“Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey.” ― Author Unknown
At what length, what sacrifices, what would you give up or be willing to do to get to motherhood. The biological clock is real and for some women, motherhood is the ultimate gift for purpose and deeper meaning of life. After celebrating the holiday of Mother’s Day over the weekend, it gave me the opportunity to ask the question, what does motherhood mean to you?
I partnered up with the breakfast restaurant group in Chicago called, Eggsperience Café. Ironically (or subconsciously) we have the same name, but for two totally different ideas … one a restaurant with lots of eggs and my website a guidebook for how to freeze your eggs or oocytes. They graciously allowed me to ask their diners the questions about the topic of motherhood. The answers varied as much as the people who answered them. The stories were heart-warming to sad reflections of loss including miscarriages, pregnancies, passing of their mother or spouse. It was amazing to watch their eyes light up as they described their mother or shared about their vision for motherhood themselves.
This may be one of the first Mother’s Day, I’m acutely aware of how this day can be painful and sad just as a happy celebration. For the woman who desires to be a future mother, for those who struggling with infertility, for the individuals dealing with loss of their parent or spouse, all of these feelings are present when talking about Mother’s Day. Even Sherly Sandberg, COO of Facebook, shared at length some of her own views and reflects on changes of her own motherhood journey after loosing her husband a year ago unexpectedly. These pains can be a real as the joys associated with motherhood and parenting.
It is not uncommon to generalize the concept of “motherhood” and lump everyone into one group of just being a mom, but really motherhood affects us all in different and unique ways. Every mom has her own definition of motherhood. However being a mom is not a prerequisite for understanding motherhood. While I haven’t joined the Mom’s Club yet, I fully intend to and why I froze my eggs in the Fall 2015.
So the question begs to be asked, how far would you go or what would you sacrifice to become a mother? Would you be willing to use a sperm donor if you didn’t have a partner? Would you try an egg donor if your eggs were biologically not viable? Would you be willing to accept a donor embryo or use a surrogate if you and your partner were infertile or could not conceive? How about adoption, would you go through the heart jerking process to find a child who was being given up? All of these ideas are ones that must be considered in your quest and journey to motherhood. When examining these choices, you might think each one carries a sense of defeat for leaving behind the dream we might have for our future families. I’m here to tell you that if you accept any of these factors, it will never stop you from being called a mom, if you want it bad enough.
I want to encourage you to see the glass as refillable rather than haft empty or half full. Motherhood comes in many shapes and sizes for the modern family and this day in age. Gone are the days of the commercial housewife and business-working father with 3 kids, a dog, and the picket white fence. Today families are being redefined and women are dictating the new modern family. However you become a mother via adoption, donor egg, donor sperm, or donor embryo … that child is yours for you to love and cherish. You are a mom regardless if you gave birth or if the child is your genetic makeup or even if both of those things are not true. A mother is defined by characteristic far greater than biology.
I remember the day I stopped looking at my mother as simply my parent, but started to see her for who she really was … a person. A great person at that, who for most of her life was defined by child-rear four kids. A person who sacrificed her own career for the sake of unconditionally loving me and my siblings. A person who despite her own flaws always believed in us and strived to encourage us in the best way she knew how. I can’t thank her enough for that. Qualities of this nature define exactly what it means to be a MOTHER. I can only wish I can be half as good of mother as she was.
What do you think? Are you open to ideas such as donor sperm or egg? How about the adoption option? What are some of your hesitations or concerns? What is holding you back? I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic. I want to encourage all women to be open minded about these choices when entering motherhood. Coming to a place of acceptance could make the process smoother. I’m not saying don’t dream your dreams, I’m only saying be open for your dreams to shift and change. The road to motherhood is best when not walking it in heels.