Whatever the Opposite of Broody Is

It’s Mother’s Day, here in the UK.

I’m not a mother, by choice first and foremost. Interestingly, I’ve been told that I’m somehow less than a woman because of this – especially at my age – and that I’m being unfair to others by this choice. Any number of strange statements, which reflect more on the speaker’s opinion than my own (rather important!) life decisions.

A while ago, however, some lovely Lancashire ladies disputed this point of view. They remarked that I certainly was a good mother already. Because I mothered my books, my projects, seeing them from concept into creation. I mentor my students, and those who come to me for help. I’m clearly living my womanly skills in this way, they told me: working and crafting, creating and helping, loving and caring (I know many gentlemen who do similar, but in this context, understanding was achieved).

So rather than tell others what they’re not (or what they should be), I’d rather consider what they are, what they give to the world, how they are loved. Mother or father, son or daughter, we honour our ancestors in our lives as lived.

I do my best.

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6 thoughts on “Whatever the Opposite of Broody Is

  1. Comments from people along these lines really do get me steamed up. As much as i love my sproggie…. i was never a broody person, and would’ve been quite happy leading an equally as fulfilling life without children, as i m trying to with.
    I think the comments from the Lancashire ladies are very true, and accurate and i think there are many forms of fulfilling the ‘maternal’ role, but also: its ok for a female to NOT fulfil it too!
    I have friends who will never have children ( by choice) who are achieving and doing incredible things and i really can’t say they fit that feminine/maternal box at all, whilst others have made the BEST aunties EVER…. but are very able to hand the offspring back afterwards, and who are very feminine and maternal in their other roles which don’t include children.
    As for you being told you are somehow being unfair in your own personal thought out life choice………. well…… speechless, totally speechless, to be honest. xx

  2. I love the fact that so many inspirational druids – and others – are able to have this conversation because, regardless of what choices we all make in the end, it ought to be a *choice*! It is really brave of you to have faced such criticism and find it in yourself to respond by simply speaking your truth – the most powerful response, because the more of us who feel able to speak our truths, the more our culture as a whole will accept the need to think about the full implications of parenthood on an overpopulated planet, before making a considered choice.
    I have to admit I *do* get broody, but I am still ambivalent about parenthood – the hormones say “YES!” and the mind says “wait,…” As of yet, I have no idea what choice I will one day make, but thank you so much for making it a little more possible to express ambivalence. There are so many other fulfilling paths, so many other ways to nurture and support.

  3. You too, hm?
    I’ve been told that I’m selfish and “not a whole woman” since I chose not to have children, and that I must be a cold-hearted, horrible person without a maternal bone in my body. One male acquaintance even tried to convince me that by not fitting into the maiden/mother/crone triumvirate, I could never tap into the full sacredness of the divine feminine.

    I’ve chosen to be a caregiver and mother-figure to a number of animal companions, and as both writer and artist, I’ve birthed numerous projects into the world. Every plant that I nurture, every friend that I guide, has drawn upon my care, compassion, protectiveness, and loving spirit, and I find that to be a perfect embodiment of the mothering aspect for me.

    Ultimately, every person’s opinion is drawn from their world experience up to that point, but it is sometimes difficult to remember that mindfully and compassionately in the moment when they’re trying to push their views and agenda at you. 😉 It seems at times that some folks feel the need to find affirmation for their own choices, and if another’s path deviates from theirs, they can lash out in self-doubt. Sorry you’ve had to contend with that as well.

  4. Well… you already know that I am right with you on this one! You do hear some very strange things when people hear that you have chosen not to be a mother. And yes, there are so many other ways to tend and nurture that don’t involve biological motherhood. We need more women who are freely chosing this and who are prepared to talk about it! x

  5. It’s not like we’re desperately short of people and in need of all able bodied women contributing to save the species… what fantasy world are these folk living in? The choice not to have genetic children, is such an honourable one, and needs supporting and celebrating. It’s also worth noting that guys who do not reproduce do not get anything like the issues. It’s about gender identity, and wanting to contain us in specific roles, and that carries on into how we treat women who have children as well. We are to become the role, and we will be judged if we want to breed on the same terms the guys do…

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