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motherhood

Do You Have Any Children? A Birthmother Speaks to the Personal & the Political

"Do you have any children…?" It’s such a typical question to ask someone, and for many it’s an easy yes or no answer. For me though, I consistently find myself hesitating to respond. Generally when speaking to strangers, casual acquaintances, and even new friends, I opt to answer “no.” On occasion, I brave the consequences and answer the truth: “Yes, I’m a birthmother.”

Birthmotherhood

When I gave birth, options were discussed with me regarding what to do about the baby. For me, there seemed no choice but adoption. I was now 17. The thought of raising a child was an impossibility. I wanted to finish high school. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to hang out with my friends. I just wanted to continue to be a teenager.

The Reality of New Mommyhood

I painted a picture of pure, perfect mommyhood to anyone who would (or had to) listen. He rides in the sling all day! I never get tired, I'm too happy! I grow all of his food in my backyard and I have a nice, hot dinner on the table for my partner when he gets home from his hard day at work! And we never, ever fight. I was born for this job! Yeah, right.

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