A bit of a rant, if I may.
I am so, SO tired of the deification of motherhood. Not a week goes by when I don’t see a Facebook status message along the lines of “motherhood is the ultimate fulfilling experience for a female.”
And I think: I’m happy for you, really. I’m glad you love being a mom, glad you find it so fulfilling. But you are also implying that those of us who are childless, by chance or by choice, will never fulfill our ultimate purpose of existing on this planet.
I have never wanted to be a mother (a fact that makes some people look at me as if I have two heads). I have several friends who desperately wanted kids, but had fertility issues. Bottom line: motherhood is not an option, or a choice, for everyone.
This doesn’t mean I hate children, or that I’m a mean person, or that I don’t wish you well. But when we rejoice in a certain aspect of our lives, we shouldn’t imply that those who make other choices are pitiable, for the gaping holes in their existence.
I could say that “grad school/the academy is the ultimately fulfilling life experience.” But I know it’s not for everyone, so I will add the phrase, “for me.”
Maybe I just know too many new parents.