For Your Society

Whiskey & Immigrants is our new podcast which introduces listeners to regular, everyday people who have immigrated to the U.S. from elsewhere.

We’ll learn about their country of origin, how and why they came to here, find out how their expectations of the U.S. square with the reality they’ve encountered, politics, food, history and and so much more.

Join us.

Episodes now available:

  • S01E01 – Mexico – Santiago Sanchez
  • S01E02 – Slovenia – Gregor Strakl

Subscribe now on iTunes!

Whiskey & Immigrants is our new podcast which introduces listeners to regular, everyday immigrants. We hear their stories, how and why they came to America, expectations vs reality and much more. We hope you’ll join us.

Subscribe now on iTunes

you'd share this if you knew what was good for you

opinion: I Am Not a Mother. But I Am Something.

By the time the man approached me in church, I was no longer in that relationship. After a broken engagement, I moved to Chicago and away from where the boys and their father lived. Once I left, I found myself unable to articulate the loss. I was unable to convey it to others, who could sympathize with the loss of the man, but had trouble understanding why the loss of his children was hard for me. I felt invisible, until I started talking about it.

As I became more direct about my experience, I heard stories from step-grandparents, uncles and siblings who found themselves unsure of how to navigate their role with non-biological family members when they “leave” the family or never formally take on one of the traditional nuclear-family roles.

Pew Research Foundation’s analysis of census data and the 2016 Current Population Survey found that the number of people living with a partner they are not married to has risen sharply in the last decade — approximately 18 million adults in 2016 versus 14 million in 2007, a 29 percent increase.

We know that more people are marrying later in life or not at all; that more married women are not having children and that more unmarried women are. By choice or by circumstance, all of these things are changing what it means to be a parent and a family. And yet we are still mired in narrow expectations and language that is not able to accurately describe the broadening range of familial roles.

After publishing a book about my experience caring for and leaving children who were not my own, I had people write me emails and come up to me in tears at readings, expressing their own hidden losses, their own experiences that have gone unnamed and often unacknowledged.

As the ways in which people create and maintain families continue to evolve, we should expand our language to accommodate them, name them and afford them the dignity they deserve. Personally I have been thinking of phrases like “almost-mother” or “near-mother.” Near to imply closeness, right next to.

What are the words that accurately represent where you find yourself?

“I am not a mother, but I was a near-mother.”

What if I had been able to say that to the man in church? Would that have changed anything? Probably not: I suspect this man was considering a very narrow definition of “mother.” But it would have

RELATED STORIES:

FOR YOUR SOCIETY

For Your Society is a media organization that brings you curated news from trusted and reputable sources. We encourage you to support these publications and their journalists by subscribing to their services. Our intent is to stand up for facts, and to present them in an appealing and condensed way that doesn’t waste your whole day. We bring you news that focuses on politics, American culture, foreign policy & the world, science and more.

We also produce podcasts focusing on facets of American society where we think we could use some improvement. Our new podcast Whiskey and Immigrants, in which we sit down with real immigrants to hear their stories, is now live – Subscribe on iTunes. Shortly after that we will debut a podcast unlike any other, called Unite or Die. We’re keeping the details of that one under wraps, but we think it will truly benefit society.

We try not to be too annoying with ads or pop-ups, so we mostly rely on your purchases from the FY Society Store and donations through Patreon to sustain our not-for-profit operations. Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated!

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu