There were 10 of us. I came first and helped raise the rest. I did not want my mother’s life. I did not want to alternate between being pregnant and breastfeeding for twenty years, nor did I want the underlying lack of autonomy and choice that represented to me. Yet still, her legacy and example ran deep, and I was always sure that whatever edition of motherhood I might someday desire would come easily to me. I wasn’t prepared for what actually happened.
There is one thing that has disappointed me more about motherhood that I’ve been struggling to to put into words. It reveals the cracks and the gaps in the way we’ve built our society, in the way we culture, in the way we show up for each other.