Time Warp Tuesdays: Mothering

“A reader, ‘a proud husband and father in the Midwest,’ was upset with his wife because at their church Mother’s Day service:

‘She refused to stand and be recognized by our community. She says she won’t do it because there are women in our church who are not standing, and some of them might not be able to be mothers and may be hurt at the recognition that others are receiving.'”

Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos, Silent Sorority

The theme of this week’s Time Warp Tuesday is Mothering.

Maybe it’s because I had fraternal twins and the first question as a mother I always get asked is: “Do twins run in your family?” (“No. Do nosy jerks run in yours?”) Perhaps if I had had a singleton, I would have been quickly embraced into the world of motherhood, and would have embraced other moms as sisters-in-arms. Maybe I would never have been a bright-eyed new mom because of the hell of infertility. But the truth is, for a while after the twins were born (2 years?) I tried to fit in with the other moms. I posted photos of the kids on Facebook. I congratulated newly expectant mothers. But, and here’s where my old post comes in, I always felt like I was trying to “pass.” I heard from behind my back that I was thought to be “too anxious” a mother to hang out with. Other moms couldn’t relate to the world of twins, and the multiple moms I attempted to befriend would rarely admit that they had gone through fertility treatments. Or if I did talk about the treatments I had gone through, I would be told: “Everything happens for a reason.”

Best. Ecard. Ever. Click here to pin, share, etc.

But it wasn’t until I had my second miscarriage that I just decided to openly rebel by not even trying to fit in any more. And, I fell down the ALI wormhole.

I still feel, just, mad about it all. I don’t like the way the world at large treats those going through infertility and I don’t like the pedestal fertile women are put upon in our society. What is this, Game of Thrones? I also don’t like the way the world at large treats those parenting after infertility. I find it to be so hard. I find so little support.

I understand those who want to celebrate being a mother after going through so much to become one. I do. Go ahead, shout it from the rooftops. You deserve it.

But as for me, I will be the silent, non-standing woman.

“Not a Robot, But a Ghost,” Andrew Bird



Filed under Family, Parenting After IF, Time Warp Tuesdays

17 responses to “Time Warp Tuesdays: Mothering

  1. Esperanza

    I very much respect you and your position on this. It is so hard to parent after IF or loss (I only know after loss, I can’t even imagine how hard it is after IF or both). I talk with the few mom-friends I have and I can tell there is just a huge disconnect there. Even the ones who recognize what I, and others, have had to go through, they just don’t get it. And I suppose they never will. It is a heavy burden to bare, carrying the weight of IF and loss, a very heavy burden. It colors every aspect of parenting and complicates all our parenting-based friendships. It’s just really, really hard.

    I will be with you, I will remain seated too.

  2. I feel this one (and have been working on a similar post). Adopting transracially makes my “otherness” all the more apparent. Even if it wasn’t obvious that I came about parenthood differently than many other people, I think I’m still too battered by RPL to fit in anyway.

  3. Thank you for doing the Time Warp again this month and sharing your perspective on “mothering.” I appreciate and respect you choosing to be the silent non-standing woman.

    As for me, I choose to celebrate, stand and be recognized while also reaching out to and trying to support those who are not yet mothers, not mothering living children or living childfree after infertility and/or loss.

    I agree that the world could and should do a better job recognizing and supporting those living through infertility and loss, as well as those parenting after ALI. But in the meantime I feel a calling to try to help raise awareness and build bridges between the fertile and infertile worlds, as well as the world of bereaved parents and the rest of the world. I am grateful for the many things people in our ALI Community do towards this goal, especially your work with the Faces of ALI! Thank you!

    Typing on my phone again and hope this makes sense/goes through.


  4. My twins are still in utero but people ask me that always, that is always the first thing – do twins run in your family. I take that as an opportunity to give them TMI. You know what, you asked a nosy question, you will get the response you didn’t want! Let me tell you about my ovulation and cervical mucus!

    At least at this point it doesn’t irritate me, but it’s still early and I’m not trying to fit in with other moms (and I don’t know many pregnant ladies, either).

  5. I hate that women are so cruel to one another. I just wish we could all stand together and support one another no matter what. But it’s just not the case. I have yet to experience the mothering of my own child, and I’m curious how it will be…where I will stand (or sit) and how apparent the difference will be. All I know is how different it is to be pregnant compared to others that haven’t known the loss that I know…and it couldn’t be more apparent.

  6. I’m mad too. And I’ll have to leave it at that for now.

    Some people’s attention will be drawn by a sitter they believe should stand, but others drawn by a stander they believe should sit. I feel like my life straddles that fence, so day to day I couldn’t tell you whether I’ll sit or stand tomorrow. When I’m sad I’ll sit, but when I’m angry, I’ll stand, in defiance of ‘tradition.’ It’s not the action that I draw strength from, it’s strength that enables me to act.

  7. I hate the pedastal. But it gets complicated for people who love their mothers, doesn’t it? Who feel like they were the superwomen who made them? It so happens that my relationship with my mother is complicated at best. But I think or Lavender Luz’s post about her mother … and how she was there through all of the ugly … and you sort of WANT her to stand and be recognized, because the world forgets to acknowledge that work sometimes.

    I don’t know if I’d stand. But I’d speak up for the mothers of lost children, the mothers of children of the heart, and the women who may never be mothers, as much as it is their hearts’ desire.

  8. Right on. I’m right here with you not standing.

  9. I won’t be standing OR sitting… I’ll be hiding out at the movies, as I usually do. ; ) But I appreciate the solidarity — and that eCard, which is going on FB — thanks!

  10. P.S. Forgot to say that I LOVE the card/quote! 🙂

  11. Ugh, the dreaded (this year at least) M-Day. I love my mom, who has the decency this year to have to work on M-Day and leave me in my wallowing all by my lonesome (except for brunch with DH’s mom, which should be relatively painless, hopefully). If I were given the option, I think I’d stand, like Kathy, but stand and be vocal and supportive of all the women there.

    I LOVE that e-card and pinned it right away. I need that thing made into a t-shirt and/or a business card.

  12. Pingback: IVF #2, WTF Appointment « Eighteenyears's Blog

  13. What a powerful passage in Pamela’s book, and if I went to church I would join you in not standing.

    I wonder if, when people ask if twins run in your family, if they might be wanting to open up with you about their own IF story. Could be nosiness but could be looking for a chance to bond.

  14. The little story at the top of this post touched me. I’ve always seen Mother’s Day as a hurtful holiday, both for those unable to have children and those who have lost their mothers to death. This is my first Mother’s Day as a mother, and while the sense of finally belonging is such a relief, I’m also still so sensitive to and sad for those in the categories I mention above…

  15. Mel

    Totally agree as a twin mum that it marks you in a way that doesn’t allow you to blend. It is STILL a question asked of me all the time (not to freak you out that you will have to deal with this your whole life…). And maybe that adds to the creation of the otherness.

  16. Monica

    Thank you for sitting with me. Though I sit because I’m stuck here after 3 losses and trying to figure out a possible path towards adoption. This is really such a tough day every year and no one quite understands the pain as much as someone who has been through it. I wish we had a secret handshake or sign to know each other and lend support. I guess that’s why I like the blog world. But it is hard in the real world to find the allies.

  17. Pingback: The Infertility Voice | On the Path to Mother’s Day: Messages of Hope from Across the Bridge

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