Friday, June 29, 2012

[Pagan Blog Project] M is for Mother

While my mother is an amazing person about whom I could write many long posts and sing her praises, this post is not about her.  It's really all about me.  :)

I have for many years now had a problem with the mother part of the maiden-mother-crone cycle.  Or more specifically with my own role in it.  You see, I'm well past maidenhood (VBEG), and I don't think I could be considered into cronehood yet.  (When does that happen, anyway?)  That puts me smack in the middle of the motherhood stage.  The problem is, I have chosen to be child-free, so I feel the title just doesn't apply.  And I don't think I can really count my fur babies.  :)

I am a stepmother, but since I didn't really play a large part in raising my stepdaughter, I rarely felt any kind of maternal stirrings there. And especially now that she's in her twenties, we're really more friends than we ever were mother/daughter.  For her part, she has a mother, she didn't need me in that role.  And that affected me, also.  I never wanted to usurp her mother, so I took a friendship path instead.  And it has worked well for our family, particularly during her teenage years--when she couldn't or wouldn't talk to her parents about anything, she could talk to her friend. 

But does that qualify me as "mother"?  I don't feel like it does.

I am also an aunt, many times over.  And that brings a very special joy.  But I'm sure it doesn't compare to actual motherhood.

I know, I know.  I'm supposed to think of it as being fruitful in other ways, creatively or artistically or professionally or whatever.  And I try to think of it that way.  I really do.  And sometimes I even believe it.  But deep down inside, I never really believe it.  It's too much a part of my culture that "mother" means having children.  It's too much around me to not feel that way at least part of the time.  Does this mean I'm letting others unduly influence my thinking?  My feelings?  Perhaps.  But it is what it is.

And I know I'm not the only one out there who feels this.  It might or might not have worked for our ancestors in following the Old Religion.  But with modern birth control methods, and the modern freedom to choose (mostly) to be child-free, it doesn't necessarily fit anymore.  The problem is not the stage in life, it's the word.  Yes, it has a nice alliteration.  Yes it describes a natural order.  But can't we find a different word?  I notice that in the corresponding male stages "father" is often replaced with "warrior."  I like that.  Why can't we make it maiden-mother/warrior-crone.  Or we could use Matured, Confident, Free, Knows Herself.  The list that describes this stage in a woman's life is endless.

For myself, I like this stage of my life being the 'Warrior" stage, for so many reasons.

  Pagan Blog Project   

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