An article was posted that had Tummy Mommy in the title, I knew I should avoid it, the title told me it would make me upset. I clicked anyway. Dumb, dumb idea.
I read it. I read it right to the bitter end.
Then I furiously started typing trying to craft a post calling out the numerous problems with the article, half way through I gave up. I gave up because how in hell are we still so far into adoption fantasy land where we give women labels that reduce them to merely walking uteruses who supply other women with babies? Women who others don’t see as being worthy of simply being called an expectant mother, a mother, a mother by birth?
And the other women who receive those babies who call the mother by birth a tummy mommy? It’s time you grew up, past time actually if you can’t see how degrading it is to reduce the mother of your child to a walking uterus. Children are smart, they don’t need you dumbing procreation down, myriad ways to explain where babies come from, why and how in an age appropriate way.
Back to the article. I also learned that people who aren’t adopted still have no clue how an adopted child can interpret your words. While you may think that saying your “tummy mommy” loved you so much she chose adoption makes sense, it can also tell your child (now or a few years down the road) that when someone loves you they are going to leave you because that’s what your “tummy mommy” did.
Reading the article through the lens of being adopted, other adoptee’s might not, but do you really want to take that chance using the tired old tropes? Tropes that are devoid of actual explanations on how and why an expectant mother may not have any other choice than adoption? You don’t need to use big words to explain why it’s impossible to parent a child when you’re poor, have too many mouths to feed, or any of the other real world reasons, find ways to offer age-appropriate explanations. Explanations that expand as the child grows older. Being adopted and processing all that includes is hard, it’s not a once and done, it visits throughout life. There’s nothing you can do to change what is, but you can work to make the world a better place where a mother never feels she has no other choice than adoption. You can also chose to be real about what adoption is to your child.
I’ll end with this: Avoid connecting she loved you so much with why you were adopted. Avoid referring to your child as a “mistake” their mother made (and I shouldn’t have to explain why not to say that). And for all that’s holy, don’t tell them they were a “problem” that could have been aborted but wasn’t (smh). Oh, and don’t forget they also have a father…
Chose to live in the real world and respect your child for the little person they are, and for who they will become in the future.