A friend posted a quote on Facebook that triggered something in me today –
“You’re only as happy as your least happy child”, is the best description of motherhood I have ever seen.”
I understood the intent behind the message but a sacred fire bellowed from deep within, and I heard all the guttural screams from every mother since the beginning of time demanding to be heard.
I’m sure that the quote will mean something different to each person reading it, but my immediate interpretation was not so warm and fuzzy.
This idea that a mother’s happiness is dependent on their child’s happiness is so fucked up! I don’t know how else to put it.
Is a father’s happiness dependent on their child’s happiness? Is there an equivalent meme out there for that? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Let’s unpack this, shall we?
Becoming a mother is a sacred role, no doubt about it. It’s a soul agreement between two souls – one being the woman who offers themselves up to be the vessel for this soul to enter into an incarnation and may or may not choose to raise this little being. Blessed are the mothers who bring a child into the world to help another woman become a mother – my good friend was given such a gift.
For those of us who have given birth can attest to the rigors of pregnancy and child birth – the stretch marks, the morning sickness, the hormone fluctuations, the fatigue and pain, and the physical damage and destruction done to our lady bits in the end (unless you’ve had a c-section – but that’s another level of damage and recovery). Then there’s the sleeplessness, the 24/7 feeding demands, the fear of having to poop because we may split our stitches (sorry but it’s reality) and the need to continue to wear maternity pants because, even after 4 months, it’s all that fits.
Yeah, I can already hear some of you thinking “Damn, she seems resentful.”
No, not really. I loved being pregnant with my two children. The thing that I have issue with is that motherhood has been glamorized for ions and the actual reality of it all has been glossed over. This idea that we, as women, should just “grin and bare it” leads us into the root of this rant.
Are we, as mothers, to determine our level of happiness solely on whether or not our children are happy?
Is that the measuring stick for our existence?
Have we been conditioned to just accept that it is our responsibility to make sure, that above all else, that our children are happy?
Yeah, you heard me – FUUUUCCCKKKK THAT!
I could go on and on, but I think this one needs to land and percolate.
We'll come back and revisit this when it's had time to settle in and shift some perspectives.