I started this post a year ago, and it’s been sitting in my drafts waiting for me to sit down and finally finish what needs to be said.
This is a little off topic from my usual posts but with mothers day around the corner, it’s time to shed light on the “silent sorority” of women I belong to. The not-quite moms.
Not to rain on anyone's parade but to bring awareness to a topic that gets swept under the rug because it makes everyone too uncomfortable.
First Comes Anger
Society expects me to birth children because I have a uterus.
This is confirmed by the questions I receive daily.
Do I? Have I? Will I? When?
Is my existence as a woman on this earth solely to bear children?
Because I haven't given birth,
Does that make me less of a woman?
That’s what it feels like for me, every time I'm asked this question.
I can tell you I’m a mom of 6.
But once you hear the word step daughter, and pets, you will likely immediately discredit me.
You will think I’m not a real mom.
You might grant me pity access to your club
But we'll both know, we aren't really the same.
Then Comes Sadness
It’s an open wound that refuses to heal.
I always dreamed about being a mom. As a child I loved my dolls, especially this one life size baby with actual fingers and a soft stuffed body. I don’t think I ever had a name for her but she was undoubtedly my baby. I carried her on my hip, I had a crib I kept in my bedroom for her, I gave her baths (which then would soak her stuffing and take forever to dry), I mimicked everything else that I saw mothers do with babies.
I started planning my future children’s names around the age of 8. They changed many times over the years, but the thought was always there. I knew I was going to be a mom when I grew up. No question about it. That was pretty much the only thing in life I was sure of…
Fast forward to now.
I’ll just say, I’ve reached a point where I'm coming to terms that this really may not be happening for me.
Yeah, yeah I know, “you're so young, there's still time.”
But, please. Don't.
I speak for everyone in similar shoes, when I say:
Please don't tell me that I don't know what I'm missing.
Please don't ask me if I’ve ever considered adoption.
Please don't joke that I can borrow your kids, or
downplay parenting to try and make me feel better
Surrender to another timeline, another plan, and trust in the life that's still unfolding.
Trying to Let go
It just so happens that right before mother's day this year is a full moon, a time to release what needs to be let go of.
Last full moon I burned my yearbooks. That was pretty satisfying.
This Full moon....
I release the sense of not belonging in every group of women when the conversation inevitably shifts to their pregnancy and birthing stories.
I forgive every person who has ever regurgitated the words
“You don't know true love until you have a child”
Do I even need to break down why those words are insensitive on every level?
I release the feeling that I am a forever child waiting to cross the threshold into the sacred womanhood club.
I release the jealousy that erupts from the seemingly endless stream of pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, baby shower invites, monthly picture updates...etc.
I release the rage and pain that boils under my skin every time someone innocently asks me “Do you have kids?”
I know you're just trying to make conversation or find common ground but Please.Stop.Asking. Every time you do you’re picking at a scab.
This puts non-moms's in a position to either over-share our personal life, or lie to avoid it.
I release the hurt that comes from prying questions about step-parenthood.
“Do you want any of your own?”
“What does she call you? Mommy #2?”
Yes someone actually said that. And,
“How often do you have her?”
So you can rate what percentage of an impact I’ll even have.
I release it all over and over and over again.
If you can relate to this post, please reach out to me!
The number of non-moms I know, seems to dwindle as the years go on, and while I know I'm not the only one in the world, it often feels like I am. I would love to connect with you.