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On the fluidity of motherhood

posted on May 13, 2017 by Cassie Moriarty Cassie Moriarty

Motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes. There’s the mom who sat through hours of blood tests, chart analyses, and waiting rooms. The one who saw countless negative pregnancy tests and was crestfallen every time. There’s the mom who only saw one positive pregnancy test, you know the one I’m talking about. The unexpected one. The test that made the room spin and her ears ring a little. The mom who tried, the mom who took her pill loyally every night by the bedside. There’s young moms, older moms, moms of many, and moms of one. Single moms, moms with little ones whose lives were lost far too soon, and moms who didn’t birth a child, but still give out love like it’s limitless.

Mother and child by Graham Crumb

Mother’s Day is a loaded holiday, that’s for sure. Everyone’s journey to motherhood looks a little different, but every mother holds a love like no other for her children. American culture frequently talks about entering motherhood and family planning as if it’s a play book. Each couple chooses their plays and goes about their life. But in actuality, family planning is about as fluid as…well, cervical fluid. Constantly changing. Constantly ebbing and flowing. Might be one thing one week and another, another week. Couples who use fertility awareness methods are generally more in tune with this ebb and flow. I mean literally, but also emotionally. Each cycle is a new chance to deliberate the playbook.

Fertility Awareness Methods are anything but set it and forget it. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It puts you in touch with your fertility every cycle, and quite intimately. I think that’s a really cool part about it. I get to make decisions, but also work with the many moving parts of deciding when or if to grow my family.

But we don’t always get a say – life sometimes has its own plans. Infertility, miscarriage, unplanned pregnancy, they happen. Family planning isn’t always so planned. And maybe that’s a beautiful thing. No matter how many childbirth ed classes you take, no matter how many parenting books your read, we can only control so much. I’m so grateful that using fertility awareness as a method of family planning allows me to be flexible.

So this Mother’s Day, we want to honor everyone’s journey to motherhood. It’s the most common and somehow unique job in the world. No two moms’ journeys are alike. What a shame that parenthood gets placed into two boxes, planned and unplanned. Sometimes life happens and sometimes we just need a support system to help us through. Be it miscarriage, infertility, unexpected pregnancy, and all the things that happen after birth that we simply can’t plan for.

To every mama, we see you and we are ever grateful for the tireless work, the sleepless nights, the early mornings, the playdates, the many doctor’s visits, and the tears (often your own). You’re rocking it.

Posted by Cassie Moriarty Cassie Moriarty
Cassondra Moriarty is a fertility awareness educator, postpartum doula, and lactation mentor based in New York City, where she lives with her 2 year old daughter and husband. She manages a local wellness clinic that focuses on hormonal health, and she leads monthly La Leche League meetings to help nursing moms connect and get guidance on breastfeeding. After ditching hormonal birth control in 2012, she became an ardent fertility awareness enthusiast. Now, as a FEMM certified instructor, she teaches women and teens how to chart their cycles. When not running after her toddler, she enjoys attempting to make her thumb green and listening to live jazz music.

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