Why does motherhood still define women?

Why is a woman’s life considered incomplete without experiencing motherhood? Why is it the be-all, end-all?  

Re-defining Motherhood

Sadhana came home in tears. It was her 10th wedding anniversary and she had worn her new saree, kissed her husband good morning and left for work in happy anticipation of her promotion that was to be announced that day. She had worked hard for it and man, did she deserve it. Life was goooood.

Half way through her day, her mother called. Sadhana proudly announced her new job title, expecting her mother to feel joy at her achievement. (Somewhere, at the back of her mind, her mother’s voice always egged her on, to shine and do better. And she felt like a 8 year old again who had come home with her report card, saying ‘1st position’ and her mother glowing with approval.)

“This is not a time to be proud dear girl. I just had a call from your mother-in-law. What are you up to! It has been 10 years and you still haven’t conceived? What are you waiting for! The clock is ticking and you are running out of eggs. You were not a spring chicken when K married you. Enough of this career business. You’ve had your fill of meeting your personal ambitions, now get on with motherhood.”

Sadhana put the phone down with trembling hands. The ghost was out to haunt her again. K and she had not shared with the rest of the family their several trips to the fertility clinic in the last 4 years. The series of ‘almost’ pregnant moments and failed attempts had taken its toll on both of them and they had finally decided that if it were to happen naturally, it would. And got on with their lives.

K had thrown himself back into his work and so had she. Yet, off late, women in the office seemed to be getting pregnant left right and centre, showing off their baby bumps and something ever so small would stir in her that she would quickly repress before she could even feel it.

Her mother’s call broke the camel’s back on whatever it was she had kept such a tight lid on. She rushed to her altar and shuddered her way open to a tsunami of confused feelings, images and unnamed forces that overcame her. She didn’t really know why she was crying. Her tears were hers and yet, they felt as if they were coming from beyond her…as if she were suddenly bringing forth the pain of every woman who had not borne a child.

Funny thing that. She had made a choice now to be childless and so she couldn’t understand her own upheaval.

“Why does motherhood still define women?” she wailed. In this day and age where we stand shoulder to shoulder with men in education and the work force, why is a woman’s life considered incomplete without experiencing motherhood? Why is it the be-all, end-all?”

“Am I not a master of my own destiny, and my body?” Do I not have a right to choose how I live my life? Can it not include motherhood?”. Even as she said it, she felt that strange vague unease somewhere in her womb. This time she decided not to ignore it.

Her breath slowed down and she became very still. Like some kind of Alice in Wonderland, she seemed to be drawn in through the vortex of her navel…back into a dark space, deep inside her womb, or was it her mother’s womb…it just was A Great Dark Womb.

Suddenly, her angst, her pain, her fear…all seemed to be left at the door. It was if she had entered a secret, sacred eternal space. It felt like ….Home. In a way that no home she had ever lived in. Her whole being relaxed deeply into an indescribable comfort.

She sensed a Presence. More real than herself. It seemed to be flowing through her every cell, even as she was bathed in it all around. The Void was powerful and alive. “Who are you?” Sadhana asked in awe.

“I am Shakti” the Presence replied.  “I am the Great Mother, the Creative Power, from whom this Multiverse has come forth. From every planet, star and galaxy to plants, animals and humans. Even the angels, gods and those you call demons.

Like you, each is a unique aspect of all that I hold in my Being. In an eternal, endless Lila (Play), I create and recreate myself in all the ways in which I can experience the Ananda (Bliss) that I AM.

You came out of my womb so I can now come out through yours. In every way that you give life to what brings you joy. Create beauty and expressions that vitalize and power the cycles of Life.

Up until now, Life on your planet is propagated through the children you give birth to. Everytime you ‘give birth’, you become Divine, and in that fulfil your greatest potential, ie manifest divinity. And experience the power of giving Life and its ineffable ecstasies.

In the new age that is upon you now, my Presence in your womb, seeks to fulfill us, as a greater creative being, expressing powers and mysteries of untold beauty and magnificence that will not just resolve the problems your species has created for itself, but evolve the planet and its consciousness to a whole new level. Your womb and your woman’s body contains the seeds of capacities, gifts and wisdom you will birth and bring forth into the world, whether or not you choose to birth a human child.

The world is today at a transition from the old ways to the new. Don’t fret for being caught in beliefs that don’t serve you anymore. They will pass. To be replaced by values that are appropriate for the Conscious Life that is manifesting. As a woman, your womb is an exquisite resource that you will have to use to bring forth creative ideas and expressions for the new age. Take good care of it. Listen to its wisdom and rest in its regenerative powers. Become your own Mother and give birth to and nurture your new child-self that will grow up and thrive with ways of the awakened Feminine.

You are tasked to now become a mother to the world. Not to just one or two children. I ask this now of every man too. The ‘discomfort’ you feel in your body every time you see pregnant women, is just my Presence that you are now pregnant with. I am glad you finally ‘looked-in’. You are indeed pregnant. As is every man and woman at this time. With Me. It is my consciousness that is breaking upon and awakening in the world at this time. Pay close attention and bring me forth in every way you can.

Every time you lay down your sword against each other as men and women and see each other equally as my children. Every time you manifest works of high aesthetic form, come up with inclusive solutions to problems, let go with tough love all that doesn’t serve you anymore and embrace the dark-side with compassion and wisdom, you give birth to Me. You experience Motherhood. In a way that honours and fulfills your body’s divine potential.

When you can define Motherhood in this way, can you see that it is indeed the be-all and end-all of being a woman? Embrace this new reality for yourself dear child, self of my own Self. Turn your problem on its head. Say ‘yes’ to Motherhood by becoming a mother to the world.”

Nilima Bhat