If I Wasn’t a Mother

If I wasn’t a mother, would this day mean as much to me?
If I wasn’t a mother, would the words “hope for the future” make me cry?
If I wasn’t a mother, would I have been as excited to sit at home on my couch in my sweats as my son napped to listen to this?
If I wasn’t a mother, would I clap as loud and smile as big?

I’ve never set out to make this blog political, nor do I intend to do so now.  However, I can’t help but document just how I feel right now, and how I *think* a lot of other parents may feel, as well.  Because, Republican or Democrat, there is a spirit of hope and change right now that I don’t think many of us can ever remember experiencing.  And, while I know that if I were childfree, I would STILL be excited about this day, I don’t know that it would touch me so deeply.  I don’t know that the gravity of today would make me think about not only how much this means in my lifetime, but how much it means for my child, and his possible future children.

I know that we can’t predict the future, and that President Obama’s actions remain to prove his reputation that preceeds him.  I know that we can’t live in an idealistic society that believes that the hard work is over, that this act in and of itself will change everything.  I know the real work is just beginning. But, just for today, I will bask in this feeling.  I will tell my son that today is a new beginning, and that it’s up to my generation and his to see this hope become the reality of our future.

Edited to add my apology below:

I certainly didn’t mean to imply that this would mean any less to people who don’t have children. I can see this for the monumental victory that it is as a whole, for all people, not just my children and theirs.

My point was merely a question for myself. Would *I* feel differently? Because, as only I can know, I do feel different after becoming a mother. Does that make me better or worse? No. It just makes me different.

My apologies if I offended anyone.

Kendall is 8 months, 2 weeks and 4 days old.

50 Things to Do Before You Deliver: The First Time Moms Pregnancy Guide
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  1. Well, I don’t have kids and it means a lot to me. If you are a person who cares about the country and world as a whole – and all the human, plant and animal life in it – then the history and hope of today is just as important as if you had your own offspring.

    It’s only those who look at life through their OWN immediate gratification that are hung up on “what will this event do for ME and MY OWN” that you are referring to.

    It’s important for people to look at the greater picture, beyond just their own little world.

  2. We all seem to put so much hope into our off-spring and yet, in about four generations, none of us know our very own blood related great grandparents; or who they were… so what is the difference? We are all ultimately related and should wish for good things for each other now, not just for our (future-) blood relations – the children of your offspring. This new President means the most to me, because he can see this whole world in a different light and understnad it better, tha most Americans can. We should stop expecting to use up the earth’s resources, as if we, the Americans are so much more deserving of it that the rest. Obama even mentioned this today. It is quite short sighted of you to think that just because you now have a child, everything in the world stops being what it was before you had a child. Many of us don’t see it that way, just because you do. Good luck anyway – you have your work cut out for you…

  3. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that this would mean any less to people who don’t have children. I can see this for the monumental victory that it is as a whole, for all people, not just my children and theirs.

    My point was merely a question for myself. Would *I* feel differently? Because, as only I can know, I do feel different after becoming a mother. Does that make me better or worse? No. It just makes me different.

    My apologies if I offended anyone.

  4. There is a difference between saying “I cared less before I had children” and saying that “All people without children care less than parents”.

    The former is a statement of fact, the latter is judgmental and rude.

  5. Wow. People took this beautiful blog about a hope you have for your child and his future and ran with it. Of course, we as mothers feel a little differently. We have a true vested interest in the future. Our children. That being said it is important to everyone but it is diffrent when you are a mom.

  6. I am a teacher and care deeply about my students. However, today I felt hope for ALL children and people in the world – not just MY students. It is a shame that it takes having a child for so many of you to give a damn about this world. Maybe it wouldn’t be so screwed up if you thought globally instead of just about your own little world. The world is a sick/screwed up place – and yes you did bring someone innocent into it. Maybe your new feeling is Mommy Guilt. Good Luck!

  7. I think a lot of you are reading WAY too much into this. I did not post this to demean the hope of people who have no children. I posted to speak of the hope *I* have for me and my child. That is my life. I have a child. You do not. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I was not, am not, and will not be a person who doesn’t give a damn about this world, with or without children. So, take a step back, take a deep breath, and let’s all be happy. This is a monumental day. We are on the SAME side.

  8. People need to get the eff over themselves. Jesus. I completely agree with your post and wish you had not apologized. You never said those without children don’t care, just that it is different when you are a mother. And it is. Damn.

  9. Wow. I read this post and all I could think was that you captured so well what I was thinking today as I listened to Obama’s speech. I don’t think I have ever felt so much hope and I am so excited that my son will get to grow up in what could be such an amazing time for our country.

    Some people took what you said completely out of context and that was unfair. I agree with the previous poster – it’s too bad you felt the need to apologize for such a beautiful sentiment.

  10. Great post…
    I sat watching today, as my daughter – due to arrive any day now – kicked me in the ribs.
    It’s amazing and wonderful to think that she’s being born into this world & country at such a trying time – but, such a time of great hope for the future.

  11. I am not a mother (yet) but I can understand where Jill is coming from. I am sure that as soon as I am a mom I will see the world through a different set of eyes. It will be more than just how the world affects me. Would yesterday have been different if I was a mom? I am sure it would have been. That doesn’t mean that it would have been more or less impactful on me but it would have been different.

  12. I wish that you had not apologized to Kidfree Kaye. She is a nut. She looks for blogs that deal with kids and pregnancy just so she can talk about how selfish people with kids are. She once posted to a blog that dealt with pregnancy loss about how the author would “get over it.”

    I think you had very valid things to say and it wasn’t an attack on those without kids.

  13. Thank you for the support, ladies. I’m glad not everyone is taking this completely out of context for their own vendetta against people with children. I apologized because I honestly did not expect this sort of reaction (thought I’d get more Obama haters than anything) and was afraid I *had* offended those without children for whatever reason I wasn’t seeing.

    It was also a very emotional, hormonal day yesterday. I was feeling sappy 😉

  14. People without children care just as much about the future as people with children. The day was wonderful for all of us. The author was wise to offer up an apology. The blog was not worded as well as it could have been. It came off sounding elitist.

  15. Wow- it always amazes me how much people can get fired up over a blog. I thought your post was perfectly worded and very appropriate. Too bad there are so many negative nellies trying to bring you down.

  16. I personally loved the blog! I think people take what they want from things. And some people are fueled by drama. Ignore the negativity and embrace the positivity!

  17. Thank you for the apology. It showed maturity and sensitivity towards others. It is not right to treat people who are not moms like they are not in the “group.” There are alot of giving/child loving people who simply don’t have kids of their own. On the other hand, not all moms are wonderful caring people. Everyone should be judged as an individual. People don’t automatically think alike because they become moms. You may personally feel different, but alot of experiences in life make one look at things differenty.

    As a high school teacher, I see how extremely difficult it is to be a kid today and don’t blame you for hanging on to the hope that it is going to get better. If it does not or gets worse,I feel sorry for the next generation.

    Thanks again for being understanding and open minded. Remember, not all moms think alike and not all people who are not moms think alike. Just like the black/white issue should come to a rest we should not create two sides — moms vs. non moms. Most people in the world love children and want to make the world a better place for them. It is not an exclusive club for moms.

  18. Renee, I apologized because I never did set out to offend anyone without children, even though I can’t really understand how a post on my blog about MY feelings re: me and MY child would offend others. Of course I care about all the children of the world, always have, always will, with or without a child of my own. OF COURSE I know that people without children are capable of the same compassion. Do I now need to make this blanket statement at the beginning of every post so that my bases are covered?

    While my apology still stands and I am still very sorry if I’ve inadvertently hurt some people out there, I believe a lot of people are reading more into this post then there is. Not a single time in my original entry did I ever make a reference to anyone other than myself when talking about how I felt. I never said all moms felt this way. I never said anyone who was not a mom could never feel this way.

    And, for the record, I would love an apology from you for your insinuations that I don’t give a damn about this world and that I don’t think about anything outside of my own “little world”, and for demeaning MY feelings of hope by blaming them on “mommy guilt”. And just in case you didn’t notice, that apology was posted long before your little tirade.

  19. LOL – you people are ridiculous. This is a blog about how SHE felt. Not how she thinks EVERYONE feels.

    If you want to talk about how important the day was for YOU … write your own blog. Just because she’s a mom and is excited for the future of her child doesn’t mean she’s narrow-minded or caught in her own ‘little world’. It means she cares deeply for her child and see’s her future in him.

    Maybe some of YOU should stop thinking about YOURselves and start thinking about how someone else might have viewed this important event.

  20. Oh for Christ’s sake. FWIW, I feel exactly the same way. This:

    “Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate.” — Charlotte Gray

    I felt empathy before I was a mother, absolutely. But the depth of that feeling and my world view is fundamentally different now that I have a child. It just is. It doesn’t mean I was a bad or shallow or self-centered person before I had a child. It means I am a different person for having gone through the monumental experience of becoming a mom. Naturally the filter through which I view the world has changed as well. I am sure this moment in history would still have been as important to me if I didn’t have a child, but it probably wouldn’t have felt as personal. That’s not a put-down on anyone else. It’s a reflection on how I’ve changed. There is no need to apologize for that.

  21. Hey…If you see my thingy on twitter about you, I wasn’t trying to be harsh toward you. The negative comments bothered me, a lot. I just re-read it and thought it could be misunderstood. 🙂

  22. I am sincerely sorry if I offended anyone. The people without children get a little defensive sometimes because we are the ones who are the minority and made to feel like outcasts. For example an inviation came out at work today for a baby shower and it stated “Jane is now going to become a member of the mother set with all of us – please come to a shower that will welcome her (who the baby or her as a mother?.” So we feel excluded and discriminated against alot. A shower should be about HER and HER celebration and HER child – not a celebration for all mothers. It is not mother’s day. For a college graduation I would not send an invitation to high school graduates that reads Jane is going to become a member of the college educated set and we will all welcome her… etc. etc. Also a friend of mine had a miscarriage and surely didn’t appreciate the wording of this invitation. As a matter of fact, she cried. I know you didn’t send this invitation and I am not suggesting you ever would – I am simply sharing the story so you don’t think I am some nut writing on your blog for no reason. People without children hear remarks alot like “you wouldn’t understand – you are not a mother.” etc. However, this new generation (not all, but it is more frequent than in the past) is taking on this whole ego mother image. The attention the celebrity moms are getting is even making this more true. So no you don’t need to clarify anything on your blog. It would just be appreciated if people who are moms would show some sensitivity to others who are not. We are women too and becoming a mother isn’t a promotion in life. It is a gift from God an a tremendous responsibility. So thank you for reading this and I hope you treat your friends and family who are not mothers (ever or yet) with the dignity they deserve.

  23. People really need to step back, calm down and reread what you wrote. You said that for you being a mom changed things, and honestly if it hadn’t then I would think there is something wrong with you. The great thing about Pres Obama being President is now all people everywhere know that you can hope and achieve anything. At any rate I get what you were saying…eff all the nay sayers! 😉

  24. I am trying to stay calm. And perhaps an apology was not necessary – this is YOUR blog. However, it is possible for people to apologize for saying ‘HOW THEY FEEL” about “issues in general.” I am not reffering to this particular case. But it is not a defense for ANYTHING that comes out of our mouths. Otherwise you could just start any nasty comment off with I feel you……. are stupid ugly and should burn in hell. Turn around and say it is simply how I FEEL. I am never returning to this blog anyway. I don’t belong here. Good Luck to all of you.

  25. An example you may all relate to more…
    I feel my child is the smartest, most good looking and athletic one here. In this competitive mommy world – get ready. And remember it is simply HOW THEY FEEL. So get over it when it happens.

  26. Really there is no need to argue over this. There are always two sides. Renee you feel left out because you aren’t a mother yet. I understand. I’ve been there. I remember before I got pregnant my cousin, my mom and my sister would all tell me that I dont understand because I’m not a mom. That hurt me alot. But now being pregnant and getting ready to be a mom I sometimes feel like I am left out of the group of people who aren’t mothers. There are always two sides so please remember that. Give the author a break. She didn’t mean to offend anyone. This blog was taken out of context by some of you. I’m not sure if you have read all her past postings but she has always been fair and aplogized when someone has felt offended by her. She really was not trying to offend anyone.

  27. I didn’t read all the way through the responses… But have you all thought about how this is a PERSONAL blog and you CHOSE to read it? Why post such rude things? Even if you don’t agree with it, you chose to read it and you should accept that it is the writers view. Why don’t you go post on your blog about YOUR views, instead of leaving comments condemning hers.

    Grow up and stop thinking that your opinion means more, therefore feel the need to post negative things about someone else’s.

  28. I totally thought you were just full of hope because it was my birthday 🙂 I seriously don’t understand some people, but I hope that won’t detour you from sharing your views with the rest of us that are on board. You always provide some wisdom and enlightment regarding everything from baby poo to politics (more alike then I’d like to admit) and I appreciate it. We miss ya in DC!

  29. Good grief! Let us all take a step back and review the intent of the original message – hope and unity, people. Hope, and unity.
    Did it matter more to mothers when Bush was in office? Do mothers matter more because they are mothers? Can anyone tell you that they matter more or you matter less and have it ACTUALLY mean anything? Is it time to draw from our good friend E.Roosevelt and adapt her “no one can make you feel…without your consent” sentiment?
    Here the thing: I am a mother. And I felt the same damn way she did. And I was hopeful mot only for my daughter, but for everyone’s sons and daughters. Which would mean all of you, too.
    Hope and unity, people. Don’t bother singing along if you don’t know the words.

  30. Pingback: A parent's love for Joel McHale and The Soup | BABY RABIES

  31. WOW. All you people who are up in arms, did you actually read what she wrote? She was talking about her very own personal experience and how being a mother has changed it.

    Please simmer down and stop looking for insult where there is none.

    Babe, I’m sorry you’ve gotten all of this flak. I’m almost sorry you apologized and didn’t just tell them to shove it.

  32. To me all of this seems pretty equivilant to people reading my blog titled “I have the cutest niece” and getting seriously butt hurt because they think their niece is the cutest. Or that there has to a be a baby more beautiful out there in the world than my niece.

  33. For chrissake, you people are getting your Hanky Pankies all in a knot for nothing!! This is HER blog about HER life and HER feelings! Never once in her original post before her apology did she say anything that could even remotely be construed as saying that people without children don’t care as much about what’s going on in our country right now as people WITH children. NOT ONCE.

    For what it’s worth, I know for a fact that I’m the type of person that would probably have still cried and felt completely humbled by the inauguration of our new president even if I were not pregnant right now. I’ve always been that way. However, I would not have taken offense to anything that was said in this blog post. I can totally see it both ways. While I may have felt a pang of envy when reading this about not being a mother and not being able to experience the depth of feeling an event like that must produce in the heart of every mother, it would have been just that – a pang of envy for not being a mom. It would have nothing to do with thinking that she was making some kind of blanket statement about non-parents don’t care as much. I think it’s possible that those who replied to this negatively are allowing their feelings about being (or not being) a parent to cloud their judgement regarding this post.

    Good job, BabyRabies. I admire you.

  34. It’s amazing how so many people can take such a beautiful and introspective post, written solely from the writer’s own perspective, and twist it around to mean something else. Lots of people with lots of time on their hands.
    That is the problem with the internet, words will be ‘twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools’ (stealing from Rudyard Kipling here). She has a right to express what she thinks. And i’m not even a parent.

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