∴ Welcome, Sweets! ∴
Today I have a somewhat personal blog. I begin with…
Maiden, Mother, Crone.
I am in my early 30’s and child-free, which means I often hear the question “When are you having children?” Not if I’m having children, just when.
And “How many children do you have?” Not if I have children, just how many.
I don’t mean in friendly chats only. I’ve even heard it in very inappropriate situations: I’ve heard it as a college student, I’ve heard it in a job interview… Heck, I’ve heard it from a doctor in an emergency room as I was doubled-over in pain! (“You know, when you have children, you won’t be able to take time off.”)
As soon as I say I’m child-free by choice, I’m looked at like I’m a freak.
I’m told I’ll die alone (yes, I’ve been told this!) and that I’m selfish (selfish towards whom? Someone who does not exist?). I’m told that I’ll regret it, and that no one will take care of me when I’m old (Hello?? Nursing homes are full of parents!).
I can ignore people fairly well, but the echo in my spirituality still remains: first Maiden, then Mother, then Crone. The natural cycle of a woman’s life.
So… am I unnatural??
What if my version of “natural” does not include being a Mother? What if I never change my mind, and remain child-free?
There are some books that attempt to acknowledge the woman who cannot or chooses not to give birth. I’ve often come across “Maiden, Seductress, Crone” and “Maiden, Enchantress, Crone.” As if the choices are mother or sexual being. As if all sex disappears after motherhood, as if choosing not to be a mother makes me a sex fiend.
After thinking about this for a while, I realized what sounded best to me:
Maiden, Woman, Crone.
The life stage is there without adding the assumption that having children has to be part of the woman’s life. By saying Maiden, Woman, Crone, I leave all life stages open to choice.
The maiden can choose whatever she wants to be, as maiden only implies youth.
The woman can choose whatever she wants to be, as woman only implies mid-life.
The crone can also choose whatever she wants to be, as crone only implies the later years.
So much better.
Of course, being part of some Earth-Based Spiritualities means that I will still come across many fertility statuettes, drawings, and paintings symbolizing the woman’s body as a sacred container of life~ and I actually love that. I don’t want anyone to do away with those, but…
I do hope that maybe someday I will come across more symbols of the Divine Feminine that do not simply represent either sex or motherhood, or either sex or cronehood. None of this “either or”, but maybe a mix of the different facets that women enjoy.
(I mean, would it surprise you to know that women over 60 can and do enjoy sex? And that mothers also enjoy sex? It’s not an “either or.”)
I know that’s a tall order, but for now, I’ll stick with Maiden, Woman, Crone.