There is this opinion I’ve seen that the idea of Sacred Motherhood is inherently sexist and/or transphobic. It certainly can be twisted into something potentially harmful. However, the idea that natural roles are always a bad thing needs to stop. This isn’t some either or topic. It all depends on context.
Not all people born with a uterus are meant for the role of Mother. Some are medically unable to have children and others use their right to decline. There should be no shame in that. Not everyone is meant to take on the role of Healer, Warrior, Teacher, et cetera, either. Why should the idea of Motherhood be treated any differently? I find this is where much of the problem lies with the idea of Sacred Motherhood. The expectation that women should have babies is a problem in our society. There is a lot of rightful pushback against that. Those who are unable to conceive or choose not to should be supported. We should still be able to recognize roles as being sacred without feeling the need to assign them to people based purely on reproductive organs. If you can’t do that, then the problem is probably more on you than the concept itself.
Most who choose to take on the role of birth mother are women, but there are also genderfluid people and a few men born with uteri who have done this. Sacred Motherhood need not be limited to gender identity! If a person is capable of conceiving and birthing a child, they are capable taking on this role if they so choose. The only thing I would caution is being sure not to push the title of “Mother” onto those who prefer to use an equivalent male or gender-neutral title. (I do feel that, in this case, “mother” can be considered a gender-neutral title, but it’s important to acknowledge that it does carry feminine connotations for most.)
While it is important to note that the human population is currently too large, there has always been and will continue to be a need for the birth mother if the species isn’t to go extinct. The role of birth mother includes pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing. The entire process is physically demanding to the birth mother and can prove to be fatal in many cases. The birth father’s role of inseminating a woman is certainly not equivalent. That’s not to downplay the role of fatherhood. Birth mothers can’t get pregnant without insemination, either directly or artificially. In addition to that, parenthood in general is important to a child’s well being. This goes for single parents, co-parents (however many a child may have), birth parents, and adoptive parents.
There are many cases wherein the birth mother is unable, unwilling, or just should not take on the role of mother beyond the birth. While her role was still critical and sacred, it should not diminish the role the birth father and/or adoptive parent plays in raising the child. The idea of Sacred Motherhood should not be used to attack the roles that others may play or to excuse birth mothers who engage in toxic behavior.
When viewed from a reasonable angle, the concept of Sacred Motherhood can be beautiful. Like any other role, there are limitations on who is capable of or willing to play a part in it. That doesn’t make it inherently a bad thing: it makes the role real.