The Roles We Play vs. Who We Really Are

3 May

In our culture there are certain life-events that have a tendency to rob us of our depth. For women, two of those moments include the rolls of “Bride” & “Mother-to-be.” After enduring it once already in her engagement, Aubrey Hirsch takes this convention head-on by addressing the effect it has on her own pregnancy and, in consequence, the relationships with those she holds dear.

I can feel it happening again, the disappearing. Already excited friends and family have written over “Aubrey” with “Mother-to-Be.” I’ve got a book coming out this year and no one’s asked about it since I told them I was pregnant. Of course it’s silly for me to think I can dictate the topic of every conversation. And again, these people are nothing but generous and kind. Their priorities are different than mine, and I can respect that. But sometimes it hurts.

But it doesn’t just effect her immediate loved ones, it effects the way she interacts with society as a whole: her government, her doctors, and her career:

In our society, pregnant woman are public property. Non-pregnant women are fast becoming public property, too. I’m not interested in being part of that. It’s making me want to wall myself off completely until I’m not pregnant anymore. Maybe even longer if politics keep moving the direction they are.

I could go on and on about the value of this essay: how it pushed so many of my own questions, fears, and resentments to the surface, or the invaluable conversations it has led to with my sister and my husband. The truth of the matter is, you need to read it for yourself at The Rumpus. Even if you’ve already had children or if your views don’t completely align with Hirsch’s, we can all agree this is a conversation that does not take place as often it should, and we will be better for having done so.

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