Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mother What?

The other day I left a comment on a post at Birth Mother /First Mother Form. In my comment I typed “natural mother” and immediately I thought maybe I should change it to birth mother or first mother or my new personal favorite “whatever mother” because apparently somebody will be inevitably offended by any one of those terms. My own natural mother just may be offended by all of them feeling that she needs no qualification of her role.

I have had a Birth, First, Natural mother. I had an older sister who was more a “mothering” figure to me when I was young than my natural mother ever was as mothering has never come naturally to my first mother. (My kids still despite all corrections and explanations continue to believe my sister is their grandmother.)

I have had nannies after my natural mother left. I have a step mother, who I am now affectionately referring to as my father’s wife, as “mothering” me is not something that come naturally to her either.

I have had foster mothers, a “Surrogate mother”, a “one on one”, and countless staff who filled the parenting role for me over the years.

I had my momma, the mother of a friend. Who fed, clothed, sheltered and loved me until the day she died. And she was the closest thing to a “real mother” I have ever had.

I have heard from adoptees that adoptive parents don’t like the term “natural mother” because it implies that adoption is an unnatural way to become a parent. Well, this is the part where I offend some people I care about and respect…adoption is not the natural way to become a parent. Adoption is the legal way to become a parent. That is not a slam it is just the cold hard truth.

I underwent in vitro fertilization, that is the scientific way to become a parent…the end results (in my case) would have ended up with my having a natural child, however the process was anything but.
There a lot of children right here in this country who conceived naturally borne into families whom will not or cannot raise them. That is a sad fact.

Whether you are a “natural”, “first”, “birth”, “surrogate”, “foster”, “adoptive” I am not sure that the descriptions/qualifiers used in conversation to avoid confusion in a highly complicated situation matter nearly as much as the “Real” relationships that those descriptions can never do justice.

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