On May 7, just in time for Mother’s Day, left-leaning New York Post author Elizabeth Bruenig wrote a piece entitled, “I Became a Mother at 25 and I’m Not Sorry I Didn’t Wait.” Within hours, pro-abortion feminists reacted on Twitter with everything from vehement disapproval to unabashed vitriol. The author, now 31 and the mother of two children, celebrated motherhood and suggested that a common fear among millennial women, namely that they would lose themselves by having children, was unfounded.
“[T]he truest thing about having children,” wrote Bruenig, “[…] is that it isn’t a chore but a pleasure, not the end of freedom as you know it but the beginning of a kind of liberty you can’t imagine.”
Bruenig continued, “One of the things they don’t tell you about having babies is that you don’t ever have a baby; you have your baby, which is, to you, the ur-baby, the sum of all babies. The moment they laid her damp rosy body on my chest, I knew she would envelop my world.”
READ: These career women embraced motherhood with no regrets
“What I didn’t understand — couldn’t have, at the time — was that deserting yourself for another person really is a relief,” she explained. “My days began to unfold according to her schedule, that weird rhythm of newborns, and the worries I entertained were better than the ones that came before: more concrete, more vital, less tethered to the claustrophobic confines of my own skull. For this member of a generation famously beset by anxiety, it was a welcome liberation.”
Bruenig recognized that one’s sense of self as a woman, far from being something static, is practically always in flux to one degree or another, shaped by each woman’s own interests, her perceptions of the people and events around her, and by her experiences, including that of motherhood.
“With the exception of — perhaps — a few immutable characteristics, you are not something you discover one day through trial and error and interior spelunking; you are something that is constantly in the process of becoming, the invention of endless revolutions. You never know who you are, because who you are is always changing,” she wrote.
Bruenig’s heartfelt observations of her experience of a mother’s deep love for her child were a bridge too far for many feminists online. A sampling of their reactions even included personal attacks leveled at Bruenig’s husband.
Abortion advocate Amanda Marcotte called the article “gross, pass.” She even went so far as to claim that Bruenig doesn’t respect women.
Writer Jude Ellison S. Doyle tweeted a personal attack against Bruenig and her husband, stating, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing this woman it was a tremendous personal achievement to be repeatedly knocked up by an Internet troll she met in high school.”
Jill Filipovic, writer, attorney, and abortion proponent said she didn’t want to hear about women who were happy they had children in their twenties, but women who regret that their children exist altogether. “I would really love to read more essays and op/eds from women (and men, too) who regret having children as early as they did, regret having as many as they did, or regret having children at all,” she tweeted. “There’s not much about motherhood that remains publicly unexplored, but that does.”
These strong sentiments from abortion advocates against Bruenig was quickly matched by others of the opposing view.
One such woman was author and former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, who told Bruenig that to those attacking her, Bruenig was “just a symbol of some unowned part of themselves that they hate.”
Likewise, Amanda Kolson Hurley wrote that Twitter “has broken people’s brains to the extent that ‘it’s mother’s day and i love being a mother’ is now seen as a provocation.”
But even as some decry motherhood and frame children as antithetical to personal fulfillment, stories like Bruenig’s give voice to the experience of many, many women. Contrary to pro-abortion feminists’ insistence, they proclaim proudly: motherhood is a beautiful, life-transforming gift.
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