Raising Elves

As wild as nature. Myself, parenting and natural remedies blog.


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Identity and At-Home Motherhood

As an at-home parent I have experienced an incredible process in terms of identity that no other life experience could offer.

Being at home can leave you feeling identityless in the beginning and that can tear your confidence apart. You begin to doubt your opinions or just give them up altogether because you don’t have the space left in your brain. Or you find yourself repeating the same story to the same people because you thought you told that story to someone else the other day.

The fruits of your labour are so abstract that you can’t even measure the results of your parenting choices.

Many times I have had people switch off to me when they ask me what I do and I tell them I am at home with my children. In the early days this was upsetting but no longer do I feel upset by it because I have firmly allowed myself to form an identity as a sahm. Anyway,  it says more about a person who validates people only on circumstances that they deem worthy.

Consciously choosing this route despite society telling you how unimportant you are, when ‘science’ and politicians say your children are better off away from you and to continue on this path despite all the hostility is powerful and damn fucking feminist.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer a V sign to all the opinions and ‘studies’ that do not see my children as individual people but as something herd-like to be ‘studied’.

I choose to relinquish my identity as an earner and vulnerably place my trust in my husband. That is empowering- to relinquish financial identity.

I choose to exchange my identity as a passionate current affairs debater to one that offers recommendations of tried and tested laundry detergent. I relinquish the identity of importance.

According to what I read in Irish newspapers and through political statements, there is no job more invalid than that of a sahp, so yes, I now relinquish validity.

It was only a farce anyway- society has a tragic blind-spot when it defines a person’s validity as it still lives in a system of hierarchy.

As I have said, I have found myself processing a life experience like no other. Becoming faceless, invalid, unimportant, unfeminist, lazy, incompetent-

identityless.

And it

feels

wonderful

There is nothing more empowering than having yourself and society strip you bare, beat your brow, invalidate you, make you disappear, ignore you, make war on you. It is this that has left me free to define myself.

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photo credit: shenamt Trollstigen via photopin (license)

As Mother.

The most powerful being on Earth.

And you can throw all your studies at me and judge my choice. I can beat myself. I can doubt myself. I can fail and try harder. I can be a great incredible mother and I can be a shit exhausted mother.

But I am MY mother and she raised me, a woman who does not fear her facelessness but evokes it and remains a blank space for my children to mould.

For they are the true teachers.

And just as they mould me, they will mould their society.

They will teach respect for all kinds of people because they were raised by a women whom society laid no respect upon.

They will honour effort over result because their mother will have walked through hell to be the best person she can be for them, and she will still be a flawed human being.

They will teach their society to move beyond the scope of their identity. To push themselves to the point of facelessness. For it is here that they will find their true selves and when we find that authenticity we no longer have to pin ourselves against our peers.

In that state maybe society can appreciate everyone’s uniqueness. Imagine that kind of world?

 

 


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How does a woman prove she is suicidal, without committing suicide? Some thoughts on recent discussions on Ireland’s abortion legislation.

I am sure you will know about Savita’s story which has evoked the age-old debate here in Ireland about abortion and the rights of women and unborn children. For my non-Irish readers you can find out about it here.

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I remember the abortion debate when I was a child and my opinion hasn’t really changed much since then.

I remember having a clear pro-choice reaction.

I think that most people tend to stick with their initial reaction to the subject.

This is not the kind of debate that logic or sentiment can sway.

For most people I have discussed this with, whether or not they are pro-choice or pro-life, they are very clear on what side they are on.

There is something that really bugs me about this recent proposed clarification of legislation.

They are now suggesting that we might clarify that upon the scenario of rape, suicide risk or a life and death situation, then, and only then, is a woman entitled to her right to make a decision on abortion.

Even in these circumstances, however, it is not in her control – she has to convince investigative ‘authorities’ first.

It reminds me of forty years ago when women were forced to give up babies they had out of wedlock – even if they wanted to keep them – just because in those times the majority of society didn’t accept ‘illegitimate’ children.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to offer a little support to an acquaintance while she went through what I can only call an ‘inquest’ received from Gardai after being raped.

The difficulty she had to prove that she had been raped became nearly as big an issue for her as the violation itself.

It turned her off proceeding with the charges and she nearly backed out.

It is still under investigation- months later.

This leads me to question, when this clarification occurs, what is the procedure that a woman has to go through to prove that she was raped in order to receive an abortion?

I can’t even bare to think of the psychiatric invasion when she is at risk of suicide.

Imagine having to prove you are suicidal.

Also, how long will it take to get through the system?

What psychological damage will be inflicted on her as she is poked and prodded by a host of officials just to prove that she has been raped or is suicidal?

I imagine that regardless of these new clarifications in legislation, most women will continue to exert their right of choice by going across the sea where they don’t have to expose their innermost vulnerabilities just to have their personal decision taken respectfully.

The only people that this legislation will help are those who are in similar circumstances to Savita; where the life of the mother is at risk if she continues with the pregnancy.

In this case, it is a physical issue and is tangible, therefore easy to diagnose.

I believe that once a baby is conceived they are a person. I believe we have souls and I believe that these souls pre-exist conception.

Despite this, in regards to another woman choosing to have an abortion, what do I think?

I think it’s none of my effing business.

I also think it’s none of society’s business.

And it’s not even the government’s business.

If applicable, I will acknowledge the father the choice of argument. That makes sense.

Abortion isn’t an easy decision but sometimes it is the right decision for the person making it – and that is nobody’s business but the woman.

To think that in this day and age our society has more of a right than I to decide what I do with my body, embryo and circumstances just sets me fuming.

It’s none of your goddamn business!!

As always, comments and opinions welcome.