We all define ourselves differently. Some of us become one with our occupations: doctor, lawyer, teacher or artist. Others define themselves by age, religion, location or political persuasion. Still others by relationships. Whether intentional or not, each label gets a value assigned to it. Try these identities on for size: You’re a young New Yorker social worker who’s also a devoted daughter. You’re a newly-married 30-something left-leaning Irish Catholic reporter. You’re a middle-aged Canadian small business owner and former Peace Corps volunteer.
If you happen to be female, this weekend you’re also either a mom or a non-mom. I gotta wonder sometimes in a child-centric society where there’s near chronic “mommy” worship why we need a day set aside anyway. This census report from the US talks about the history of the day and the fact that in this country there are 82.5 million mothers of all ages — sometimes it feels like they all live next door to me. Try to find data on non-moms and you’ll be stumped pretty easily.
There are clearly lots of us non-moms out there (some by chance, some by design, some by biological flaw), but we’re not walking about declaring ourselves as such. Would I prefer to be in the group being recognized this Sunday? I’d by lying if I said no, but just once could we find a way to celebrate more quietly? It’s tough enough to be infertile without being singled out on a day like Sunday. Talk about being made to feel like a second class citizen or, worse still, having no value at all.
I could end this post there but I thought better of it. I’m a Californian, a writer, a student of the world, a devoted wife, sister, aunt, daughter and friend as well as a lover of books, wine, film, Michigan football, and travel. Who are you?