To women who came before us, who are here now, and those that will come after us.”
I have been doing a lot of thinking the past few days about life. Mainly about the start of it, and the magic therein. To be honest, though, I am a chronic thinker. I think and rethink, evaluate and re-evaluate, start and restart…. story of my life. I have a lot of conversations, debates, and sometimes arguments with myself about everything and anything that I can. I love this part of me that challenges me and questions me. Not so many people have that luxury or even possible to do so.
So, I have been thinking about the magic of life and, to be precise, the magic of the womb. That special place that creates, homes, nurtures, and gives life to human species (and some other species, of course, but let’s stick to humans) before birth.
Yes, before you get your knickers in a twist, I know what you are thinking already. That the sperm plays a role in the creation of life as well, I know that very well, and since this is NOT a biology class or article, I chose to ignore that part and just focus on the magic of the womb.
The womb is one of the magical organs that female human species have. It plays such an essential role in ensuring the survival and continuation of the human species. That explains the reasoning behind the argument that “god” is a woman. The person that ‘gives’ life must be a woman. When you think about it that way, then it makes a lot of sense.
Realistically speaking, we are all products of the womb, an organ that has brought so much joy, plays such a crucial role in nurturing the next generations of human species; it has also brought a lot of pain to some people. It is a problem in social contexts because we live in a society where womanhood is generally associated with childbearing.
Women who don’t bear children, either by choice or circumstances beyond their control, are, in most cases, mocked, laughed at, or considered “selfish”. In many societies, infertility can be viewed and perceived as a women’s business. The woman gets blamed for the problems that the couple faces with childbearing. She shoulders an enormous burden of social stigma and suffering caused by infertility since this is traditionally perceived as her problem.
So, while the womb is such a magical organ, it is also the source of so much pain, mockery, stigma, and in extreme cases, death for some women.
Motherhood, to me, has a different and “whole” meaning. When I think about my own life, the past and the present, the people who have nurtured, raised, and taken care of me, go beyond my birth mother. I love and adore my birth mother with every bone in my body. I also love and adore all these other” mothers” who have played such crucial roles in my life.
They include my grandmothers, my aunts, my older cousins, my great aunts, my mum’s friends, our female neighbours, my sisters, my family-in-law and every woman who has guided me my entire life. Some of these incredible women never had children by their own choice or by circumstances. But this never stopped them from playing the mother role that they did when it came to my siblings and me.
When my parents separated, and my mother found herself a single parent, my maternal grandmother took us in without blinking. When my mother had to go back to further her education so she could provide a better life for us, my grandmother and my aunts (mum’s sisters) stepped in to play the ‘mother’ role. If my direct family members were away, the neighbours stepped in.
I was raised by the community. I am a child of the community. These incredible women are all my” mothers”.
I know friends, women and incredible people who are bonus mothers, adoptee mothers, guardians, sponsors, aunts, grandparents, neighbours and just people with such good hearts full of compassion and love.
The magic of the womb is such an incredible thing, but it’s not the only definition of motherhood. Motherhood comes in so many different shapes and ways.
This Mother’s Day, I salute and celebrate all these wonderful women. They play such essential and crucial roles in raising the next generations and filling in positions that are handed to them voluntarily or by circumstances.
Happy Mother’s Day to my incredible birth mother and all the “excess or bonus mothers out there!