Monday, February 13, 2012

A Letter to the Mother with One Child

My first thought as I glanced at this article was jealousy that there are 601 comments on it. Then I read it. If all of those 601 comments are good and positive, Simcha Fisher deserves every one of them.

These are beautiful thoughts, which I agree with completely. (I wouldn't disagree as I don't have the credentials for that.) I wanted to share it with my readers, because I want to hear your thoughts as women, girls, inbetween those two, mothers, grandmothers, and even as men, boys, and fathers.

You can read the article here, Then come back here and share some comments. What part of this resonates with you the most?

Here's what resonates with me: we have so many expectations of what we are capable of and of how things should feel. We are usually wrong: we are capable of everything, and there is always deep joy to be had somewhere.

I include this picture of my brother and me from about five years ago because this was a moment when we were deeply grateful for my mom, who tried to get us to win her a cake at the elementary school cake walk for twelve years, between the two of us. At the last time possible, we did it.


  1. Thanks for this, Katie. It sounds good to hear it could get easier rather than harder to have more kids. I think Mom and Dad mentioned that the transition from two to three kids was really, really tough because it was when you didn't have enough arms to carry all of them. :)

  2. Warning: This is going to be a long rambly comment.

    Katie! Such fortuitous timing. I literally just finished a first draft of an essay for wilderness writing about birth control and how without it I might already be having my second child, and about all of the women in my family before me that had an average of 12 children each, and about what they means for women and their bodies. And in the letter you linked to she said, "you’re turning into a new woman, a woman who is never allowed to be alone." And when I think about my grandmother that had 10 children or my great-great grandmother who had 17, I think about that - how there was always a child in them or on them etc for a good 20 years. And what does it mean that I am not doing that? By my age, both of those women had 3 children.

    And also I liked that she wrote, "To become a mother, I had to learn how to care about someone more than I did about myself, and that was terrible." Because I definitely feel that my own selfishness is going to be a huge obstacle in my transition to motherhood. Because at times, I am grateful that I get to be an individual, and at other times I am alarmed at how selfish I am. And yes, all of these things have been things I have been thinking about. Interesting article, interesting post.

  3. Juli,

    I'm so glad you told me all of that, really. Did you also write about how your mom only had three kids?

  4. Yes - I did indeed. and my maternal Grandmother had 3 as well (paternal had 10). Basically pre 1960 = 12+ children, post 1960 = 3 children. I find this very interesting.

  5. It really is interesting. Can I read the whole essay soon?


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