http://www.dooce.com/ "Getting There" September 20, 2007
It wasn’t until Leta was about two years old that I grew into my
identity as a mother, that I finally stopped feeling guilty and embraced my version of that role. I knew that I loved my child, that I would do anything for her, but that I don’t necessarily do this thing like many other women. And that’s okay. I am okay with being the mother who doesn’t get a thrill out of sitting on the floor and playing blocks for two hours. I am okay with being the mother who does not look forward to Little Gym. I’m okay with being the mother who lets her child go another day without a bath because tonight? I’m too tired tonight. I’m okay because I know that none of these things make me a bad person.
I'm finally realizing that I don't have to be feel guilty for not getting down on the floor and doing puzzles- instead, I try to bring other people into their lives who will do that- Grandma, Tio Scott, Zahra. (But I did get down there last night for a few minutes and it was fun!)
Yesterday somebody told me I'm a good mother- I guess it was because she (no kids) had been saying she would have been like the mom in The Glass Castle. I haven't read the book, but I know the story, and I have seen this woman with her stepkids (now ex) and I know that she would never have been that kind of mother. She has the responsibility gene- like me.
This gene activates with any kid in need. On my flight to the US a little over 8 years ago, when I was moving here for this segment of my life, I was seated between my then boyfriend and a little girl. Her family was further back on the plane. Of course, I made sure she was okay, and I talked to her and did everything I could to help her. He didn't get it and wanted my attention on him, and I knew then for sure that I would never be having kids with this guy.
But for all of having that gene, I'm not the natural earth mother I always thought I'd be. But I've realized throughout the last four years that motherhood comes down so much to doing what you feel is right, not what other people define motherhood as.