As a mother, you know how divisive those three words are. And you know why so many women hate them.
You see them being used as blunt instruments to sell everything from washing powder to bigotry. As a mother, you’ve observed them dressed up in fake concern to convince us that women sit in only two camps – the ones who know and the ones who can never understand.
Never understand empathy, compassion, or how something so primal as the cries of a baby can really hit you in the solar plexus. As a mother, you are, apparently, a superior being to The Others.
You know those words can be a weapon.
But as a mother, you also know they’re words some women have waited a lifetime to use. You know they’re a label those women have given almost everything to wear.
As a mother, you know what it’s like not to be one. To spend years thinking, is a baby something I want? Why don’t I want a baby? Why does everyone seem to want a baby? Why don’t I seem to count for anything until I want a baby?
And then, as a mother, you know what it’s like when almost overnight, your body (is it your body?) betrays you and you wake up longing. Every cell in your body has bent itself into the shape of a pair of empty arms. That day, even your hair wants a baby.
As a mother, you know how it feels to suddenly look around and think, sh*t. How do I get a baby?
So now, as a mother, you know what it’s like to wee on a stick and will for one line. And for two.