Tracy Chapman – Woman’s Work.
I just found this tumblr feed today that expresses much of how I feel as single Mormon girl (minus all the drinking). Im getting older (two weeks til the Golden Birthday!) and my facebook feed has changed with me. There are two major themes – the single people traveling and the married people posting married people/children things. Apparently everyone is on their 2nd baby, at least, now and I just finished school. I think its why everyone thinks Im younger than my sisters.
Ive also noticed that many of these mothers are posting things defending motherhood. While Ive seen the random political soundbites, I did not realize motherhood needed defending; as a single Mormon it usually feels like me and my friends are under attack. Although no one ever asks me when Im getting married (is it because they too are worried that I cant?), I know my friends are tired of hearing about it. My mother is tired of having people tell her how many grand- and great-grandchildren they have. My mother could care less, at least right now, whether she gets any or not. She’s more excited about my MBA diploma that just arrived at her house and seeing pictures of me at the Dead Sea. I think shes done with the children she has. More would be a problem.
My single group is tired of being told not to have sex or be alone with members of the opposite sex. We get it! Touching is bad! We are tired of feeling there is no place for us in a church, where once youre done being a kid, you have to have them immediately in order to stay relevant in the structure that exists. We are tired of 19-22 year olds (returned missionary age) being more legitimate adults in some way because they are married and have kids. As a friend would say, Babies having babies.
At this point, Im not even focused on having children. Changing diapers and cleaning up throw up sounds terrible. Ive finally got traveler’s disease and I dont even want to clean up after my self!
I am super excited, however, about getting a dog when I move back to the States. Maybe ill post lots of pictures of him/her doing adorable things, like peeing on my wood floors, to compete with the baby pics. The single person’s annoyance.
I think what I am trying to say is: My loins are not my purpose.
I dont believe that the equivalency of the priesthood is motherhood. Motherhood = fatherhood. And not having kids doesnt make me less of a woman and Im pretty sure having them doesnt make you a better one either. I know enough people in therapy because of crazy parents to know making a kid doesnt give you special powers or goodness.
The truth is maybe I dont know what Im talking about. As far as I know, I have no kids, barely have nieces, no cousins really. Just babysitting experience. So I dont know what its like to be responsible for a child and raise it and be in awe of the first steps and first bath and etc.
What I have done is raise those fully grown children into functioning adults. Ive taught their sons how to do laundry and buy clothes that look good on them instead of detracting. Ive helped them ignore the impulse to run away from relationships, and get married, and figure out how to improve the qualities of their relationship. Ive helped them find jobs and prepare for interviews and talked them down from their fears of amounting to nothing. Ive done all this while serving those I meet, and giving away the money I have and providing for myself and preparing a career that Im excited about. Are these things less than the eggs that my uterus insists on preparing for each month?
I dont want to feel like Im at war with married people or mothers in particular. They seem like good folk. I just dont want to feel like Im a failure at some cosmic plan, because I havent found a partner to settle down and have children with. I want the contributions Im making to the world to be valued as well, because otherwise how am I supposed to feel about myself then? Who knows when Im having kids? Or getting married? I just believe developing myself and those around me, if not as important as MOTHERHOOD, at least utilizes the same skill sets (Ive done more dishes and cleaning up at my best friend’s house than Ive ever done at my own). But as we go into wedding season and people start announcing impending births, I hope you can remember the little single people in your life – perhaps check their Amazon wish lists for a nice rememberance gift. And single people – watch Sex and the City – the Baby Shower (apparently season 1, episode 10).
I dont have a baby! Everybody drink!
- On motherhood… or not. (katiemarti.wordpress.com)