Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Maddie just became a mom. Cord did not.
We’d be lying if we said this doesn’t affect things, whether it be the content here on Makeshift (Motherhood category anyone? We think yes!), or our relationships (with each other and our other friends who fall into one of these categories). It affects things. We want to talk about how and why. We want to share some of our experience with this, what we're noticing, and what we're doing about it.
Chances are, if you’re a chick between the ages of 20 and 35, your feed is flooded with politics, babies, and awesome personal adventures. That has been the case for us at least.
For me (Cord), it feels like every other post comes from a new mom. Last week it hit me, it felt like all of a sudden everyone I know is in this new club and I am not. It left me feeling confused, angry, worried and bitter, not to mention shameful because I should be happy for the women in my life.
For me (Maddie), it made me feel like I’m playing the overplayed tune on the radio every time I want to post a picture of my kid, and I worry that by joining the “mommy club” I’m going to alienate everyone else I love and care about.
Truth is, for women, it seems that there are many clubs. The club of women who don't want to have kids, the club of women are having kids, the club of women who can't have kids, the club of women who are undecided about kids. With each club membership comes the need to explain why we choose the club in the first place. With the invention of social media we now have the perfect platform to connect to other club members and share our stories.
This is all great and good until our humanity pops in. Then in walks the real elephant in the room . . .
it isn’t really about motherhood. It’s about fear of disconnection. Isn’t it always?
For me (Cord), suddenly everyone was explaining on social platforms things that I fully agree with; like, family comes first, it is important to be healthy, I haven't showered in days, or washed my hair, or put on make up, and I'm not complaining. I found myself saying, "Ya! I do these things too, but I don't have a kid." To say nothing of posts about how motherhood results in huge personal growth, that made me feel defensive about the personal growth work I've done.
For me (Maddie) I have anxiety from inside the mom club. I see all the other babies and wonder if people think mine is as awesome as the others. I get bitter about not being that special, because literally EVERYONE is doing it. I freak out about being lumped in with the natural birth mamas, the baby-wearing mamas, the cloth diaper mamas. You know, the ones who are judged as uptight self-righteous freaks. But I do all those things, and I also want to belong. I worry about being the mom with no life outside her kid.
Then it hit us, all this club-making is great AND it isn't great. It is great because yes, we need support from people walking the journey that we are walking. It isn't great because when we isolate ourselves from other groups we create separation and DISCONNECTION. There are a million feelings, beliefs, and actions that crossover in the "women clubs." Our roles as women are not mutually exclusive. The two of us think that we all want the same thing, CONNECTION. And that's why we need each another. We’re all afraid of being left out, going unnoticed, getting rejected and forgotten. So for our part, we are choosing to remind each other we are all seen and worthy, to ask for what we truly need, and remember everyone needs something too, so we can't suck out more than we put in.
Whatever "club" you find yourself in, we're excited you're here supporting us and want to support you back. So feel free to share your thoughts about our friend, Herbert the Lonely Elephant. We'd love to continue this conversation.