In 2007 I gave birth to my first child in a run-down state hospital in Eastern Europe. It was a swelteringly hot summer day and she arrived in the early hours of the morning. In the haze of delivering a child into this world, many things passed me by. However, I still remember clearly that as soon as she was handed to me, my name disappeared, and everybody started to call me the ‘mother’. It is a common practice in the area where I come from: you are referred as ‘mother’ even by closest family members. Suddenly there are no other parts of your identity that matter except your biological function – mother of a newborn child. At first, I almost didn’t notice this sudden change; it might have been the tiredness and confusion that come with early motherhood. But then I was reawakened by one of my dearest friends, who was going through multiple rounds of IVF treatment at the time. She was the only one to call me by my first name and that sounded both familiar, comforting and incredibly respectful. Also, it reminded me that both of us were defined by our (in)ability to deal with and uphold the traditional patriarchal assumptions concerning motherhood and mothering. Our thinking and personal understanding of the maternal was pushed back, silenced, unimportant. The world, at that moment, needed me to be just simply a ‘mother’.