When I first met YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, I was moderating a panel she was on for Harvard alums. We were both wrapping up our maternity leaves. She had just had her fifth child; I'd just had my second. We traded tips on maternity clothes, and I peppered her with questions about how she finds her balance.
Men never fail to dwell on maternity as a disqualification for the possession of many civil and political rights. Suggest the idea of women having a voice in making laws and administering the Government in the halls of legislation, in Congress, or the British Parliament, and men will declaim at once on the disabilities of maternity in a sneering contemptuous way, as if the office of motherhood was undignified and did not comport with the highest public offices in church and state. It is vain that we point them to Queen Victoria, who has carefully reared a large family, while considering and signing...
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
I got married and had a baby, so I was doing the mummy thing. I got hyperemesis and was only supposed to go away for maternity leave, but then it ended up being three or four years, and by that time, it was hard to get back into the music world, so when Drake called, it was the perfect opportunity.
The evangelical wing of the Church spends a lot of energy on being "born again" but little time on "growing up" again. There is a failing to encourage newborn believers out of the maternity ward and into a big world where they will spend the rest of their spiritual lives trying to find what they are looking for.
When I was first pregnant, I Googled a maternity website, and there was nothing that spoke to a girl with my lifestyle who had kids - everything was very boring and very pinky. I wanted to create a platform for all those amazing, beautiful, sexy, hands-on mummies and for them to share their lifestyles, their beauty tips.
Julia Restoin Roitfeld
It is a fact perhaps kept a little too much in the background, that mothers have a self larger than their maternity, and that when their sons have become taller than themselves, and are gone from them to college or into the world, there are wide spaces of their time which are not filled with praying for their boys, reading old letters, and envying yet blessing those who are attending to their shirt-buttons.
I'm excited about going back to 'Today,' but, at odd moments, I'll grit my teeth in anxiety. I feel like a student before the start of school. I've got my new shoes and my book bag, but I'm not sure I'll remember how to do trigonometry. During my maternity leave, I haven't used many words of more than one syllable.
I come from Canada, and maternity leave is six months to a year, and they also have paternity leave, and I think that there's something to that. There's also something to making a more comfortable environment for women to breast feed or to bring their kids into work and to have more nurseries in these office buildings.
How can any woman believe that a loving and merciful God would, in one breath, command Eve to multiply and replenish the earth, and in the next, pronounce a curse upon her maternity? I do not believe that God inspired the Mosaic code, or gave out the laws about women which he is accused of doing.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Where did the bonds of maternity end? All children grew up, changed, became somebody else. Parents who trembled that they might lose a gap-toothed toddler to some terrible accident ended up losing him anyway, always, to time. The toddlers died, after all, and what was left was a bond with another adult, who had once been the beloved child.
In fact, in the last job I had before coming to the White House - I remember this clearly - I was on maternity leave with Sasha, still trying to figure out what to do with my life, and I got a call for an interview for this position, a senior position at the hospitals. And I thought, okay, here we go. So I had to scramble to look for babysitting, and couldn't find one.
If women cut back on their ambitions en masse, institutional change will never happen and the glass ceiling will lower. We need to be there to demand equal pay, mandatory maternity leave, more human hours. Leaving the 'dirty work' of working to the men is a way of muffling our own voices.
While we tend to equate motherhood solely with maternity, in the Lord's language, the word 'mother' has layers of meaning...Mothe rhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us.
Sheri L. Dew
The spring is here, young and beautiful as ever, and absolutely shocking in its display of reckless maternity; but the Judas treewill bloom for you on the Bosphorus if you get there in time. No one ever loved the dog-wood and Judas tree as I have done, and it is my one crown of life to be sure that I am going to take them with me to heaven to enjoy real happiness with the Virgin and them.
The system in Sweden is great because you get free healthcare and free education; someone who doesn't have a lot of money can become a doctor or lawyer. There's good paternity and maternity leave - the U.S. is probably the only civilised country in the world that doesn't give parents anything.
A woman by her very nature is maternal -- for every woman, whether ... married or unmarried, is called upon to be a biological, psychological or spiritual mother -- she knows intuitively that to give, to nurture, to care for others, to suffer with and for them -- for maternity implies suffering -- is infinitely more valuable in God's sight than to conquer nations and fly to the moon.
Alice von Hildebrand
Maternity leave is over for Tina Fey of Saturday Night Live. She'll be back behind the Weekend Update anchor desk for this week's episode, her first show since giving birth to daughter Alice on Sept. 10. I had to get back to work, .. NBC has me under contract; the baby and I have only a verbal agreement.
I couldn't stop thinking about the body, what a hard fact it was. That philosopher who said we think, therefore we are, should have spent an hour in the maternity ward of Waite Memorial Hospital. He'd have had to change his whole philosophy. The mind was so thin, barely a spiderweb, with all its fine thoughts, aspirations, and beliefs in its own importance. Watch how easily it unravels, evaporates under the first lick of pain.
Like the Pentagon, our social science often reduces all phenomena to dollars and body counts. Sexuality, family unity, kinship, masculine solidarity, maternity, motivation, nurturing, all the rituals of personal identity and development, all the bonds of community, seem "sexist," "superstitious," "mystical," "inefficient," "discriminatory." And, of course, they are -- and they are also indispensable to a civilized society.
If women take their bodies seriously and ideally we should then its full expression, in terms of pleasure, maternity, and physical strength, seems to fare better when women control the means of production and reproduction. From this point of view, it is simply not in women's interest to support patriarchy or even a fabled "equality" with men. That women do so is more a sign of powerlessness than of any biologically based "superior" wisdom.
The diabolical work that has taken place since the legalization of abortion is that it has destroyed, in those tragic women who have allowed their child to be murdered, their sense for the sacredness of maternity. Abortion not only murders the innocent; it spiritually murders women... the wound created in their souls is so great that only God's grace can heal it. The very soul of a woman is meant to be maternal.
Alice von Hildebrand
I find it profoundly symbolic that I am appearing before a committee of fifteen men who will report to a legislative body of one hundred men because of a decision handed down by a court comprised of nine men--on an issue that affects millions of women.... I have the feeling that if men could get pregnant, we wouldn't be struggling for this legislation. If men could get pregnant, maternity benefits would be as sacrosanct as the G.I. Bill.
Letty Cottin Pogrebin
You've got this job offer in Charlotte. I know. But if you want, that's something we can figure out together. I made a commitment to Cameron, so I need to stay in Chicago until she's back from maternity leave. But after that, I can-' 'I didn't take the job in Charlotte.' 'Oh. Right.' He exhaled, trying to catch up to speed. 'Well. You should know that I had at least two minutes left on that speech. Really quality stuff.' 'Sorry. I just thought this might be a good time to mention that I love you, too.' She made a rolling gesture. 'But, please-carry on.' He grinned. Sassy as ever.
She was one of those people who was born for the greatness of a single love, for exaggerated hatred, for apocalyptic vengance, and for the most sublime forms of heroism but she was unable to shape her fate to the dimensions of her amorous vocation, so it was lived out as something flat and gray trapped between her mother's sickroom walls, wretched tenements, and the tortured confessions with which this large, opulent, hot-blooded woman made for maternity, abundance, action, and ardor- was consuming herself.
The bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man's bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire...Here is the bible position of woman briefly summed up.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The problem is that the media rarely discusses the real reasons behind why women leave their jobs. We hear a lot about the desire to be closer to the children, the love of crafting and gardening, and making food from scratch. But reasons like lack of maternity leave, lack of affordable day care, lack of job training, and unhappiness with the 24/7 work culture-well, those aren't getting very much airtime.
News reports can overwhelm us. We can be appalled, we can sympathise. But what is hard to grasp is the sense that, at this moment, people are working, organising - not just at an executive level, but on the floor, in the warehouse. A man is packing a box of oral rehydration tablets; maternity kits are being prepared; education kits are being packed. And somewhere, tomorrow, those boxes will be unpacked and a child with life-threatening diarrhoea will be saved, a baby will be born in more hygienic circumstances, a girl will receive her first exercise book and her first pencil.
The woman movement is one which is uniting by co-operating influences, all the antagonisms that are warring on the family state. Spiritualism, free love, free divorce, the vicious indulgences consequent on unregulated civilization, the worldliness which tempts men and women to avoid large families, often by sinful methods, thus making the ignorant masses the chief supply of the future ruling majorities; and most powerful of all, the feeble constitution and poor health of women, causing them to dread maternity as--what it is fast becoming--an accumulation of mental and bodily tortures.
Had there been a Papist among the crowd of Puritans, he might have seen in this beautiful woman, so picturesque in her attire and mien, and with the infant at her bosom, an object to remind him of the image of Divine Maternity, which so many illustrious painters have vied with one another to represent; something which should remind him, indeed, but only by contrast, of that sacred image of sinless motherhood, whose infant was to redeem the world. Here, there was the taint of of deepest sin in the most sacred of quality of human life, working such effect, that the world was only the darker for this woman's beauty, and the more lost for the infant that she had borne.
The thing about old friends is not that they love you, but that they know you. They remember that disastrous New Year's Eve when you mixed White Russians and champagne, and how you wore that red maternity dress until everyone was sick of seeing the blaze of it in the office, and the uncomfortable couch in your first apartment and the smoky stove in your beach rental. They look at you and don't really think you look older because they've grown old along with you, and, like the faded paint in a beloved room, they're used to the look. And then one of them is gone, and you've lost a chunk of yourself. The stories of the terrorist attacks of 2001, the tsunami, the Japanese earthquake always used numbers, the deaths of thousands a measure of how great the disaster. Catastrophe is numerical. Loss is singular, one beloved at a time.
When tadpole was born, I spent a sleepless night on the maternity ward gazing intently into her inky, newborn eyes, grappling to come to terms with the indisputable fact that this was an actual person looking back at me, not just a version of Mr Frog, or me, or both, in miniature. From the outset she seemed to know what she wanted, and I realised I could have no inkling of the paths she would choose to follow. But if I watch her life unfold carefully enough, perhaps I will see clear signposts pointing to who or what she will become. Because when I look backwards, ransacking my own past for clues with the clarity that only hindsight can bring, several defining moments do stand out. Moments charged with significance; snapshots of myself which, if I were to join the dots together, lead me unswervingly to where I stand today.
In much the same way, motherhood has become the essential female experience, valued above all others: giving life is where it's at. "Pro-maternity" propaganda has rarely been so extreme. They must be joking, the modern equivalent of the double constraint: "Have babies, it's wonderful, you'll feel more fulfilled and feminine than ever, " but do it in a society in freefall in which waged work is a condition of social survival but guaranteed to no one, and especially not to women. Give birth in cities where accommodation is precarious, schools have surrendered the fight and children are subject to the most vicious mental assault through advertising, TV, internet, fizzy drink manufacturers and so on. Without children you will never be fulfilled as a woman, but bringing up kids in decent conditions is almost impossible.
Like so many other things in the previous year, my politics had also been retooled by maternity. I began to suspect that modern feminism had gotten it at least partly wrong... In devaluing the home and the vast range of domestic work-childrearing included-and in fighting a fight largely for the right to work outside the home, the modern feminist movement ignored a singular power already available to women and, maybe more important, to the collective imagination. Rather than fighting to re-invent the home, or to effect a real transformation of values, or to legitimize and legalize the domestic and childrearing work that so many women engage in-which is necessary to support any mother's work outside the home-we have found it easier to map power where it already existed. Is this really my only choice? Between the intense demands of an academic career (supported by full-time childcare) and the mind-deadening contemplation of Cheerios?
Lisa Catherine Harper
At first Christ was a man - nothing more. Mary was his mother, Joseph his father. The genealogy of his father, Joseph, was given to show that he was of the blood of David. Then the claim was made that he was the son of God, and that his mother was a virgin, and that she remained a virgin until her death. The claim was made that Christ rose from the dead and ascended bodily to heaven. It required many years for these absurdities to take possession of the minds of men. If he really ascended, why did he not do so in public, in the presence of his persecutors? Why should this, the greatest of miracles, be done in secret, in a corner? Is Christ our example? He never said a word in favor of education. He never even hinted at the existence of any science. He never uttered a word in favor of industry, economy or of any effort to better our condition in this world. He was the enemy of the successful, of the wealthy. Dives was sent to hell, not because he was bad, but because he was rich. Lazarus went to heaven, not because he was good, but because he was poor. Christ cared nothing for painting, for sculpture, for music - nothing for any art. He said nothing about the duties of nation to nation, of king to subject; nothing about the rights of man; nothing about intellectual liberty or the freedom of speech. He said nothing about the sacredness of home; not one word for the fireside; not a word in favor of marriage, in honor of maternity. He never married. He wandered homeless from place to place with a few disciples. None of them seem to have been engaged in any useful business, and they seem to have lived on alms. All human ties were held in contempt; this world was sacrificed for the next; all human effort was discouraged. God would support and protect. At last, in the dusk of death, Christ, finding that he was mistaken, cried out: 'My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me? We have found that man must depend on himself. He must clear the land; he must build the home; he must plow and plant; he must invent; he must work with hand and brain; he must overcome the difficulties and obstructions; he must conquer and enslave the forces of nature to the end that they may do the work of the world.
Robert G. Ingersoll