Celebrating Womanhood and Motherhood; Intersections and Uniqueness

The theme of this year’s international women’s day is “choose to challenge gender bias and inequality” with the aim of creating an inclusive world where women can exist without fear of judgement and stereotypical beliefs of what “Womanhood” should be.

This got me thinking about these stereotypical roles women have come to hold in society when we can actually be so much more.

We are born into Womanhood and what a joy to celebrate the beauty we possess that transcends from the inside out – the strength, the agility, the resilience. And then I think of motherhood; the privilege to bring another human life into this world, the pain and sacrifice that comes with it and the fulfilment therein.

However, it often feels as though the intersection between the two is more celebrated where motherhood is perceived as the ultimate crown of womanhood.

There has always been a huge focus on the girl child from a young age, as regards how to become a better wife and mother so as not to bring shame and disgrace to her family.

There has always been a huge FOCUS on the girl child

Even with the progress of women’s rights, in many parts of the world, a woman is still not seen as fulfilling her role in this world if firstly she is not married, and again if shortly after marriage, babies don’t follow.

There is even a stigma attached when either or both “accomplishments” aren’t achieved within a set period of time. When a woman gets married, the “womb watchers” gather together for a meeting to set the nine months timing for the babies to come.

Regardless of her other achievements, being a wife and a mother seems to be most paramount. Sadly, I have been guilty of this too.

So, what happens when life happens and neither of these things is fulfilled? Should the woman be looked upon as a failure?

Shouldn’t we as a society start to celebrate the other aspects of a woman that liberates and empowers her to be the best version of herself whatever that may be?

Family Time - MusingPam
“I want to Look after my husband and Children.”

I remember a conversation I had with my husband shortly after we met, he asked me what I would do in my life that will make me feel fulfilled, my answer was so categorical “I want to look after my husband and children”.

In hindsight, that response was perhaps an attempt to impress him by showcasing the epitome of a virtuous woman.

I had an earful from him that day where he told me how I could be so much more than that.

Many years later, I still feel the same but with many other layers taught to me by my life experiences and mindset shift that I can have it all; be a good wife, mother and aim for more if I choose to.

Of course, I believe in the act of service to my family, however now, it is from the lens of giving more to myself to be able to serve and be served as a wife and as a mother.

Understanding that my worth as a woman is not only because I am married or have children, but also because I have so much more to offer in spite of my marital and maternal status.

MUSINGPAM: Woman is Worth More
My Worth is not only because I am married and have children. I am worth more (MUSINGPAM)

Having said that, the idea of having it all varies for different women. For some, it may be being a full-time stay-at-home wife or mother and there is no shame in that. For others, being career-driven comes before anything else. The power is in the choice that a woman can be able to make this decision wholly for herself and not as a dictate by society; and whatever her decision, it must be respected.

There is so much beauty in choosing for oneself. My point is, we must begin to deconstruct these structural norms of what defines womanhood and challenge the judgemental mindset that perpetually perceives women as homemakers and nothing more.

A woman can have a baby when just being appointed Prime Minister of a country and go on to be arguably one of the best leaders that country has ever known.

If you don’t believe me, ask Jacinda Arden, New Zealand’s prime minister. Her critics would’ve doubted how she would have been able to effectively carry out her role, but four years on, she is still killing it.

“The success of every woman should be an inspiration to another, we should raise each other up”.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, I choose to challenge the assumption that a woman’s worth lies only in motherhood. Motherhood is a beautiful and fulfilling role and should be celebrated in its own right.

However, there are women who for many good reasons cannot hold that title and they shouldn’t be shamed for that.

Whatever any woman chooses to do or become should be celebrated for all to see.

“The success of every woman should be an inspiration to another, we should raise each other up”.

“When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings”. Find your wings and fly!

I celebrate all women this week who are killing it and breaking the stereotypes. To all Mothers out there, thank you for all you do, for the sacrifice and nurture you bring. You are celebrated.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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6 thoughts on “Celebrating Womanhood and Motherhood; Intersections and Uniqueness”

  1. I was told that I was selfish because I chose to travel and work, rather than have a baby after marriage. Took 10 years after marriage to successfully conceive and I was totally ready then.

    Kudos to all mother’s for their sacrifice, tenacity, patience and, nurturing.

  2. Seriously, A Girl Child Should Be Given A Chance To Make A Choice,. The Society Should Not Make A Push To Determine Her Future. Thanks So Much My Dear Pam, For A Beautiful Write Up That Looks Like An Advice To The Society. Greater Heights Babe

  3. I strongly feel, happiness should come first and as far as I know, happiness means different things to different people. Some people find happiness just napping at home, while others find happiness in the party. Whatever it is to a person, that sets that person free and bring true self actualization to that person should be the goal. It shouldn’t be limited by stereotypical beliefs on how one gender should be as against the other because in the first place, we are all humans.

  4. Believe it or not, women are better managers and I dare say leaders. Empathy for me is the highpoint of it all and women have that in abundance. Women like men have a right to aspire to get to great heights and smash the glass ceiling, they have a right to aspire and work their way into greatness. Wait, who ever came up with that untrue title that “women are the weaker sex”. I have never believed it and would never. Women rock! I celebrate everyone of you keeping it real.

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