I’m Not Only a Mother


My Facebook feed has been blowing up with Mother’s Day posts. My least favorite? The one above. I actually got into a Facebook fight–something I actively avoid, because even when you know someone in real life, people be crazy on Facebook.

Look, I love my girls more than anything. Does that mean I don’t have good memories pre-kids? Nope. Does that mean I don’t have non-kid-related projects and plans for tomorrow that I am really looking forward to? Nope.

My children are my favorite thing about my life, but they are not the only thing. I would die for my girls, but I won’t stop living for them. Like Edna Pontellier, but with less selfishness, drama, and suicide.

I am a writer, an attorney, a sister, a friend. I think if I weren’t those other things, I would be less of a mother. I believe all people have more to offer society than only procreation. I certainly hope for more than that for my daughters.

Do you think motherhood should be your entire life? Discuss.

This entry was posted in About the Kids and tagged , , , .

9 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have to wonder. All these women who say their children are their world, and that is how it should be, and life without children isnt worth living…Do they think women who can’t have children should just kill themselves?

  2. Abby says:

    Sometimes I get swept up in the hyperbole too, and say things like “My children are everything to me.” And then I think, but they can’t really be my everything. What about my husband? What about a movie with friends? Life just can’t revolve entirely around children. It’s not healthy for the mom, or the kids.

  3. Portia says:

    Ugh – I love my mom and am grateful that she is such a good mother, but I would find it terribly sad if she ever felt this way, especially because her kids are all grown up now.

    The one that’s been going around my Facebook page is “Motherhood. It’s the highest, holiest service assumed by humankind” which seems super insulting to everyone who can’t be mothers, including all men.

  4. Sasha says:

    Agreed. When I read the quote above I was instantly put off. Not because I have no kids of my own since the quote reeks of narrow mindedness, but just yesterday I read about a mommy blogger whose 3 y.o. boy was run over and killed in an accident. Her loss is a tragedy already. How awful for her and other women who’ve lost their children to be told I once had worth and a reason to live, but now I don’t.

  5. edj3 says:

    I’ve railed against this attitude (that our children are our reason for living) for years and boy was I an outlier back when Moby Dick was a minnow.

    And I see my age contemporaries who are really struggling as their children do what children should do, and grow up and move out. The loss of identity and purpose is really scary and to my mind, completely unnecessary. Wasn’t that my job, to make myself almost redundant so that my children would know how to be self sufficient, productive adults?

    What’s even scarier are the women who do this with their grandchildren. That sentiment is also all over FB and honestly it makes me want to barf.

    • Lynn says:

      I agree. I don’t think the people who are so adamant about living for their children realize that it doesn’t go both ways. What then? Life is over?

  6. Rachel says:

    I’ve always felt that people are sufficient as themselves. You don’t have to be married, or partnered, or a parent to be a contributing member of society. Likewise, although parenting is a HUGE responsibility it’s not necessary or beneficial for it to be the sum total of one’s adult identity. Foundation, perhaps; load-bearing wall, absolutely; decorative walls, windows, chimney, roof, and gables, no.

    We parents should hope and plan to phase ourselves out of the role of primary caretaker (assuming no developmental disabilities that prevent the child from living independently) and be grateful when that happens because that means our children are self-sufficient. We should also raise our kids with kindness and genuine interest in them as people, so hopefully we’ll have friendships with our adult children when everyone has outgrown the earlier mom-or-dad-and-little-kid relationship.

    Have I done all of this perfectly so far (my child is not yet an adult)? Of course not! I don’t think it’s humanly possible. Have I done enough of this? I hope so. But have I also carved out personal time and space along the way? Absolutely. A depleted adult is an ineffective parent.

  7. Lauren says:

    I seriously couldn’t agree more with you and this is an argument that I’ve gotten into with people a couple times. One of the things I feared most about becoming a mom was losing my identity. I’m so glad I didn’t and I hope that my daughter will always be herself no matter what as well.

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