The freedom of Maternality

Monday, July 4, 2011
After seven years in a relationship with an abusive man boy, it was something of a relevation when I looked down at 2 month old Shae and realised something about her. It was not that she was my very own, but more that she was a gift that came with absolutely no strings attached. She was free, and so was I. It may seem like such a little thing but in terms of what women get in our society, it is oh such a big thing. It is beyond priceless.  It is the maternal line of old, before the Church came along and laid claim to women and to the children borne of women.

With Kalea and Tyger, I parented them as a solo mother in a relationship with someone who wasn't much of a partner let alone a parent. When we separated, I came to realise it was only through my own efforts that Kalea and Tyger got to see their father. He continued to be a non-parent. And now regardless of the reality of him as a non-parent, and because our patriarchal society regards fatherhood as a status rather than an activity, he gets to tug on those strings connecting him to two of the children I birthed and raised, whenever he wants. Given the patterns of his behaviour in the past regarding contact it would seem he only bothers to contact me about them is when he has a sudden attack of guilts, regret, depression, loneliness, or even boredom. Strings I can't snip cos it is his right as a father to be able to see his children. The same children he abused and terrified. Just lovely.

So as I gazed at all the light in Shae's eyes, there it was. Pure, unadulterated freedom, hers and mine. Screw patriarchy and its ideological propaganda!


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