Mama cat is nursing all five of her kittens even though they appear to be the same size she is. She looks overwhelmed but in a way she looks like she knows exactly what she is doing no matter how tiny she is. For human mothers it can be very difficult to do what it’s supposed to come naturally. If young women were told that motherhood doesn’t always come naturally, and that’s okay, and it’s perfectly all right to ask for help, there would be a lot more contented women who could handle being moms. The idea that we should just fall into motherhood gracefully and joyfully does a lot of women a disservice. Struggling moms who secretly regret their choice to have a baby may be ashamed of this regret and never speak of their longing to be anywhere but alone with their baby (as new mothers too often isolate by default), even to themselves. Women may feel somehow disloyal to their gender and incapable of doing what a woman should, according to traditional gendered “shoulds.” Sometimes under these difficult circumstances, including postpartum difficulties with depression, anxiety and such, there can be child endangerment and women turning or returning to substance abuse. Most women on the streets of downtown Honolulu are mothers who are torn up by the guilt of leaving their kids with relatives and foster care but they are afflicted with enormous relief that they escaped the daunting task they were not prepared to accomplish. Women should know that just bc they cannot raise their children in the now , that doesn’t mean they cannot learn. Ill-prepared and ill-suited are not synonyms.
One reason I could never vote yes for abortion is my belief in second chances and the power of circumstances changed by the right support people entering one’s life. The guilt over abortions women were not 100% convinced they should have had, is a trauma, usually secret, that hinders sobriety for some. Who wants to be clear headed with catastrophic beliefs bogging down the mind? In these cases only fully grasping and adopting the serenity prayer will bring healing.
The reversal of Roe v. Wade has me thinking about abortion even more than usual. I myself am a product of a botched abortion so the subject stays on my mind as I write about life on the streets of Honolulu and the life events that bring people to that low point.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change..Caroleena quoting the first line of the Serenity Prayer