Last weekend, Jonah and I met my friend and her baby daughter for a walk. The weather was amazing and it felt great to get out of the house (no one told me I would spend so much time inside with an infant #napschedules).
As we walked through the spring blossoming afternoon, we got into a long, winding conversation about racism, feminism, capitalism, how self-care could fit into those and, mostly importantly, how we could take more personal responsibility for finding solutions. We spoke a little about our babies, but they mostly bobbed in their carriers and let our words pass over their heads.
Before I became a mother I thought other mothers got together and just talked about being mothers. Because of this thought, I always felt a bit excluded from the get-go and often felt less than (I mean, what problems did I have compared to a mother?).
Then, I accidentally crossed over into the other side of things. It’s true, my daily actions are mostly concerned with feedings and naps. However, my mind is so hungry to apply what I’m learning to the bigger picture of how to create our world anew. This feels like the ultimate gift to the future generation, and one that all of us can take part in.
Within it, I definitely don’t feel “more than.” Rather, I see the unique joys and challenges of not having children more clearly, and in contrast, the beauty and pain of my own experience.
I wish we talked about all this more - how secretly divided mothers and non-mothers can feel, how it’s so easy to romanticize or demonize the other experience out of insecurity, and how dominant culture wants to pit us against one and other.
I believe that joining together as women - whatever life experiences we are having - is what makes us strong.
Because, in truth, I think we are all mothers, and deeper, that none of us are. Rather, we are all stewards of each next generation and must live with, and create from, the weight of what we will hand over to them.