I know I’m going to be the party-pooper at this grande-monde day of celebration of madre-hood.
But here is why I don’t buy the idea of a ‘mother’s day’ or for that matter a ‘father’s day.’
One of my mother’s friends once commented, “You know that Elton John singer. He’s gay and he married a man (thank god!). And now they have a baby. That’s impossible.” I asked why. And she said, “How are they going to raise a baby without a mother? A baby needs a mother.” I told her that this ‘mother fixation’ was illogical and compulsive like the breast fixation that men have with regards to women. When I taught biology, I found that when asked to identify the sex of fetal pigs, the boys would invariably write, “Female, because it has nipples.” And I always told them that they needed to go home, take a good look at themselves in the mirror and rethink that.
Motherhood is pushed and promoted like it’s the biggest, global brand-name that every woman must have! First it’s about the ‘biological instinct’ that demands to be fulfilled through imageries of ‘weeping wombs’ and ‘ticking clocks.’ And later on, as with celebrations of mother’s day, it becomes this over-arching, altar of self-sacrifice. It’s fundamentally illogical: First it’s an acquisition, something that a woman craves for, and chases after. And once she has it – it becomes this icon of selflessness.
What happened there? Why does the image of motherhood go from hankerer to altruist?
My argument is, that this is because women are never told what motherhood is really about. It is not about the pregnancy glow, the nine-month bump, the maternity dresses, or the cute, bright nurseries with Disney prints.
“Motherhood” is and should be no different from “fatherhood” or any other form of “parenting” a child! They are all about about people/ or a person raising another person. The child is always a totally separate and unknown entity, and the real job of the parent is to recognize and foster that. In the end it should not matter if a child is raised by two men and has no “mother” or by two women and has no “father”. There is nothing they are missing out on!
Parenting is a difficult job, a demanding career, and a womb and mammary glands don’t necessarily equip you for it. All women are not suited for motherhood! And nor do all women want it! [I know I didn’t!] And there is no reason why a father should not have the same loving, nurturing relationship with his child like we assume the mother to have!