Women across the water are fired up because one feisty British NotMom recently published her feelings in an essay in The Guardian newspaper. Bibi Lynch declared that she is "sick of reading about mums feeling desolate, how hard motherhood is, and how some women can't quite cope if the perfect child in their womb has a penis."
Oh yes she did.
Bibi Lynch (above) is decidedly on a 'By Chance' NotMom, and she's still grieving the loss the child she'll never have. (She confesses removing herself from Twitter for a day to avoid photos of baby Beyonce, Blue Ivy Carter).
Her essay is worth a read -- it takes guts to be that honest publicly or privately. And while she states that she didn't intend to "mum-bash", of course that's how many mothers are responding to comments like this:
"You feel you have lost your identity? Well, I'd say you've gained a better one...Mothers are treated as superior citizens... From every government reaching out to 'hard-working families' -- the implication being that singles or the childless (or both) don't work hard or have problems or need help (ever read a headline of how single people or the childless fared in a budget, say?) -- to tragic news reports that will always mention the loss of a mother before the loss of her equally accomplished no-kids friend, you the mother, are worth more than childless me."
How long do you think Ms. Lynch debated whether or not to share her true feelings? Are her words too harsh, even if that's how she feels?
The Guardian reported that this essay attracted "huge" attention. I bet. You can find fairly predictable feedback across the Internet (Just search for 'mothers stop moaning."), but I was more interested in comments from other 'By Chance' NotMoms. Unlike women who choose to live child free, 'By Chance' NotMoms may struggle with acceptance for years. From The Guardian:
"I, too, have found it impossible to visit friends or siblings to admire their new baby, but have had to make excuses, as even those close to me will never understand the physical pain it causes me to see the joy and love they feel for something I will never have."
"She might not think she offended other single, childless women, but as one of those women, I'm here to tell you that she did! None of us leads ideal lives. Life doesn't always turn out how we'd like it to, but if we're to get through it and not alienate friends and insult people we have to find a way of living with what we have got and seeing the good more often than the bad."
And then there was this little elbow-jab at the newspaper itself:
"Please include this perspective more in the Family section, as it seems to be taken for granted that every family has, or can have, children."