The Cutting of the Umbilical Cord and Questions from an Unemployed Mother by E. van de Craats 05/05/2012
I always felt a little bit embarrassed by those old-fashioned writers that compare women to flowers, ladybirds, fragile creatures that can be broken by the most soft autumn breeze , when I have the feeling that since I became a mother, I have to kill a lion a day...Wearing an armour of love and protection, I can defeat all armies and I’m constantly galloping wild horses against the wind...for the sake of my loved ones.
I refuse to think of motherhood as if it is nothing more than a sublime, poetic...gentle event in a woman’s life. Honestly, motherhood is much more than that, it is the essence of everything! Even the womb of a mother resembles the shape of the moon...the shape of Mother Earth , where life is no always peaceful, serene...there are volcanoes and earthquakes, lunar eclipses...It is full of contradictions such as day and night. Unlike the patriarchal view of ancient Chinese society (and many others in modern days....) mothers are prepared to play the role of Yin and Yang whenever needed.
It seems that this nostalgic, idealistic image and unfair allusion to us, women, in poems, movies and other literary sources, is mostly created by men.In reality, the act of giving birth is a very hard, quite aggressive natural or unnatural experience. Natural, because we are biologically prepared for that (are we?). Unnatural due to the intensity of emotions surrounding “birth” most positive, but also negative, which is beyond our comprehension. No offense to commercial poets, producing poems on demand (the theme is universal and motherhood books/poems can become a bestseller) songwriters, marketeers or their likes, it is time to warn young female for the risks of pregnancy and child birth, not only physical, but also the psychological ones, the emotional burden that it might represent for women of all ages, specially the young ones. Not mentioning the burden for our children, how much guilty we mothers feel, when we do realize that we are bringing innocent people to a world, already overpopulated and in need of re-structure, planning, in all levels and aspects of social, economic, demographic and natural life.
Actually, motherhood can be a traumatic experience if humans do not stop spreading romantic ideas, instead of creating awareness for the lifetime risks that a future mother and child are about to face. For that matter, I think we should all reflect upon the fact, that women have a great responsibility in determining the destiny of mankind, literally and figuratively. Of course, motherhood has its glamour, the magic never ends and the feeling we can deliver the utmost and sublime act of creating another life and welcome them into our planet is priceless. However, one should not ever become a parent to satisfy our own dream or ambitions, one should read Khalil Gibran and other authors that called our attention for the non-selfishness of motherhood and one finally will realize that our "offspring have a life of their own", which we should consider before exposing those lives, long before we conceive the unborn. Therefore, motherhood is not only about women, it is about their babies and their partners. Yet, we mothers are vehicle, we bear our children in our wombs, the afterbirth from our womb and we are the primary guardians of the children we bear.
Less romantic than giving birth and even more serious than deciding to become a mother is the question of how are we going to educate our children, our husbands, boyfriends, partners, employees, enterprises and the Media of how does respecting one's mother would determine the success or failure of a society or a group of societies.? Although, there is no scientific or historic research emphasizing such an assumption, it was only when my teenagers starting ignoring and defying my advices (which is a normal consequence of becoming an adult, and no reason at all to become sad) that I realized that we haven't been prepared to deal with this sudden independence of our grownup babies.
Yesterday, I felt myself wondering what could be left, when we are no longer needed and if we will ever be prepared to live a life of retired mothers, literally fired from a job that offers no income, no safety, no labour protections at all? How weird and how illogical it is to grieve and feel lost, for having lost the importance we used to play as a mother, even though we are still alive...and we should celebrate that mother and child are finally free and for the second time in their lives have experienced the cutting of the umbilical cord, why is it that I feel those heavy tears rolling down on my face? Are there any more important roles in a woman's life than that of a mother? When our position at home and within the labour market are at risk, and none seem to notice, that our planet is in need of women's sense and sensibility, where do we go from here, What should we do now?
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