I am by no means considered an elderly person, but although I am a five-year-old at heart I am no spring chicken either. As I am settling in a dwelling of my own, enjoying sea view as both the sea as well as my workplace are literally a stone throw away, I feel truly blessed I’m able to embark on a new adventure despite my non-spring-chicken status. The majority of people who came into the world at the same time as me are seriously building careers, families or both and starting a new life in a new country might seem a far less straight-forward affair. Prior to the move into my current place of residence I was residing in temporary accommodation near a marina, where I met and befriended some pirates, sailors and other unconventional folk. These people have fabulous stories of adventure and exploration and my inner five-year old is truly inspired and entertained. These folk all happen to be men, just like the vast majority of great pioneers and adventurers, who went down in history. As we know history is a story mainly written by and about men. Not only might many a female adventurer not have made it to be recorded in the history books, it is also the case that women were and still are bound to one adventure in particular; that of wife- and motherhood. As the social science of history is not terribly interested in the adventures of motherhood, does that mean that the creation and rearing of offspring is a significant obstruction to those great adventures that do go down in history? And if that is the case, where does that leave the Dark Fairy Adventurer of past, present and future?
My dear friend Moona from Lowlands country has just given birth to her first child, a girl. She is what is known in the country of my birth as a consciously single mother as she wasn’t in a relationship and had the very strong desire to be a mother. As the fertility clock was ticking after a lot of contemplation she decided to take the ballsy step to go for it alone and conceived with the help of a sperm donor. I guess like me, she has certainly chosen her adventure, it just one of a different order.
There are plenty of women who have and will go down in history as adventurers and pioneers along side their motherhood: Marie Curie, Emmeline Pankhurst, Hillary Clinton, Tina Turner, Margaret Thatcher to name just a few. There are also a fair amount of adventurous and pioneering women, like Rosa Parks, Simone de Beauvoir, Oprah Winfrey, Dolly Parton and Billie Jean King, who- consciously or not- choose other adventures over motherhood. Unlike Moona, I never had the strong desire to create offspring. Although I think kids are cool and I am a proud aunty to my nephews I’ve always considered having one’s own children as an obstruction to freedom and -therefore- adventure. But what if motherhood is not an obstruction to adventure, but just like it is for Moona an adventure in itself. I guess my issue with Project Motherhood is that it does have a shelf life and once executed it is irreversible.
As I am discussing motherhood as an obstruction to adventure or an adventure in itself I don’t mean to imply that fatherhood has no impact on men whatsoever. However, most men, if they stick around in the first place, tend to continue their adventures and projects while the mothers of their offspring are predominantly concerned with the care of their children.
Whether I’ll embark on the adventure of motherhood, either through the natural way or by means of adoption, remains to be seen. In the mean time I’m thoroughly enjoying my current project and I wish Moona and her newborn daughter all the best in the world for their upcoming adventure(s).