Today’s Guest Post is by: Paula Coston, who says she may not be a mother, but she’s an aunt, a godmother, a mentor and a matriarchal figure to 9 kids aged between 10 and 28. She proudly declares herself a person in her own right, and like yours, her feelings count. She lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire, England and blogs about all this stuff and more at BoyWoman.
A warm hello from England, Sisters-in-NotMomhood. We have much in common, I think.
Maybe you get up and tune into Good Morning America or something like it. On a recent morning, the news is that following a routine mammogram, GMA presenter Amy Robach, aged 40, discovered breast cancer while handling an assignment on mammograms. She’s decided to have a double mastectomy. The anchor tells us that, with her husband, she ‘has two children’. (Implicit message: if something bad happens now, at least she’s already checked motherhood off the list.)
Maybe you arrive at a new job. Your manager welcomes you, sharing with you that she feels out of her comfort zone too: she’s freshly returned from maternity leave. She grouches about her unhappiness to be back. Later, perhaps a co-worker checks in late. The reason for her delay: her daughter didn’t want to stay at kindergarten this morning. Her manager lets her off after a sympathetic chat.
Water-cooler moment from your new manager, trying to be friendly: ‘Do you have kids?’
It’s a hectic first day, with little chance to make work buddies. Maybe no one invites you for a drink after work, so you ask around yourself. The women (and a few friendly men) say, ‘Sorry, gotta get home to the kids/to take the kids to cello/to cook tea/to see the school play’….
Maybe, to find someone to relate your day to, you ring round your girlfriends, at least, the ones who are single and childfree. There seem to be so few. Avoiding American TV with its non-stop family-centric ads, maybe you Internet hop and discover TheNotMom. Women you can talk to and connect with! What a relief!
The next day, you get up and in this scenario, Good Morning America is telling of Larry Birkhead, bringing up his 7-year-old daughter alone after his celebrity girlfriend, Anna Nicole Smith, died unexpectedly of a ‘toxic drug combination’ during pregnancy. He says: ‘Every little girl has a vision of the Mum being the hero to them.’
Television, politics and environment may differ, but we have much in common, I think.