Hey mamas, how do you feel about this article on ‘regretful mothers‘? Do you feel defensive? Do you feel angry? Do you feel relieved?
For me, I am a mother who loves being a mother. I NEEDED to be a mother, my child and I are soul mates, even if I am the reason behind the many pre-teen sighs and eye rolls that have taken hold of our home. I love being a mother, but motherhood is fucked. What is academically referred to as patriarchal motherhood is fucked, it is the ‘maternal script’ mentioned in this article. This is where a mother is never praised for the a million things she has done ‘right’, but will be scolded forever for the few things she has done ‘wrong.’ Patriarchal mother is where feminized labour really shines, where all the domestic work is placed on Mom, on top of going to work, except working mothers are bad, except so are stay at home mothers, because actually all mothers are the worst. Patriarchal motherhood isn’t very fun.
I went into motherhood without a lot to lose. I didn’t have to give anything up because I had nothing to give up in the first place. Being a mother is not a one size fits all deal. I have a lot more in common with my friends who do not have children than I do with the parents I bump into at daycare. I am a human being, who became a mother at the age I did, bringing with me the experiences I lived, and then the experiences that have shaped me since becoming a mother. The mothers spoken about in this article are asking to be considered as human fucking beings. They do not hate their children, they fairly do not want to live within the confines of patriarchal motherhood; where their own lives are washed away and their voices silenced. I wouldn’t consider myself a ‘regretful mother’, and that is fine because this article isn’t about me: mothers are not a monolith. I would consider myself unhappy with motherhood; not because of my child, but because of how motherhood is constructed and how I do not agree with it. Of course I would like to have the burden of creating and maintaining domestic bliss taken off my shoulders. I would like to be considered a person with their own feelings and ideas. I would like some people to fuck off with their commentary while I embrace the support of others. If motherhood as it is constructed wasn’t so damn isolating, there would be nothing to regret.
I wish for every mother to have their voice heard, the good, the bad, and the yucky in between.
You can read Anne Kingston’s article for Maclean’s here.
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