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New Motherhood, a Dictionary

Motherhood: Goddess squad gracing the walls of Hindu temples, wifehood and motherhood balanced perfectly in those slender waists and big breasts, ever ready to nurse. Motherhood of the Goddess Consort, a male fantasy like their Virgin Mother. Motherhood: a border, a wall sundering your life into prebaby and post-baby days. Wait till he grows up, they say. It comes back—the physical mobility, the energy, the yoga, the reading, brunches with girlfriends, happy hour with colleagues, the love-making too. Motherhood: your new role—now  that you’ve given them a legacy with a baby boy—as an addendum in their parties, neither the text you’ve aspired to be nor the footnote you used to be. Motherhood: its own game of power in heterodomesticity, one you keep fighting for dignity, one you keep losing for sanity. Motherhood: shield for your baby boy from the silence and self-hatred of those mother figures, wired to perpetuate toxic masculinity. Motherhood: quarantine before quarantine becomes a global thing, worthy of empathy. Motherhood: a feminine logic of love. How it strips romantic love of its luster, that transactional …