Mothers, they are the glue that holds the world together. Without their love, kisses, and comforting bosom the world would be a mess. Most of our memories are of our mothers. The welcoming scent coming from the kitchen–especially pancakes on weekends. The yelling from the bottom of the stairs. If our mothers were properly prepared to be mothers and truly signed up for the gig, we more than likely had a great childhood. Sometimes motherhood is thrust upon some women and yet they still manage to embrace without much effort.
Then there are those women like my cousin Teferra. Since she was about 8 years old, she has wanted a large family. Her goal in life was to have five children to fill her home with. She wanted a large family because she came from a fractured one. She lost her mother when she 9 years old. When she became an adult she went full steam toward her dream, her dream of being a mother. My cousin would have made my mother happy AF. In fact, if I were my cousin, my mom would probably be praising in the church and enjoying being a grandparent, but alas, I am not Tefera.
When Tefera and I saw each other after many years apart, she had had her 5 children and I had traveled around the world. We laughed about how we made our childhood dreams a reality. She was happy being a mom, but was looking forward to traveling the world with her kids and I was looking forward to being an awesome auntie and traveling some more.
There are many women like Tefera. They are the nurturers, the comforters, the confidants. Their homes always feel like, well home, no matter who steps into. And even if they do not have children of their own, one always feels comforted when in their presence. They more than likely take in ‘strays’ often, and they are constantly nurturing their friends and family members. Nurturing is innate in them. Their dream in life has always been mothering or being a mother. They are not just about the act of procreating, they are more excited about the procreation. Nurturing it mentally, physically, and emotionally. They keep the world in check. They are persistent and fierce; they love and they nurture.
Unfortunately, this is the MOST acceptable archetype in our societies. It is the one that is pushed all women. And when a woman chooses not to be a mother, she is insulted by words like ‘selfish’ and ‘mean.’ Or phrases like ‘you will change your mind’ or ‘you just haven’t met the guy yet who’ll make you want to have them.’
As stated before, I knew by the time I was 21, that I did not want to have children, that I honestly did not want them. Most of the time I felt awkward around them although I enjoy their presence, especially the little ones. I, tend to view the world as my children, and I enjoy burning in the kitchen for my friends and family, but that is as far as my mothering goes. I enjoy my quiet time and space alone without the noise. I enjoy my sleep as well as my freedom. Being a mother is not for everyone and making the choice not to have children is just as honorable as having them.
With that being said, I honor the women who choose to become mothers and who embrace the possibilities of raising the future.