Motherhood is one of the most celebrated aspects of human life. We even celebrate a special day; mother’s day. Is being a mother really just that simple? I think it’s a bit more than that.
Young girls are groomed from an early age to become mothers. You find them being bought dolls and teddy bears to care for while boys get cars and guns. Girls get to care for something that resembles a human; toys that have eyes, mouths, ears, hands, legs and even need clothes. On the other had boys get to care for toys that don’t have any relation to a human. Later in life we want to pretend to be shocked when boys (now men) don’t have emotional connections. We want to judge their parenting skills and compare them that of women; this is unfair.
Nevertheless; motherhood is not the same as it used to be. Young girls are still being groomed but the world around us has changed. Being a mother is no longer just about giving birth and raising a child. Some women can’t conceive and turn to adoption and some turn to surrogacy in order to become mothers. In some communities these women are looked upon as though they are lesser mothers. Some women do not have the desire to have children and they are frowned upon by society as though there is something wrong with them. Some women die at child birth or during the course of life and the man has to become the mother. However; although the man has now taken the role of a mother on top of the role of being a father, they are never recognized or acknowledged as mothers. Strangers pick up babies cast out by their mothers and raise them as their own. Society still does not recognize these heroes as mothers, they label them as carers. In some cases, family members die and one finds themselves having to raise the children of their cousins, sisters or brothers. These are also labelled carers and their role as mothers is unrecognized. Gay couples adopt children and their role in mothering the children goes unrecognized, possibly because most societies hold prejudice views against the sexuality of the couple. Some teenagers find themselves in a position where they have to become mothers to their siblings upon the death of their mothers. Being a mother for them may look more different than it does to a teenager who actually gave birth to the child they are mothering. Motherhood has truly changed.
Motherhood has changed to an extent that the word “mother” should simply be used to describe a person who takes care of a child, raises them and teaches them all that they can about life. It should not be restricted to the one who gave birth or only to women.
The face of motherhood has changed drastically. Is it still relevant to impose being a mother on women in a world where motherhood has become non-binary?