March 15, 2018

A mother is never something I’ve wanted to be.

Warning: adult language ahead!


You’d be the best “Not-Mother.” {Poem}

My old lover gave me a compliment the other day.

The kind no one would expect, not even me.
“You’d be the best not-mother,” he said.
Over a conversation on friends
Becoming unexpectedly pregnant with twins.

You see a mother is never something I’ve wanted to be.
But I’ve been told by many
It’s something I’d be so good at.
It’s because I’m a lover,
and I’m keen to understand.
I work very well with children;
I carry their same kind of vulnerable unfiltered approach.
But, we can love children and still
Never want them.
This is something hardly anyone understands,
And something mostly everyone shames us for:
We women with wombs who do all but crave a child.

So I say, “I could never bring a child into a world with so much pain.”
And people say, “But my world is happy.
I can give happiness to them.”
And I know that—that your world is happy.
That you will only give them the happiness you know.
But I am 21.
And my world is not my parent’s world anymore.
And my world has not been my parent’s world for a very long time.
And I know hate.
I know pain.
I know fear.
And I know that this world in front of me is never all the world.

Because my world is happiness, too.
But the horizon is wider than my front porch,
And my heart beats deeper than the problems that affect only me.
Because I feel pain, when it is not my pain to feel.
And I cringe from hate, even when it is not hurled in my direction.
My world is not my parent’s world,
But my world is not my own either.

And all my happiness, and all my love,
They are still not enough.
My world is your world.
My world is your children’s world.
All my life thus far, love has not always won.
So how could you ask me to make new life,
When the one we already have is half-broken, half the time?
What gives you the right to tell women so aware of a broken system
That they are the ones fucking up by not bringing innocence into it?
Where is the logic?
Where is the care?

Because they’ll say, “You don’t really know yet,”
Or, “You’ll change your mind.”
But not my old lover.
He’s always known I’ve never wanted babies of my own;
He’s always supported that notion.
He doesn’t doubt my convictions, because they are mine and mine alone.
But he never fails to remind me right after, that if we did have one,
It would be gorgeous.
I know I’d be damn good at making humans.
But I don’t believe that’s a good enough reason to do it.

So my favorite compliment to date is still:
“You’d be the best not-mother.”
I know.
I know.

So to my women who have felt like their bodies are here
For more than creation and less all at once—I hear you.
Have the sex.
Don’t have the child.
If that is what speaks to you.
Don’t fucking listen to the ones who don’t know.
Who haven’t felt the conversation inside your body.
Who cannot know what is right for you.
I want you to know: you’ll be the best not-mother, too.



Author: Brooklynn Bosworth
Image: Author’s own

Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson

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