Emma in Dream writing about her feminist motherhood wonders why we don’t talk more about ‘mother love’. I frequently wonder the same thing. Seems only Hallmark Mother’s Day cards talk about it and they do such a naff job of it that none of us want to be associated with it. But Emma is right, for me, having children has been like falling in love times a billion and I’m surprised that that all came as such a shock to me. Emma’s response to my 10 questions about your feminist motherhood is such an interesting one because she allows herself to pursue several intriguing tangents as she answers the questions.
What has surprised you most about motherhood?
I had no idea I would fall in love so completely and overwhelmingly. Really it makes every other love I’ve ever felt seem way less significant.
It amazes me that there is this big cultural silence on this issue. Where are the songs, the stories about any form of love other than the romantic sort? About friendship, love for your family, and most especially love for children.
Since I’ve had my two girls several people (actually, women, lots of women) have told me privately that their lives would be complete without their husbands but not without their children. And then they say that’s not something they can tell to many people.
I find this enormous silence very confusing.
Emma is a single mother by choice. I find this a fascinating choice.
I was raised by a single mother (my mother was single for the second half of my childhood but was with my father for the first half). I always knew I wanted children and I remember being quite young when I realised that if I needed to do parenthood on my own for whatever reason then I could. I knew it would be bloody hard work, but I knew it was possible on your own. In the end, I think this confidence gave me an advantage in relationships with boys/men, I never felt particularly dependent upon them and maybe that helped me negotiate the terms of our relationships.
Has identifying as a feminist mother ever been difficult? Why?
I think people identify me as a feminist mother as soon as I introduce my children. I say, blah blah, wanted kids, blah, no husband, blah blah, fertility clinic, donor, blah blah, late 30s, blah, lucky enough to have two children.
People hear independent, strong minded, did lots of research and immediately go to feminist. Or, no doubt, some hear crazy man hater and they go to feminist. Either way, there is no need for me to come out as a feminist.
This post is part of the 10 questions about your feminist motherhood series. You can find all the many other responses in this series here. If you’d like to respond to these questions yourself you can either email me your answers and I’ll put them on blue milk as a guest post or you can post them elsewhere and let me know and I’ll link to them.