Friday, February 13, 2009

A Mother, Naturally

This is, of course, what I assumed I would be when I grew up.  I also thought I would be a great many other things: a teacher, a lawyer, an engineer, an author, an astronaut.  Somewhere deep inside I always knew I would have kids though.  I am not sure how I figured I would have time to raise children while flying to the moon and back but I was 6 and I was not thinking clearly!   I don't know if I ever put an age or a number on children ... but I do know that I had more kids at a younger age than I imagined!  
All this being said, there are some people I know, many of my close friends and two sister-in-laws, to whom being a mother comes naturally.  It is in their blood, their genetics and they just KNOW how to do it.  They are good at it and it shows.  They are so happy and they snuggle with their kids and plan fun things for them to do, create elaborate crafts or spend hours reading library books and talking about them.  Don't get me wrong, we do many of these things too but they are all planned and scheduled and it is a huge effort.  That is the difference I think, a really natural mom does it effortlessly.  She just knows what to do and she does it.  It doesn't mean that it is always easy but she does it anyway.  I have come to realize that I am a mom but not a natural one.  It takes a lot of work and effort to do the daily "kid" things and I really struggle with things like playing Polly Pockets or Barbies.  I am not a good fort builder and once I do build the fort I am always secretly hoping my kids will want to play in it for a while and not expect me to get in with them so that I can go fold some laundry or start making lunch .  Is that bad of me?  I am not saying that I don't like spending time with my kids but I am just not good at the getting down on their level and doing everything they want to do every second of the day.  
I guess maybe I am wondering if being a mom will ever come naturally to me or if I will have to struggle through every day and feel guilty because I don't love play-doh or finger painting (maybe I would if I knew someone else was going to clean it up but since that is my job I spend most of the time fretting about the mess they are making and how much time it will take me to get the kitchen back to normal again).  Maybe this is all nerves since I know another one is coming and I am reeling at the thought of adding one more child to the mix.  I just hope that my kids do not look back at this time and wish that things had been different - that I had been different.  That their mom had just been a mom, naturally.


  1. Hey Tami, I found your post very thought provoking. I always feel like most of what I do and feel is pretty normal, and I think that the "Natural Mother" that you describe here is not actually existent. I would agree that there are things that some people struggle with more then others with raising kids, but each of us struggle just the same. It is like looking at someone only with their Sunday Face on, it isn't real life. I remember thinking that I would be a different mother then I think I have turned out to be, thinking that I would enjoy and appreciate my kids more then I often do, but that seems to take more work and effort then I thought it would for me. Maybe that part doesn't feel natural like it should be, but I think that is just the realities of Parenthood vs what we imagine we should be like or see what we think others are like.
    I think as far as being the natural mother, you are up there in the tops of my books! It is nice to hear your feelings on the matter, as it helps my life to feel normal as well! Anyways, thanks for the thought provoking post, sorry for the long rambling reply! Take care!

  2. Tam, you kill me. You are a great mother. Your kids wont know if you have to plan to go swimming or if you wake up one day and say- lets go swimming. They will remember that they went swimming and had fun and their mom took them.
    Your kids will admire you. When Emma & Sophia have their first little baby, they will think constantly- how did mom do it all? Jack will very high expectations from his wife because you are a good mom. You are a great mom.
    You are a great mom because you do the things that take effort and you try to do things that make your kids happy. Even if it takes you hours to get the house back to how it was. You do it!
    It always takes effort to do things. A good mom just knows it is worth it.
    We miss you!