The Atlantic has continued to put motherhood and how hard it can be in the spotlight. The newest article suggests that “the ingrained expectation that women should desire to become parents is unhealthy”. Well, I agree. I once *really* agreed. That was before my body told me that it just isn’t entirely true.
There have been so many instances lately of (the media projecting) powerful women to only be successful at being “Mother-in-chief”. See Michelle Obama, Claire Danes (“her Emmy is just a stepping stone to her *really* important project), Natalie Portman (“my most important role ever is to be a mother”), etc., etc., etc. It almost makes me not want to ever go supermarket shopping again. It is too obvious, almost absurd, to hear the same thing about fathers. I can’t imagine Barack saying it, or any of the unknown husbands of these actresses.
There is some psychological need for it to be true. There is some existential need for it to be true. All of the other successes in life – your career, your friends, money, reaching peace – none of them seem to be concrete lasting successes. They will die with you. Being a good person isn’t something that will likely go on forever. And so, the logical conclusion is to either become a teacher, a good aunt, or a parent.
But how can men do this and not become so attached? Could I have a child and have it just be a side project, knowing that it will grow old and might forget me or move away?
We only have so much time on this planet. A wise friend said to me recently that the big choices in life are at 20, 40 and 60. At 20, it is setting out. At 40, it’s asking, what have I done with my life? and at 60, it’s really asking what have I done with my life. See Whitney Houston “My love is your love”:
If tomorrow is judgement day and I’m standing on the front line. And the Lord asks me what I did with my life, I’ll say I spent it with you.
RIP Whitney. Was it your kids or your lost loves that you thought of when you died? Would love be enough?
Because I have time to find love. I don’t have forever to find those kids.