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Motherhood: A personal choice | Jacqueline Biollo, MBA, ICD.D

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There’s been a lot of media attention surrounding the Roe v. Wade legal case (in which, in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that unduly restrictive regulation of abortion is unconstitutional). Fast forward to 2022, wherein in an unprecedented breach of Supreme Court norms, a draft opinion has been leaked. In it, an associate justice writes “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” and that Roe must be overturned.

Rather than using this column as a soapbox to voice my opinion of abortion, discuss the significance of the legal case, or hypothesize about what could happen next, in honour of Mother’s Day (May 8, 2022), I thought I’d focus more specifically on motherhood.

Motherhood: The state of being a mother. From pregnancy to new baby and the emotional roller coaster before, during, and after. Whether one looks to motherhood with anticipation or doubt, social expectations have come to shape the experience. The myth of motherhood is that a woman achieves her uttermost fulfillment by being a mother. But society’s unrealistic expectations can leave even a ‘Super Mom’ feeling unfulfilled, depressed, exhausted, and lacking the support  she needs to be happy, strong, and resilient.

And what about women whose uttermost fulfillment is achieved by something other than motherhood? ABC Everyday reported that “More women are choosing not to have kids, and society can’t cope.” A statement that should prompt total disbelief. Meaning, “What role does society play in having an opinion about what anyone chooses to do with their life?”. Although society, through culture, customs, institutions, and more provide us with beliefs about race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, economic class, and more – sometimes our beliefs, or opinions, prevent us from seeing the unique identities of others.

Identities that are empowering. Identities that disproportionately affect women. 

Whether you’re approaching motherhood up close and personal, or more like from the global pandemic perspective (and social distancing from motherhood), there’s no guarantee it will be anything like we imagined. But if you’re reading this article, it means somewhere, somehow, there was a mother involved in your making. So whether it was a sacrifice or a privilege, selfless or selfish, respect that everyone’s got an opinion on motherhood. Be grateful we live in a world where everyone has the right to freedom of thought and conscience, and be thankful to be alive. #ThankYouMothers

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Jacqueline is the proud mother of two adult children. She is the ‘surrogate’ mom to many of her daughter’s friends, and once had the honour of being present when a woman Jacqueline was mentoring went into unexpected labour and delivery. At the peak of their popularity, between 1983 and 1986, Jacqueline ‘adopted’ Robert, her very own Cabbage Patch doll. She sends her love and appreciation to her own mother, Ruby, for being her best friend and greatest supporter – and wishes all women the strength and compassion they need to face whatever challenges and joys are placed before them as a result of the choices they make or are made for them as it relates to motherhood.

 

 

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Last Time: First Time | Jacqueline Biollo, MBA, ICD.D

 

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