I am a 44-year-old Mexican American woman who has lots of friends, but most of them have never been married. Also, most of my friends are not mothers. I somehow manage to seek out peers who have not followed the socially prescribed life path.
Sunday, May 8th is Mother's Day in the United States, but this Sunday, I'm having a luncheon party for those of us who will not be celebrated as mothers on the 8th. Mother-reverence is universal and sadly, so is the devaluing of non-mothers. Many people believe that women with children are more important than women without them, especially those of us who chose not to have them. Our lives are considered less productive, less meaningful, less full of love and joy. Women who have not become mothers are seen as sadder, emptier people who have failed to achieve our prime mission in life.
I don't believe it. I celebrate myself and all my women friends who are not mothers, whether it's because we haven't had kids yet, have chosen not to or are undecided. There are hundreds of ways to give birth to dreams, projects, creative pursuits, careers and even ourselves. I have a full life without room for a baby, but I feel the pressure and judgment of a society that sees my uterus as "barren." For my friends who feel similarly, this Sunday's celebration is for us.