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3 Becoming a mother

How women become mothers  

Just as mothers differ in many ways, so can their journey to motherhood. Some women have a plan, and this plan involves marriage, the purchase of a home, a discussion about having children. Then comes conception and finally, the big question of what colour to paint the nursery.  

 Other women stumble into motherhood entirely by accident, but still have important questions 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?”

Whatever type of mother a woman might be, few would argue that being a Mother is the toughest job in the world. I mean some have tried to argue, but they have ended up regretting it! Furthermore, the problem with this job is 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 do a job share but that’s pretty much it. Once you become a mother you have to do that job every day for the rest of your fucking life!  

 A quick guide to mothers and their offspring  

 The Selfish Mother   

There are some mothers who just have one child, and these women are told they must have more children in order to create a proper family. Yet the are many good reasons why a woman might stick with just a single child. She might not want more children, 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. Some women aren’t able to have more children. A mother might not be able to afford another kid and all the expense that comes with it. Perhaps she is happy just being a size 12 again, or 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 solitary child? No one to fart in his face when he’s sleeping. No one to smash up his Lego models or kick him under the kitchen table at mealtimes or tell him what a loser he is when he misses a goal. Only to be told by his mum, that, well that’s what siblings do! Aint that the bloody truth.  

The Ambitious Mother  

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

 “Jesus, what’s wrong with you, why have you got 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 Sexually 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 apparently because as many people in the tory party will tell you, children of single parents are likely to grow up and become muggers, pick pockets, ruffians and highwaymen. Single mothers should go out and find a man, after they sorted out some affordable childcare that is.  After all, surely living with a violent, penniless loser is better than having no male role model for their children,  

But even worse that these mums, there are the “lesbian mothers.” When we talk about these mothers, we must always say the word lesbian first, and we must hold our heads in our hands. Then we must mutter something about the complete disintegration of the nuclear family. Again, we must be suspicious of this type of family. Having two loving mothers? 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, sexually disoriented, and often vegan.   

The Pretend Mother  

There are some women of course who have adopted 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 they’re 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 way, even be expecting them.  

The Stepmother.  

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 as if almost forgotten about.  Art imitating life or something like that.  Let us begin by clearing up some misconceptions. Not all stepmothers are evil bitches or wicked witches. That’s because life isn’t a Disney movie, which is a shame really because I’d give anything to be able to sleep for 100 years. Secondly being a stepmother is by no means an easy ride. Stepmothers are often told by society they are not real mothers. Other times they are told by their stepchildren to  

“Sod of and leave me alone, you’re not my real mother!”  Ahhh teenagers, bless  

The Other Women  

Shockingly some women are not mothers at all! Some women just don’t want children. Some women don’t actually like children. You can shoot me down in flames for saying so. There are women out there who have glittering careers instead of having children. Then there are those women who just never felt it was the right time. Maybe these women 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 and economic change in society. Creating political and economic change in society can often be tricky, particularly with a double buggy in toe.  

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

So, we can see that mothers can differ in many, many ways. But what unites these incredible, highly skilled creatures is that they not only have babies, but they do many, many other things as well. Yes, these women do lots more than be mothers:   

So, what is the secret to staying on top of it all? How do they deal with the highs and the lows of parenthood as well as the demanding and sometimes hideous world around them? It’s an important question to consider, and one which I will attempt to answer in this book. However, as I can not study the lives of every mother in the world, I will scale down my research, to one mother.   

Is this mother a young, fit and active mother who goes jogging most mornings I hear you ask? No, no and no. Oh does she have an amazingly well-paid job then? Again no, this mother supports herself with intermittent bouts of employment most of the time as a supply teacher in some ‘interesting’ schools’  

Does she have a husband? Not really but she does share her life, well her house at least with a man, I mean not just any old man, he is her partner. Sometimes this man even helps her out with the kids, and so he bloody should, for he was the one who got her pregnant in the first place.  

One last quick question is hers a spacious country home with a beautiful garden and a view of the village green, yeah right! No, this mother lives in a two-bed flat in Peckham with her partner, their two children, oh, and her sickly cat and this is her story.  


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