Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
By 2017, you'd hope we'd have learned that there's no such thing as a "typical" mom or dad. After all, some of this year's most touching Father's Day cards are actually for moms. Some people evidently still think that a mom is supposed to look and act a certain way, and one English blogger has clapped back brilliantly after being told she didn't seem like "the type" to be raising a child.
"It's played on my mind ever since," Gylisa Jayne, a mother of one from Cornwall, wrote on Facebook. "It's one of those common phrases, we label 'Mother' and have a stereotype in our heads."
"Mothers are meant to sacrifice every aspect of themselves, to fulfill their role," Jayne added. "Mothers aren't allowed expensive bags, or shopping trips out, or to have a fresh manicure every few weeks. Mothers aren't meant to have tattoos, or coloured hair or piercings. Mothers aren't supposed to have histories of being reckless, feckless or just plain fun. Mothers aren't meant to have had a colourful life of experiences before they bear children, they are expected to forget their identity to raise someone else."
Jayne then made a great point. "But how can we raise our children effectively if we haven't experienced a bit of life beforehand?" she asked. "Without navigating my own chequered past, how could I possibly hope to guide a new soul through similar times?"
Jayne concluded, hearteningly: "Motherhood isn't an exclusive club that you can only get into if you look or act the right way. It's full of women that all have lives and tales and colourful histories. Women of every type, from every background and every descent. Women that swear, women that don't, women that are real, and women that don't give a fuck about what you think....
"So I might not fit someone else's expectations of how I should be, but my daughter reckons I'm doing a pretty good job."
Jayne's Facebook post is a stirring reminder that parenthood isn't about adhering to norms, rules, and guidance imposed by society. It's about doing the best you can to prepare someone else for the world, however you see fit, and in whatever way feels right for you and your child.
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