Some time ago, I read S. E. Cupp’s opinion in the New York Daily News. I am a fan of Ms. Cupp, and most articles on the topic of feminism and motherhood make my head turn. But this piece in particular made me want to respond because I was nodding my head agreement — until the end. I will be tweeting it to her.
Let’s get down to the real “folly of feminism”! At first, I was a little giddy in the hopes that your article would push the women who had been on the fence toward motherhood. You mentioned how your mother raised you so that you could have among other things: an Ivy League education, a successful career, and the ability to travel the world. Interestingly, you felt pangs of guilt when Phyllis Schafly and Michelle Bachmann spoke of the virtues of marriage and motherhood. But when I got to the last paragraph which read, “Maybe this will be the year when I finally feel that proverbial tug on my uterus…because at 32…the one regret I have is that I’m not more like more mother,” I thought to myself, she was almost there, and she let it go…
No. For all too many women, the mistake has been to wait for that “proverbial tug.”
I, too, graduated from an Ivy League school and was lucky to find the man of my dreams early in life. I truly believe I might never have had these two beautiful children today if I had waited for an internal sign. I never appreciated children and to be honest I was neutral about the whole issue of motherhood. I was raised during the “me” generation and had heard about other women breaking glass ceilings. Wasn’t I supposed to at least break a few walls of sheetrock instead of shopping for onesies and chasing after toddlers?
Ambivalent, but I jumped with both feet into the sea of motherhood, and I’ve never looked back! I had planned on going back to work, but couldn’t bear the thought of some stranger looking after my children, so I stayed home and became a homeschooler.
My friends and I discussed your article. Few said they had looked forward to motherhood.
Veronica: “I can understand that pull to be a mother though. I felt those feelings at 19. Had my first child at 21 and became a step mom at 23,”
Anna: “Always wanted children. Enjoyed them as babies and enjoy them growing up. Wish I could have more.”
The other moms had had a more nonchalant attitude toward children.
Samantha: “I actually was all about working and playing ice hockey until my middle 20s when I became pregnant and I can’t say what the ‘motivation’ was… After my first child, that mother thing clicked inside and future pregnancies were delightfully welcomed, craved, and the babies, the greatest, most fulfilling things ever.”
Kate: “I was 24 years old and kind of overwhelmed with the idea. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be a good mother, and I didn’t even know if I liked kids. I had absolutely no experience and a lot of fear. I did have a desire to keep going once I had the first.”
Jenny: “Had one child, love her with all my heart; so thankful I never had another.”
Hannah: “I didn’t want children…any…ever. My daughter was a surprise, and we’re all doing great.”
Please, don’t let your Ivy League DNA go to waste Ms. Cupp. Don’t wait for those mothering instincts to kick in because they may not come till you hold your first baby in your arms.