Mothers Day was last week, and even though I'm states away from my mom, I was thinking about her and missing her, and I was also thinking some about her views and the way she raised me, thanks to some posts I saw online that said things like "Thank your mother for being pro-life" and "You're here because your mom was pro-life". Because... my mom isn't, and wasn't, pro-life. She's pro-choice. I'm glad she's pro-choice for a number of reasons. For one, it means I know I was wanted. It's reassuring. If your mom is pro-choice then you know that she actually had the option to abort you, and she chose not to, whereas if your mom is anti-choice, then you never really get to know if you were wanted, a horrible devastating mistake, or something somewhere in the middle. Even though we didn't talk about abortion at all until I went off to college (and then it was for the World's Shortest Sex-ed conversation of "If you get pregnant, you will get an abortion so fast your head will spin" which was mildly ironic since I was as pure as fresh-fallen snow at that point, and self-righteous enough to annoy the hell of out myself in retrospect), my mom's politics did affect parts of her upbringing. I learned that children are awesome and that my mom was SUPER happy that she had my brother and I, but I also learned that it was important and good that she got to control when she had kids and how many kids she had. My parents were married for 11 years or so before they had my brother, and when they got married my mom had no desire of ever having kids. Because she always sent the message that the way to have kids is to plan them, I don't have any stress or internal pressure about the fact that I'm not ready for kids yet. I'm controlling my reproduction, and when JD and I someday have kids, it will be because we're ready, not because we got surprised.
I'm also glad that my mom is pro-choice because she was a good example of the fact that a woman's value is in more than her baby-making abilities. My mom not only taught me that children were a choice rather than a default stage of life, she taught me that who you are matters, and that women can work like men do. My mom worked until my senior year of highschool, and when she quit working it was retirement. When she first started teaching, she wasn't allowed to wear slacks to work and a pregnancy could mean being fired. By the time she ended, maternity leave and protections against discrimination towards pregnant women were already in place across many industries.
I don't want to parent exactly like my mom did. She did a great job, but I'm not her, and some of her style wouldn't work with me. Plus, we all swear that there are some things we won't do like our parents and certain things that are almost necessary to change because of the ways society changes (when I have kids, they'll probably get communication chips implanted in their heads at age ten or something equally sci-fi silly; I didn't get a cell phone until I went off to college). But I am thankful for my mom, and I am thankful for her example.
So thank you, Mom, for being pro-choice.