Today is Mother’s Day; the day in which we pay tribute to our beloved mothers as a sign of appreciation for gestating us, pushing us our into the world through their nether-regions, then keeping us alive through the vomit soaked days our vulnerable babyhood, through the tantrums of our toddler years, the tribulations of schooling, the fights and rebellions of our foul adolescent selves and delivering us, more or less intact, into adulthood.
No really, Mum – thanks! What a mammoth effort. You deserve every breakfast-in-bed, home-made card, clumsy poem and bunch of flowers you have ever received for what you did for us.
But because of my work, I know better than most that there is absolutely no justice in reproduction, and for some people this day is incredibly hard. I’m here today to pay tribute to all those people for whom the reproductive lottery has been woefully unfair.
For those women that have suffered miscarriages, ectopics and reluctant terminations – my heart breaks for you.
For those who became unintentional mothers out of sheer bad luck – I hope the rewards have outweighed the sorrows.
For those struggling with infertility, for whom the constant baby questions cut deep – I feel for you.
For those who have made the decision not to have kids but who are tired of constantly justifying themselves to the world – I support you.
For those couples who are agonising over the decision to have children or not – I ache for you.
For those who’ve lost their kids to illness, injury, incarceration, substance abuse, social circumstance or unimaginable misfortune – I weep with you.
For those sons and daughters who’ve lost their own mother too early – many hugs for you.
For those fur-parents of kitties and pups – I smile with you!
For those who are teaching their kids to be strong in the face of systemic racism, discrimination and social disadvantage – I stand with you.
For those trans parents who don’t fit neatly into the box of mother or father – I see you, and you are loved.
For those single parents who are both mother and father to their young ones – I appreciate you.
For those adoptive, foster and step-parents and aunties and uncles and grandparents who love and care for those kids as their own – I salute you.
For the soon-to-be-mothers and those with brand new bubs who don’t know how they’re going to cope with this overwhelming new life – hang in there, I believe in you!
For those who’s bodies or minds have been profoundly damaged by motherhood – I’ll be there for you.
For those for whom parenthood isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – I hear you.
For those not-yet mothers, for whom the sight of cute babies makes their ovaries hurt – I’m crossing my fingers for you.
For those of us whose ovaries are literally hurting from taking a cocktail of hormone injections in the hope that science will deliver what nature cannot – I am with you.
To my rag-tag family of mother, trans-parent, step-father, brothers, grandparents, step-siblings and fur-baby – I bloody love you all.
Life is hard sometimes. Be kind to one another.