The Way a Mother Knows Their Child’s Cry

Will our kids be deprived for lack of a mother? Not having raised anyone, I'm not firmly qualified to answer just yet. But we have arranged our lives, and continue to arrange them, such that we are confident in being able to provide a meaningful childhood and parent with love and seriousness. Every parent has gaps in their ability and their experience, and we will be no different in that regard, but my fiance is loving, smart, responsible, financially secure, and thoroughly capable, such that I trust him wholeheartedly as a partner in parenting and think him choosing not to use those gifts towards that direction would be a tragedy.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply. You are bearing out a great deal of personal information voluntarily, under no requirements. I respect you, and I considered not writing this reply, but if this isn’t a place we can respectfully discuss our deepest disagreements, then nowhere is. You speak about pluralism, so how do we coexist as a society with these kinds of disconnects? So here goes.

I don’t buy it.

You speak about non-fungibility but compare the absence of a mother to frankly a lot of comparably trite trade-offs. I get that you are speaking analogously, and analogies don’t have to have the same weight. But here, to me, the difference in gravity is so profound between the things you are comparing, that it doesn’t hold up. Not having this or that experience or framework is not comparable to not having the mother. You speak further to the idea of someone being unable to be the ideal father, mother, etc. But again, I don’t find that comparable to not being a father, mother at all.

A mother and her child is the foundational relationship in a human’s life. Probably the most significant relationship possible. I speak from my own experience, my own beliefs, but I hold this unshakably. The way a child cries out for their mother, the way a mother knows their child’s cry, this is not fungible. This is not a trade-off to ever intentional trade. This is not in the same universe of whether a child grows up with open spaces or not, to pick just one of your examples.

You used mother in your original statement, not father, and as I understood you admit that at its core there is some aspect of motherhood that is not fungible. Where we part, even as you began by stating it deserved, is the idea that it is essential. A trade never to be made willing.

I get that we live in world of imperfection. Adoption, unwanted children, single parents, unfit parents, orphans, accidental pregnancies, are all part of this world, and we need to be able to give children the next best thing when the ideals fail them.

But I find the concept of surrogacy just about the worst thing to come out of modernity. The idea of purposefully conceiving a child with the intention of them never being raised by their biological mother is one of the saddest things I can think of. Moreover, I believe it is possibly the absolute bottom of depraved hollowing out of the family in place of liquid, modernist consumers.

I get that this might raise strong disagreement, anger, scoffing, or even ridicule of naivity from you or others reading this. But this is part of the core of my value system, the center of my reality. This is why for all of the allure that liberal pluralism has -- as much as it aligns with my general live and let live inclinations and daily interactions --at my core, I fundamentally cannot accept it as a stable possibility, much less an ideal.