I recently read someone’s blog, which said that the first day a woman becomes a mother is the day she conceives (or the day she knew she has conceived) because that’s the day she started taking care of the little pea inside her womb. My mother was sitting next to me when I was reading it and I asked her when she thinks a woman becomes a mother: “The day she got herself a husband,” she said with no doubt.
I think I know what she’s saying. For a long time I thought it wasn’t joke when people would say that a woman’s first child is her husband. When I observe married men around me, from different generations and colors, many of them do rely on their wives. And I’m not talking about things like cooking and cleaning: I’m talking about running their lives for them so that they only need to breathe and walk.
It may have something to do with their birth order and upbringing as young men. It may have something to do with when they flew out of the nest, if at all. For me, I think it also depends on the woman he is with.
Matthew is the firstborn of two and was brought up doing the dishes and making his own bed. However, he never really flew the nest until he was 27 (and subsequently moved across the globe when he was 29). He is generally clean, tidy, and a good cook [and not a bad editor, he adds in here].
He doesn’t need me to survive daily life. But every morning I tell myself to get up and prepare his breakfast and that day’s wear. I also pack him lunch and style his hair before he leaves. I do administration and planning for all of our travels and family finances. So yeah, all he’s got to do is breathe and walk.
I have to add that I can do all that because I work from home. I don’t have the stress level of big-city commuters. But if you think about it, I could also choose not to do anything at all. I could have said 50-50, partner! It’s very traditional of me to do all that for my husband without resentment—and I’m a feminist.
But hey: there isn’t just one formula to make things work in a relationship. Our formula includes having separate bathrooms and a joint account. This may not be necessary for your relationship. Nonetheless, there are things you cannot change in the equation: that women are the ones to get pregnant and that women are the mothers of the family, whether it’s a family of two or 20.
So when is the day do you think a woman becomes a mum?