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Raw and unedited, here are my words, as they arrived.
Dear Friend + Mother-By-Birth,
When we get in touch, we are taking a leap of faith. It seems that society says that the cost is greater for you, in energy and time, and by default, you are more because you are…a parent and mother. Yes, the cost IS great for you, but it costs us, the women who would love to have children, but have not yet had the chance, the fate, or the means through circumstance or design…the cost is great for us too. And how did it happen that I, of full grace and value, somehow find myself a little less through no fault of my own, with a full heart, and living life with complete grace + integrity, joy and authenticity?
Please do not think that we flit around carefree, that we are simply free agents. We have lives to which we contribute. We care for the world around us; we care for the people around us, the mothers, the fathers, the children. We love the children around us, even though we do not have our own. We ache all over, and still we are brave + courageous in sharing our love. When we pick up the phone to make a catch-up date, we are taking a leap of faith that you’ll understand that we are loving you unconditionally, that we might be on the edge + exquisitely vulnerable ourselves, that we very sight of those beautiful children makes us ache all over and overflow with love simultaneously.
Has it occurred to you that when we pick up the phone to get in touch, that we have factored in the tolerance of unconditional love that covers sick + tired children, a messy home, your split attention, and our own tenderness? Everyday living and expressions make our hearts flip; everyday interaction undo us. But we are courageous, because we ask ourselves to be. We are here to see YOU, to love YOU, to talk to YOU, whatever condition you are in.
And do you know the cross of grief we bear? Namely, the badge we wear, bequeathed to us from society, expectation, and in many cases, culture, that says we are somehow LESS than you because we are not mothers? I ask, with completely open heart, and a pure joy of living life…how is it even possible that I am living an extraordinary life, and I am not anywhere near 100%? A number is nothing; I know my own worth. But there are days where I want to yell across every rooftop that society see me for all that I am; really see me. The way that I see and know myself.
When we call, we are asking ourselves Herculean courage sometimes. We are asking a tolerance and love which does not grow out of love for our own children, but an even more courageous love, borne out of wanting to connect. When we call, we are going far beyond the connection of motherhood, but we are asking you to remember and tap into the connection of love. When we call, we are taking a chance on you, in the hope that you understand our love, our thoughts, our struggle, and our joy for you. We want you to understand that there is pain when you talk to other Mums about your children’s health worries, or growth progress over the tops of our heads like we wouldn’t have the capacity to understand.
Well, here’s my question: if I never become a mother, does that mean I never have the capacity to understand? I might never be mother. But am a mother every single day; not to children + young people borne from me, but so many I love dearly + with all of my heart. So how do you define “mother”? One who has borne a child, or one who has not, who loves like one? It MUST be both, or is that too much for society + culture to get their heads around? It must be possible, it’s not too much for me, but it swallows my heart whole.
Let us love you. Love us back. When we call, we are being courageous and generous too. We are asking you to share with us your beautiful world of children and love, without judgment. If you dare to do this for us, we will dare to love you as well. But we cannot do this if you do not meet us in the middle, and take a leap of faith too. And that leap of faith is this; that we are capable of loving you as Mums, from a Mum’s point of view, even though we have not borne our own children. There is no world where love does not cross boundaries; you just need to courage to see it, too.
So please, don’t stand at the barrier, mute and afraid, hiding, thinking it cannot be traversed, and that I, on the other side, do not have the capacity to understand you. That’s just a perceived barrier, and that thinking is what cements barriers that absolutely need to be broken by tolerance and love.
Break that mindset now, for our sake, and I will do everything I can to meet you in the middle, despite my fears, despite my grief, despite it all.
Because of love.