To be, or not to be…a mother:
Like many girls who came of age in the households of Second Wave feminists, I saw my mother’s copy of Ms. Magazine with the image of Wonder Woman on the cover and thought, “Yep. That’s awesome. I totally want to be Wonder Woman.” I was told I could have it all, even if that’s not exactly what I saw playing out in my own home.
So, I grew up and like a good little Gen Xer I dyed my hair pink, got a minor in Women’s Studies, rallied to Take Back the Night …Check. Check. And, double-check.
But I was afraid of motherhood! My observations of parenthood where that it ruined your life! When I went out into the world – with a hard push from my mother the second I had my high school diploma – it was with the understanding that she was finally done. She celebrated the fact that she could finally live her own life, free of motherhood.
The take-away message from my childhood was: Motherhood sucks.
So for a long time I didn’t want a baby. But I carried a secret stash of guilt about feeling that way. What was wrong with me? Am I missing the woman gene? And the questions and doubts dogged me. And being a woman who loves her career, it was hard for me to willingly take on a role that seemed to have at its core the total annihilation of your own identity.
In the end, I had to liberate myself from the messages I got from my own childhood. I had to define motherhood on my own terms with an open, joyful heart. Turns out, motherhood does not suck! It’s not about mom-jeans. And the only way you disappear is if you let yourself disappear. Motherhood is about being brave and loving and fearless. And that totally rocks!
BIO: Emmily is a a punk rock stay-at-home-feminist raising a new baby daughter in suburban Las Vegas. In any other town it would be a challenge to raise a strong young woman who can think for herself and stand on her own two feet. Las Vegas presents a whole new layer of challenges!
Like most new parents, she is sleep-deprived. Like many feminists, she feels estranged from the Motherhood Establishment. And she says she’s “tired of a world that is full of misogynistic, sexist, anti-woman bull. Conservatives say they’re sick of “tired feminist” rhetoric. Me too! So let’s have some fresh feminist discourse…between baby naps!” Emmily is a journalist, blogger and activist and she does not discriminate: Family is family. Heteros, gays, multi-generational, adoptive…whatever. She writes from her perspective as a woman and a mother. You can find her at The Tired Feminist or Sin City Siren