our family dynamic, I would not have been good at all.

I guess you hope the other parent can balance that shit out.

I feel ambivalent. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on something I should have done or really wanted to do and couldn’t do.

But I do wonder what my life would have been like if it had gone that way.

When I look back at pictures of my mom, before she got married, and she was so vibrant and strange in a way that seemed to get muted by life. And I can’t help but wonder what her life had been like if it had gone this way.

It’s a crapshoot, really. Life. Shit happens or it doesn’t and you make the best of it.

I’m always glad to hear her voice. We talk a lot about gardening, which sounds boring, I know. But I think it brings to us both the same sense of wonder.

Anyway, this is a weird post.

I guess you go through your whole life trying to figure that shit out, though–what it means to be a daughter, a mother, and so on.

5 thoughts on “Mother’s Day

  1. Until I was about thirty-four, I said, “I don’t have children — yet.” By the time I’d passed the mid-thirties hump I felt it was best I stopped adding the yet. I’m thirty-eight, and have no desire to be a mother.

    The feminist blogosphere is a big-time offender of pitting women with children against women without, and more often than not, the climate is inhospitable to mothers. But everywhere else is inhospitable to women without children (or at least be prepared to answer why you haven’t popped out a kid yet), so it’s hard for me to muster up any empathy. I’m lucky in that I never felt pressured by my parents to give them grandchildren. My mom was pretty young when I was born — and my parents were barely out of their teens when they were married — so yeah, I suspect she’s always had that sense of “what if,” too.

  2. I hate the forces that attempt to pit mothers against women who haven’t had kids. It seems so stupid. The fact is that those of us who *have* kids have often relied heavily on sisters, friends, aunts, etc to help us raise those kids. I’ve often thought that if you’re a woman, you get criticism no matter what choices you make, and so we need to work to support each other against those critical voices.

  3. I feel the same way on Fathers Day. And I think Valentines Day is a mean thing to do to single people. Blast you, Hallmark!

  4. Here is what my single and/or kidless friends do for us; babysit my kid occasionally; buy toys for my kid; give me handmedowns from their kids; give me someone to talk to who isn’t fixated on poop; give me a vicarious window into the good and bad of being single. They really seem to enjoy being uncles and aunts, and playmates, and my son loves them too.

    Neither state is better than the other; I envy my single friends their solitude and flexible schedule/finances; they sometimes struggle with feeling too alone and unconnected and wondering “what if”.

    But you only get the one life, and lots of times it’s a crap shoot either way.

    I for one would love an “Friends of the Family Day” or something similar to toast all the unrelated people who are still part of our family.

  5. It’s all true. But then you’ve also got SAHMs pitted against WOHMs, mothers of one vs. mothers of more, and then there’s infertile women, single moms, military spouses, divorced women, mothers with special needs kids, homeschoolers, and so many more little categories we break ourselves into, all without ever bringing fathers/husbands/partners into the equation.

    We do a really good job of constant infighting, which undermines our ability to talk to each other and get stuff done. Kind of like the Democrats.

Comments are closed.