Motherhood Defined

May 11, 2012

Some people say they have my eyes. My mother tells me that he has my temperament. I’d like to think she has my fashion sense. Its hard to say who they are and even harder to understand where they came from.

Almost four years ago I became a mother. Yeah, I received my first Mother’s Day gift while my first child was in utero, but I’m not sure I was even close to a mother then – rather an incubator. His first year of life I cared for him, I fed him, I washed him, I spent sleepless nights with him. By definition I was a mother. And I am not trying to belittle those first few months and the bonding that goes on between a mother and an infant, but it didn’t really feel like motherhood.

But as the years multiplied, our family did too. Adding a second definitely complicated things. Balancing a rambunctious toddler with an infant was surely a challenge. No, don’t eat the pets’ food! No, don’t run into the street! Crying baby, poopy diapers, and pulling out my hair to make sure everyone’s needs were satisfied. Is this what motherhood is about?

From a clinical perspective, I became a mother once my first was conceived. From an emotional sense, I became a mother once my first was born. From a sanity sense, I lost it all after my second was born. But when did I start feeling like a mother?

I often hear them saying things that I say. I frequently see them doing things I have taught them. The interaction between them exemplifies the treatment I give to them individually. They look like me, they talk like me, they behave like me. Yet its sometimes hard to wrap my head around the fact that I am their mother.

Motherhood started for me when I realized I wasn’t forced to make decisions because of them, I was doing it because I wanted to. I no longer can identify where I end and they begin. They have become such an extension of me and my life, I can’t imagine who I would actually be without them. And I guess sometime in these past four years, I transformed into a mother. My life became about motherhood. I’m just not sure where I was when it happened…probably changing a dirty diaper or something.

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