Happy Mother’s Day! Below is a Special Mother’s Day Message from our Chairman & Founder Sophia A. Nelson and it taken from her award winning book “Black Woman Redefined” chapter 9 Empty Womb: Broken Heart Redefining Motherhood
“The English Language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child, or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful, some not. Still, we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only ‘I am sorry for your loss.’ But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent, ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?” —Former First Lady Laura Bush, Spoken from the Heart
EXCERPT Chapter 9 pp. 199-200:
The issue of motherhood and the accomplished twenty-first-century woman is an emerging topic of interest across race and gender lines. Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, black women with four-year college degrees and higher are disproportionately childless. Some of us are in denial because we cannot bear to face the pain, and others have become proactive and opted for adoption or artificial insemination, asked a male friend to be a sperm donor the old-fashioned way, or raised nieces and nephews as their own kids in the absence of the biological parents.”
For those of you who are now in your late thirties, forties or older, facing midlife can be hard enough, as perimenopause begins and your body starts to change. But facing midlife without having met one of your most precious goals—the goal of motherhood—is even harder for such driven, successful planners like us. A USA Today article about this new generation of so-called working non-mothers is on the mark:
“They are women who have birthed successful careers, accumulated status, and achieved comfortable incomes. But they have never gotten around to having the one thing they always intended: a child.
New research, some of it controversial and already creating a stir, indicates there are legions of these women from Wall Street to Hollywood Boulevard. And their message to their younger sisters is: Get a plan. Envision your life at 45, and if you want that life to include a child, think now about how you will make it happen. I’ve talked with many black women on college campuses across the nation about motherhood, and I could see the fear in their eyes as they struggled to ask me how not to end up in my shoes: well-educated, successful, and childless. They shouldn’t feel bad for asking. It’s a fair question to any woman who offers to mentor young women. Every woman has the right to want to be an accomplished career girl and a mom, too. You can have it all, sweet sisters, but maybe not all at once.
So What to do?
Here are some suggestions for how we can Redefine Motherhood in this new time, and make sure that we take care of those among us who often feel left out, lonely, and wounded when it comes to broken dreams of Motherhood:
- Keep your body and reproductive health in check from your teens through child-bearing years-avoid unsafe sex, unwanted pregnancy, STDs, etc. Eat healthy, exercise, consider your birth control choices and how that might affect fertility down the road.
- Take special care to avoid Fibroid growth–eat healthy, avoid stressors, or anything that contributes to their growth.
- Have a PLAN early about family planning, marriage, kids so that you have a work-life balance strategy. Do not let your career goals and plans overtake your life. Make dating a priority. It must be a priority to find a husband if marriage is what you desire. Period.-Strategy-strategy-strategy. (See Soledad O’Brien Essay in 1st ed. Hardcover of book)
- Consider freezing eggs or making embryos and saving them if you marry young and want to wait till later for kids, or even if you are not yet married but have a male partner in mind.
- Explore adoption and other options that may be of interests to you, and have a plan of how you might cope with being a single mom raising kids on your own if you make that choice.
- Be a mentor, be a great aunt, and enjoy all the kids in your life or community will rejoice and welcome your love, affection and wisdom
Join Me on Twitter this evening on @sophiaredefined for our Twitter Chat on this very subject. Hashtag #PANK #EmptyWomb 8PMET/7PMCST.