Moms vs. Aunts: A Social Media Smackdown

Can we stop with the pronatalist propaganda, please?

Y.L. Wolfe
Liberty
Published in
5 min readJul 14, 2021

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Photo by Kev Costello on Unsplash

My baby is turning two today! I cannot believe I ever thought I knew anything about what it means to love a child when I was just an aunt. I didn’t know anything. I only learned how to be a selfless person by becoming a mother, and this little girl is the angel who gave me that gift. I laugh at myself now, to think of how foolish I was to think I knew anything as an aunt. Motherhood, friends, is the real deal. #nogreatercalling

This is what greeted me when I reactivated my personal Facebook account after a recent (and blissful) two month break. It was posted by my cousin, who, unlike me, stayed in L.A. and, also unlike me, achieved “normal female milestones,” like getting married and having two babies before the age of 30.

I read her post twice, allowing myself an exaggerated eye roll with the second reading. I’m so over this. I see posts like this all the time from friends and family who are in those milk-drunk early years of babies and toddlers: proclamations about how amazing motherhood is and how silly, immature, and socially irrelevant women are (themselves, included) before they become mothers.

This one, however, was the first one I’ve seen that specifically called out how insignificant aunthood is compared to motherhood.

Thankfully, I’m so used to seeing this kind of propaganda that it doesn’t affect me like it used to. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to keep pushing back — and not just for the sake of women like me who do not have children, but for all women. Including mothers.

This kind of narrative around motherhood is damaging to all of us.

So let’s break this down.

Comparison

I am all for mothers celebrating themselves in any way they like. Moms have a thankless job and worse, they are manipulated and gaslit by a culture that grants them social clout only in exchange for their total compliance, and deifies them while doing absolutely nothing to actually support or protect them. So yes, please, mothers of the world, speak up about your accomplishments with pride — I am 100% behind you.

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Y.L. Wolfe
Liberty

Gender-curious, solosexual, perimenopausal, childless crone-in-training. | Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gleDcD | Email: welcome@yaelwolfe.com