Happy New Year! I know it has been a while since I blogged, but I have been allowing myself some time to rest during this holiday season.
Part of my rest includes spending time with my family and watching movies. I am a BIG movie and tv series buff, so I have been enjoying my share of these while I was off from work. I recently saw the Lost Daughter on Netflix and it brought to my attention the concept of an unnatural mother.
The main character described herself as this when having a conversation with another mother who was distraught about something that she had done to her. Without ruining the movie for you, the movie centers around a woman who experiences a lot of trials and tribulations as a young mother dealing with two young daughters. She is struggling with balancing a career while parenting two children and dealing with a less than supportive husband. She eventually makes a very tough decision in order to save herself.
Post- partum depression is real and if I had to go with my gut, I would have said this young woman was dealing with the latent effects of post-partum. She was also dealing with general life dissatisfaction stemming from her not having more help from her husband, dealing with a strong-willed child, and not being able to fully pursue her career in academia because of all of this. She was also a young mother, so she was dealing with getting to know who she was while raising her children. I think all of this contributed to her calling herself “an unnatural mother” because motherhood was not coming easy to her. She probably didn’t feel ‘complete’ with motherhood like you often hear so many mothers say when they become a mother.
To be honest, I didn’t look forward to motherhood like most. I knew it would take a sacrifice on my time and my finances but despite this, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I just waited a little later than most to do it; I became a mother for the first time at 30. In between that time, I lived my life, enjoyed traveling with my husband and gave myself the time to figure out who I was. I planned when I wanted to become a mother, but I know the best laid plans don’t always happen the way you want it to.
Some mothers are thrown into motherhood without a plan or perhaps even a desire to be a mother. Then, it is not what society cracks it up to be and mothers are made to feel horrible and guilty for not being excited about motherhood. Even though motherhood can enhance your life, it can also take away so much as a result of dedicating your life to a small human. Some of your dreams may have to take a backseat during this time which some women have a hard time with.
To be perfectly honest, it’s understandable for some women to resent this. Men never have to choose between their careers and their children, but women are the ones who always have to make a choice. Let’s take the pandemic for instance; an unprecedented number of women left the workforce during the pandemic when they had to homeschool their children during the lockdowns. It was a never a question about who would have to stay home with the kids in certain households. Why shouldn’t these women resent this? Does giving up your career and being upset about it mean that you are an unnatural mother? I don’t know if I would agree with that; I think that it just makes you human.
Motherhood is a big step, and I would advise anyone considering it to really think about if they are truly ready for that step. Not what society tells them, friends and family, or social media. To be honest, I don’t think that everyone is meant to be a mother. I know this may seem like a bold statement, but I think that motherhood for some might be detrimental. However, if you as a woman don’t want to become a mother, society views something being wrong with you because of your decision not to have children. I, on the other hand, thinks it is quite honorable that rather than have children you don’t want that you stood your ground and was true to yourself. You are not what I would think as a “unnatural woman” but a woman who knew what she wanted or didn’t want and felt comfortable enough in her skin to go after it. Why make yourself (or your future children) unhappy as a result of feeling pressured to do something society tells you that you should want to do? Having children is not for everyone as this movie, The Lost Daughter, perfectly points out and I think that women should be given more grace to stand in their truth.
I hope you take some time to go and watch that film and feel free to leave comments below regarding your thoughts on it. I would love to have a dialogue with you to see what your take on it was and happy to agree to disagree if needed .
Nothing but love and light here,