3 Becoming a mother

How women become mothers – Aside from the obvious.   

Just as mothers differ in many ways, so can their journey to motherhood. Some women have a plan, and this plan involves marriage, getting a mortgage and a new home and somewhere along the line, a discussion about having children. Then comes conception and finally, the big question, what colour to paint the nursery. Other women stumble into motherhood entirely by accident and have a different set of issues to consider, like:   

“Jesus, where am I even going to put it?” or “Is my vagina even big enough to push a baby out of?”   

Now before I sign of, I must be honest and say that whatever type of parent you are it’s an incredibly tough job. Not only is it tough but by the time you discover how tough it is, it’s too late, you can’t really give it up. There is no resigning or reducing your hours. No taking a sabbatical or deciding no this is not the role for me, I’m going to retrain as a vet. If you’re lucky you might get to do a job share but that’s pretty much it. Once you become a mother you have to do that job every day. And you have to do it every day for the rest of your fucking life!   

Types of Mothers   

The Selfish Mother   

Some mothers just have one child, and these women are told they must have more children in order to create a proper family. But there are many good reasons why a woman might not have any more kids. She might simply not want any more, she might think well this one turned out all right, polite, not totally stupid and reasonably cute. I don’t want to push my luck and get one of those beastly children you see in Supernanny.   

Then there are those women aren’t able to have more children.  Perhaps she might simply not be able to afford another one and all the expense that comes with it. Another reason to stop might be that just overjoyed at just not having leaky breasts or a leaky bladder although I think that last one might be unavoidable. So, all perfectly good reasons to stop at one? No, apparently not. That would be totally selfish. Can you imagine that poor child forced to grow up without a sibling? No one to fart in his face when he’s sleeping. No one to smash up him Lego models or kick under the kitchen table at mealtimes or tell him what a loser he is when he misses a goal, brutal ay?  

The Greedy Mother   

Some mothers have five, six, or sometimes even more children. When we see a mother with a brood this large, we might say,   

“Wow you’ve got your hands full.” or “I don’t know how you do it.”  

 Then we must quickly walk away in case we accidentally ask,   

“Jesus, what’s wrong with you, why did you have so many children?” or worse still, “I can’t help wondering, do your kids all have the same dad?”   

I happened to know one particular mother whose husband actually apologised to her when she found out she was pregnant with her fourth child. But when at 43, she found out she was, in fact, pregnant for a fifth time, her husband said nothing at all. For five months neither one said a word about her growing belly until of course, they had to.   

“I won’t even be able to fit all my kids in the car now,” she told me, sobbing!   

The Deviant Mother   

There are some mothers out there who don’t have husbands or boyfriends, and we call these deviants, single mums. It is terrible to be a single mum and is something that should be avoided at all costs. Now if you don’t know why it’s such a bad thing just ask Jeremy Kyle or Richard Littlejohn. They will be more than happy to tell you how feckless and stupid single mothers are.   

For the record children of single parents are more than likely to grow up and become muggers, pickpockets, ruffians and highwaymen. Single mothers need to go out and find a man. presumably, after they’ve managed to sort out some affordable childcare that is. After all, surely living with a violent, penniless loser is better than having no male role model at all for your children.   

Gay Mothers   

Even worse than single mums, are the “lesbian mothers.” When we talk about these women, we must always say the word lesbian first, then hold our heads in our hands. Next, it is important to also mutter something about the complete disintegration of the nuclear family. Then quote something from the bible, maybe something about sin or not eating shellfish, on a Sunday. Again, we must be suspicious of this type of family. Having two loving parents? God only knows how this child will turn out. There is, however, a general consensus that they will grow up to be some kind of deviant themselves and be sexually disoriented, and often vegan.   

The Pretend Mother   

Some women decide to adopt children. If you know anyone who is this type of parent, you can ask her any questions you like about her kids, you might ask:  

“Can’t you have kids of your own?” or “Do your children know who their real Mum and Dad are?”   

These mothers will be delighted to respond to your enquiry. Don’t feel shy about asking such intrusive questions. They will have been asked them many, many times before and in a strange and sad way, even be expecting them.   

The Stepmother.   

Where do I even begin for there is so much to say about stepmothers and yet I have so little space to say it. Firstly, it seems quite apt that this type of mother has been tagged right at the end of this chapter as if almost forgotten about. Art imitating life or something like that. Contrary to what you might think not all stepmothers are evil bitches or wicked witches. That’s because life isn’t a Disney movie, which is a great shame really because I’d love to be able to sleep for a hundred years. Secondly don’t assume that being a stepmother is easier than being the ‘actual mother.’ There we go again with those labels. Society often pegs these to women’s as being not, ‘not real mothers.’ Then, just to top that, there are times, when their stepchildren, remind them of this too, except more loudly and with expletives.   

The Other Women   

Incredibly some women are not mothers at all, some women just don’t want kids. Not everyone likes them. I mean there are times when I don’t particularly like them myself, and I have two of the little buggers at home. There are women out there who choose to have glittering careers instead of having kids. Then there are those women who just never felt the time was right. Maybe they thought about children but decided on a dog instead. After all, even though they sometimes lick their bottoms (dogs), they don’t make nearly as much mess.   

Some women want to travel the world or create long-term political, social and economic change in society. Creating political and economic change in society is not easy, particularly with a double buggy in toe.   

Yes, there are lots of women in the world who aren’t mothers, and we have many special words to describe these women. Childless, selfish, sterile, spinsters, barren, witches, lesbians, and frigid, are just a few of them. Sometimes men do not have children either, and we call these men, men.   

I hope in this short introduction I have demonstrated how very different mothers can be. How unique our journey and experience of being a parent are.  Now I will tell my story. But I tell it with sarcasm, humour and with slight embellishment, it will be a story told with self-deprecation, irony, a little swearing and some reference to the 1980s.  Jesus, don’t you complain I lived through it, you only have to read about it!  It will be told at a fast pace, so please keep up and finally, it will be told honestly. 

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