A Mom to Many, but Mother to none.
I am almost forty, and I have no biological children. No one can prepare you to come to this realization because we think we are the ‘exception to the rule.’ It wasn’t that I never had the chance to conceive and raise children, my body just said, “You can get pregnant, but you won’t be able to withstand the pregnancy.” After many miscarriages and fertility consultations, I am now two months shy of forty, a widow, and childless. A statistic that I could have never imagined if you foreshadowed my life in my twenties.
All is not grim, however. It’s Mother’s Day, and I am just in my feelings. My twin had the number of babies that I miscarried, and yes, that gets me in the gut sometimes, but I have the joy of being the ‘other mother’ to my stepson Bathini and my former neighborhood children in my beloved Nyanga, Cape Town, South Africa. Although I am no longer residing in Cape Town after the tragic death of my husband last year (another post forthcoming about that), I realize that being a mother is not just about Biology. It is about openness to fostering a relationship with a child who may not carry your last name, but refers to you as ‘mom’ or ‘Ma Takiyah.’ Children who come to you for personal needs and advice, for security, for love.
I may not be able to know the feeling of nursing a child at this point in my life, but I have been blessed to know how to raise a child(ren) in two continents with just the unconditional love that I have to give with no judgment or expectations.