It is Friday afternoon and my social media feed is already showing Mother’s Day ads and wishes. I am irked, annoyed and sometimes, downright angry. My mother lives with me. I raise three daughters. This Mother’s day feels like it should be a day for all those who are tangentially connected to the act of parenting to take a day and reflect on the labor that parenting is.
Mother’s Day has a long, storied history in my life. There were years I longed to participate. There are years when I have felt torn about how to acknowledge all the Mother(s) in my childrens’ lives. There are years when I resented the artifice that accompanies this day.
This year, the day feels poignant as the spotlight on bodily autonomy is on people with uteruses. As rights are being stripped away and the US slips perilously on the path to autocracy, I am thinking of my children, carriers of uteruses and potential Mothers. I am anguished because they will live in a world with lesser rights than the world I grew up in. This is not the world I want to leave for them.
As someone who is intimately familiar with what it takes to build a family through adoption and biology, I worry for children all over this country. My stance is clear. Any person who wants an abortion should be able to make the decision for themselves. People who are alive should have rights on their bodies. Their lives matter.
All over my feed online is the narrative that holds up adoption as an alternative to abortion. I find it abhorrent and vile. Adoption should have nothing to do with pro-life or pro-choice decisions. Adoption the way it is practiced in the US now is a multi billion dollar business. When I see the push to criminalize abortion, all I see are the for profit adoption agencies salivating over a steady supply of babies. The image makes me want to puke.
Having been a mother for over a decade now, I can say with certainty that it has been a roller coaster. This is something I signed up for and, when the going was not great, I could hold on to the dream I once had and tell myself, I signed up for this willingly and whole heartedly. I am trying to put myself in the shoes of someone who is forced to parent or go through pregnancy because a bunch of old white men believe they have the power to do that to me and all I want to do is rage and burn it all down.
I do not believe this country is capable of saving itself. Black and brown women have done enough saving. If the rest of the country does not step up, we will all deserve the fate that befalls us.
This Mother’s Day, all I see is the specter of forced motherhood and all the ways it will break us as a society and country.