What Does Motherhood Look Like To You?
May brings talk of motherhood to the United States. For a few weeks every year, drugstore aisles seep pastels; spill over with bouquets and chocolates.
Though we all have moms in common, not everyone thinks of motherhood the same way. Adoptive parents, parents who have suffered the loss of a child, and those who don't want kids might find that the Hallmark-ification of May doesn't quite match their own mothering journey. Though not everyone mothers the same way, that doesn't make them any less loving. We talked to some women with differing opinions on how being a mom--or not being one--has changed their life.
I know it won't be long until he can read the headlines before I can bury the truth. He will learn to read, and then to suffer. Words will haunt him.
As I compare my body with other women expecting their second, or even third, I remind myself that this is my fifth child. I am OK. This is my fifth baby. My fourth pregnancy. I look normal for that. But to anyone else, I am a surprise. "Second trimester? Goodness, I thought you were almost due!"
When we first received my son’s holoprosencephaly diagnosis, I asked why me? Why was this happening to our family? What did we do to deserve this? This is not what I pictured for my two boys. They would never be able to play together, as I had envisioned. Dustyn would always have to stick up for his little brother, protect and take care of him.
It's a funny thing, being a birthmom. People ask if our two boys are my only children and I'm stuck momentarily in this place of, "Should I share my story?" I imagine parents who have lost a son or daughter feel a similar conflict. You want to be truthful and honor that child's place in your life, but most days it’s just easier to just say, "Yes. These are my only kids," because in reality they are.
Contrary to popular belief, maternal instincts do not strike every woman like a freight train. I’ve never been a “kid person,” and to be honest, I don’t really enjoy their company. Sure, I have met some cool children over the course of my life, but deep down, I just know it’s not for me.