Thinking about being mother and maternal, during and after fertility
by Nicole Rubano to Lunàdigas
Either for choice or for external variables, women’s reflections on motherhood – and non-motherhood too, of course – change over the years.
Usually, a woman begins her reflection starting from the relation with her mother. Motherhood, in fact, is also an inherited and transmitted model even when it does not bring to a new life as a result.
From these inherited models, motherhood can be interpreted as an altruistic action, as well as example of healthy selfishness and emancipation. However, until the choice to have children is still open, making moral judgments on motherhood will always be kind of naïve. How is it possible to theorise on an unknown experience, being it motherhood or non-motherhood?
Here there is what the two videos share, mixing the two experiences of Paola Riccucci and Marisa Volpi Orlandini – well-known scholar and art critic. Two women who know non-motherhood since the end of their fertility. “That’s life!”, “Things go like this!” and other thoughts on all their experiences: this is what comes out of the interviews. Firstly, this shows how being Lunàdiga can be the mere result of coincidences and existential flows. You may have not thought enough on it, you may have not thought in time on it, or you may have thought on it when you did not have a partner. So, how much is life capable to influence (non)motherhood?
Even if becoming mother is considered a goal for female self-development, how many women do renounce to other personal life goals because of external variables? Missed artists, missed explorers, missed lovers. Maybe judging what life gives and takes is riskily arrogant.
On the other hand, three midwives – part of the movie Lunàdigas, or concerning childfree women – rooted in the tradition of assisting maternity – offer another perspective on the same topic. Compared to other life experiences, having a child is particularly precious for a woman. Fertility is biologically part of female existence as many other moments linked to reproduction as pre-menstrual syndromes, hormonal changes, and so on.
In this scientific view, a realized motherhood is like the happy ending of a story that lasts for the whole period of fertility. This is why bringing to life a new being gives the idea of completeness and conclusion of a path in the life of women. Nonetheless, taking this vision for granted, it is important to understand if a Lunàdiga really feels empty because of lacking this ending of the story.
Here, we move back to the intense words of the critic Volpi Orlandini. Artworks, home design details, intellectual observations, but any feeling of emptiness. Although, among many born ideas, during a whole existence, there can be a bit of nostalgic curiosity towards unrealised experiences. However, despite missed experiences – no matter of what kind they are – non-motherhood should not be overloaded of expectations.
The life of a woman is not centred on reproductive chances: this is the only assumption to respect, either during fertility or not. Regardless of moments of “life force towards reproduction”, as explained by Riccucci, it is important to be aware when following or not this biological path.
Thus, what really gives the feeling of individual completeness is the autonomy of evaluating personal choices, disregarding the concretisation of maternity. Instead, when a woman is not encouraged to challenge her instinct to becoming mother, there is a concrete problem. Maternity must be a choice; if not, a young mother could be easily disappointed when she did not expect consequences, pros and cons of motherhood but it is too late to go back.
Exactly at this point, Lunàdigas comes to wake up women’s nostalgic curiosity towards what they do and what they do not in their life. So, even young girls in the in the middle of fertility – probably already perfect mothers in their minds –, can at least think about what completeness means. Actually, it does not mean at all taking all the (infinite) opportunities that life gives.
…and then, they lived happily ever after, with their own happy ending!
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