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Published on May 20th, 2015 | by Kate Lacour

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MAKING BABIES: An Essay in Comics by KATE LACOUR

What happens to you inside when you become a parent?

gestation (small)

Having a child is a kind of death. It’s a death of certain freedoms, certainly, and of a certain kind of romance. It’s a loss of your time, which is no small thing.

But there’s another loss there, which is a kind of ego death. The limits that defined your personality are systematically eroded by meeting the needs of another person without reservation. 

I had a lot of existential fear after giving birth.

heart hands (small file)

The struggle to hold on to that self becomes too difficult. You break down, or at least I did. You surrender to what’s happening to your life, which is not, as it turns out, your life after all.

Love for a child envelops and includes this grief and fear. And it forces you to grow enough to accommodate it. Something is born inside you. 

making babies(small)

No outsider can appreciate what has happened inside every parent, however unremarkable; a small, invisible death and birth.

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About the Author

Kate Lacour

Kate Lacour is a cartoonist, art therapist and behavior therapist.  She works with kids with autism and raises reptiles with her husband and son in New Orleans.  She draws comics about bodies, science and transcendence.

 



3 Responses to MAKING BABIES: An Essay in Comics by KATE LACOUR

  1. Kari says:

    I envisioned it for me as a sort of metamorphosis. *I* would never have reached a fully mature state if not for all that came with becoming a parent, in my case becoming a proudly identified Mother-Nurturer.

    I appreciate the chance to look it at it from your perspective.

    • B says:

      I completely understand this. Left with a full array of choices, I’m not sure I would have become much of anything without the—pressure? gravity? limits?—placed by my daughter’s existence. Beyond being her mother (she’s grown and on her own now), I became all sorts of other things that were good for me in order to set an example for her. I guess it depends on who you start out as. If you have a strong sense of yourself, then yes, I can see the trade-off in the death of a part of that self. But if you need the—well, the lifelong assignment, I guess— that parenting drops on you, then getting the work of YOU done can actually be very much better than it would have been without the kid.

  2. Carmen says:

    Totally agree. Becoming a mother is a really huge change in a woman’s life. In my case, living in a super traditional country as it is Perú, not to think, suffer or love as a mother is highly disaproved by everyone, and I was working in a world that wasn’t made for women in that time (informatics in early 80’s). So my visión of motherhood was different for me. When I sudenly got pregnant I was in shock, but I continued with my life u ntil my beautiful baby girl arrived to the World. Yes, is it true that many of your dreams or plans must be wait or even dissapear, but what I never expected is to live through my daughters lifes (I have three now)! And by any means I am a traditional mom! Even in Mother ‘s Day I cant feel that sentiment that I deserve to be honored for all my sacrifice! No way! That’s my mother, not me! And let me tell you that being now a unemployed woman, I work really hard to keep my family happy… Well, as I said I agree with your point of view but life has its mistery ways to compensate you ..

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