So if you are between the ages of 20 and 44 and still childless, you belong to the group labeled “otherhood.” That’s “motherhood” without the “m.
Something about “other” rubs me the wrong way.
But Melanie Notkin, who coined the term, explains it to us:
Otherhood is living our true authentic life, whether or not that life is the life that we excepted. I think when media and marketers and society begins to talk to us, we have to make sure who is listening, are we listening as a woman who feels less than or as a woman who feels empowered and equal too. When we begin to realize that and know that then society and the media and marketers will believe us. We have to do our part as well. And our part is to find that new kind of happiness, to keep living authentic lives, to keep moving forward, and to literally turn the page to our next challenge.
And she’s written a book about it called “Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness” with chapters titled “The Dating Bermuda Triangle,” “Where Are the Suitable Men?” and “A Date With Destiny.”
Oh, good Lord.
While I agree that the 38 percent of us who fall within childbearing years but haven’t produced said child have the flexibility to travel more, and we can buy more beauty products and more expensive groceries (Wegmans!), I highly doubt all of us consider ourselves insignificant and unhappy, and we’re not sulking because we think the media caters more to the moms in that age bracket.
And we’re surely not scrambling to jump aboard the “otherhood” train. Let’s just accept that we’re childless for now, and every commercial isn’t going to pertain to us. I mean, really, do we want to be included in an ad for mom jeans?