I bet you never thought you’d see that title on my blog right?
But we do. We do need to talk about pregnancy. We need to talk about how as a modern society, where 15 – 20% of South African couples will struggle with infertility and seek out alternative paths to parenting, so much of the dialogue, around motherhood specifically, is so pregnancy centric and so exclusionary for those of us to took an alternative path to parenthood.
The pregnancy as motherhood narrative needs to change….
I’ve blogged on numerous occasions about how I felt excluded from the mommy “club” and the reasons are almost always because so much of what we believe about motherhood is tied into pregnancy.
I’m tired of feeling excluded. Of feeling like I a somehow less than a mother because I didn’t have the pregnancy experience. And I’m not alone in my thoughts and feelings. I’m tired of media being so focused on pregnancy as motherhood. I’m tired of reading articles about life with newborns and what to expect after giving birth, or articles written to second time moms and coping with an older sibling that are all so pregnancy centric. I’m tired of having exclusions on our medical aid or having certain benefits withheld because I didn’t give birth.
Pregnancy doesn’t make you a mother.
Pregnancy is a journey to motherhood, just like adoption is a journey to motherhood, or egg donor, or sperm donor, or surrogacy are all journeys to parenthood. In a social conscious society, where we are trying to be unbiased and conscious of the needs, feelings, thoughts and experiences of those on alternative paths to us, it’s time that we started extending that courtesy, that right, to all mothers, to all parents, irrespective of their journey to parenthood.
Anyway, I wrote an column for Parent24 about this very topic, I hope you’ll give it a read and come back and share your thoughts with me.
In the column, I shared some of my experiences, along with other’s who have been excluded from the mommy “club”, some of them might surprise you.