Thursday, August 26, 2010

Am I A Mother?

Today I was driving in the car when my little brother asked "Are you a mother?" This struck me as odd. First of all Matthew was much to young to remember me being pregnant. Second of all he is only 6. I guess yes technically I am a mother, but I guess in all honesty, I don't really feel like one.

I know a lot of people might jump on me for this, but I seriously wanted to disect it and decide for myself.

I looked up the definition of Mother

"The state of being a mother; the character or office of a mother."

I found that definition extremely vague and unhelpful. Because I am currently not in the state of being a mother. I currently do not have a child. But I guess I could be the character of a mother..but that to me still doesn't seem right. Yes, I gave birth to one heck of a beautiful little girl (if I do say so myself :) and yes I am a character, but I am not her mother. I am a birthmother.

I looked up the definition of Birth Mother

"The biological mother of a child; a person's mother related biologically rather than by adoption"

Well this could be a lot of people then. My mom would be a birthmother and she didn't place for adoption, so could my aunts, my neighbors and friends.

So all of this searching did not lead me to any answer. In fact it has frustrated me quite a bit. So I want to know.... What is your opinion.

Are birthmothers : Mothers, Birthmothers, or just girls who placed their baby for adoption.

I hope this post made sense. I tried to make my line of thought understandable. I can't wait to see your comments and thoughts on it!

Hope you all have a fantastic Thursday! Jessalynn


  1. I have looked up the word "birthmother" and you are right.. it doesn't really mean adoption. It seems that anyone that has given birth is a birthmother.

  2. My opinion:
    A Mother is someone who puts their childs needs as their number 1 priority.

    As Birthmothers, we have done that, so we are absolutely Mothers.

  3. I think that "Birth Mother" is the best term. When I think of the word, I think of a woman, who was pregnant (becoming a mother), who gave BIRTH to a child, who placed that child for adoption. It's a different version of the word Mother.

    You are a Mother in a way, but you aren't actively a "Mother". You did a Mothering roll by choosing what was best for YOUR child at that time. The child was YOURS at one point, whether it was a few months or a few days, or a few hours or minutes.

    At the same time, my Mother is my BIRTH Mother according to it's definition. Maybe there needs to be a different word specifically for someone who gave birth to a child and placed. We should coin a word and enter it for use in a dictionary, Beyonce coined "bootylicious" so why can't we coin a better term for what we are?

    I would say YES you are a a way.

  4. My mother has always been my mother and I called her that after reunion.Because you don't raise your child doesn't make you not a mother or any less a mother.
    Never underestimate children's memories, they know more than you think!

  5. I tend to say that I am a "Mother", but I'm not a "Mom". I guess in a simple way, it seems to be like the person that a child calls "Mom" is the person that's raising them. Since children rarely call their Moms "Mother" now-a-days, it seems more fitting to consider myself the latter. LOL (I know, blonde logic maybe??) Although this is kinda a silent thing to myself. When "referring" to myself to other people, I guess; I'm a Birth Mother.

  6. I am my son's mother. I created, loved, nurtured, and gave birth to him. That makes me his mom. Once a mom, always a mom. You cannot un-birth a child! I was not lucky enough to raise him, but I love him just as much as I love the children I went on to have & raise after him.


  7. i wrote about this very question when my first mothers day rolled around!

  8. You are your child's Mother. You are a Mother. Adoption is a legal and social institution, it is not natural, but created by Man. Yes, it's true another woman is mothering your child, the one that you conceived and nourished in you womb. Your daughter's adopted mother is her Mother because that is the role she has assumed in your child's life, after you chose to place your daughter for adoption. You will always be her Mother and she your daughter, but you will never have that connection with her in the same way that would have occurred had the natural relationship between the two of you not been severed by adoption. Your daughter will likely think of only her adopted mother as her "Mother", but that doesn't change the fact that you are her Mother. That fact is likely all that you will have of her in this lifetime, cherish it and let no one rob you of that truth.

  9. The thing is, yes, adoption is very much a social institution, made by a social system we live our lives by, simply as people participating in society. The problem arises when we can't accurately be categorized by our societal systems and thus have issues with assimilating to it, and feeling like an anomaly within our environment.
    I was a mother. I was fortunate enough to be able to fulfill that role so cherished by society for 3 days after my daughter was born.

    But once I gave that up I can no longer claim the right to that role within societal boundaries. I no longer fulfill the responsibilities of that role, so I am no longer classified as such.

    But because I was, and my birth daughter is still an integral part of my happiness, as the anonymous contributor described above, I am a mother, of sorts, but not as is thought of in the traditional sense.

  10. As an adoptee, I have 2 REAL Mothers. If I did not, one would not exist. I prefer the term FIRST Mother when I am speaking of my 2 Mothers to avoid confusion for whomever I am speaking.

    My FIRST Mother did more than "just give birth" to me. The term birthmother is used to separate our Mothers- to make our FIRST Mother seem less important.

    I would be devastated if my FIRST Mother called me her "birth daughter", because it makes it sound as if I am less than her raised children.

    That is why I refuse to use the term "birthmother" It is degrading, and makes my FIRST Mother seem "less than". She's not.

    She is my Mother, just as you are to your child.

  11. My 2 moms are both my Mothers;~))

  12. I am a woman who gave birth and placed that child for adoption. Although I have recently been in contact with that child, I would not call myself his mother or want anyone to refer to me as his mother. I feel that is an insult to him, his mother and my son to whom I am a mother. Just because a child is in your body for 9 months does not make you a mother and just because you might love someone does not make you a mother. I have had a step mother for over 25 years, and although I love her, she is not my mother. This is no different.

  13. To deny being your child's mother is an insult to your child. You are a mother whether you like it or not, just like you are female.
    All women who give birth to a child are mothers. Whether the child dies or is lost to adoption that woman is and always will be a mother.