Just a Mom: On Feminism and Infertility and Hope

It’s really pretty shocking to me when I hear it.  Somebody asks a woman what they do (which, hello, we all do 8 million things so how can we even answer this question) and I hear her say, “Oh, I’m just a mom.”

SCREECHING HALT.

What did she just say?  Did she use the words JUST and MOM in the same sentence?  I don’t know what is worse, when I hear someone describe someone else as JUST A MOM or hearing a woman say about herself,  “I’m just a mom.”

You’d be surprised how often I hear it.  I  am.  In this day and age when so many women are working outside the home full time or part time or from home or not at all, the phrase “just a” anything seems absolutely insulting. And to tack on mom at the end of that, JUST A MOM?  You better get up outta here.

I’ve been working as long as I can remember.  Always something going and trying to support myself.  In this day and age, living in a city, both my husband and I have to work or we couldn’t live the way we do where we do. It’s as simple as that. We love living in Chicago, but to do that, we both need to work.  PLUS I get to be a writer.  And I love my jobs.  I love that I get out three days a week to do my own thing.  I like what that models to my kids.  BUT EVEN IF I DIDN’T WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME I still in no way could say I am JUST A MOM.  And neither can any of you.

Even if you aren’t a mom, you are not easily described.  You are no “just” anything.  Nobody is.

What I know to be true, what I will fight to convey is, no matter how many different ways there are to be a woman today in our world, there is no JUST in the front of any of our descriptions.  We wear many many hats.  I couldn’t possibly list them here.  But I will try briefly.

  • nurturer
  • caregiver
  • teacher
  • provider of all needs
  • cook
  • laundress
  • entertainer extraordinaire
  • remote holder
  • personal shopper
  • poop scooper
  • kindness conveyor
  • booboo kisser
  • soft cushion
  • friend
  • problem solver
  • negotiator
  • hand holder
  • leader
  • stroller pusher
  • jungle gym
  • milk bottle
  • confidant
  • hygenist
  • disciplinarian
  • dresser
  • treat doler
  • veggie encourager
  • calendar coordinator
  • confidence instiller
  • cheerleader
  • follower
  • quiet listener
  • audience member

And that’s just a tiny fraction of what we women do each day.  JUST A MOM?

IMG_0396

Just a mom.

Do you even realize what a huge misconception that is?  What a huge letdown, put down, character assassination that is?  If you ever hear yourself utter those words, hell even think those words about yourself or anyone else, you best check yourself.

Some people don’t want kids and that is completely understandable and I respect that incredibly.  I was many things before I was a mom.

I see the pitying looks occasionally. I hear the snarky comments. Sometimes. Frankly and thankfully most of the time I’m too busy with my kids to hear.  Most of the time though, people are encouraging, curious and kind.

We are doing the hard business of raising funny smart clever kind kids. You have any idea how many women WISH they could be just a mom? Think about that for one second. No matter how crazy they make you, picture life without your kids and there you have it. Gratitude.

Just a mom.

I chose this. I wanted this so badly.  I went into IVF knowing damn well we had one shot and that it may very well- if we were really lucky – be twins. Our only shot at biological kids so why not two? We hit the jackpot. So many don’t. SO MANY DON’T.

Do you have any idea how many women, men, couples, families are walking around in a funk in a haze in a desperation for a child?

I see is the longing. The smiling understanding. The wish. The hope. The sadness. I hope for you.  Having gone through infertility, I will never not be one of you.  I am with you, for you, always.  No matter how you create your family, you are more than just a mom.  HOPE HOPE HOPE.  For those of you still trying, still figuring out how your family comes to be, I am walking with you.  I am holding your hands.

Be brave. Be bold. Be more than just a mom. Oh look at that. You already are. Believe it.

WHO RUN THE WORLD. Queen B always gets me pumped up.  It’s not about not loving and appreciating the men.  It’s about rising up in our own feminine power and passing that along to our kids.  The boys and the girls.

Hell yeah I am a feminist and I bet you are too.

Please see some of my favorite posts on our infertility to babies journey:

I get to be a mom

In Defense of IVF

I saw this family at the Dollar Store this one has all our infertility story links.

Life after Infertility

 

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