I am not the mother I expected to be, because I never really thought motherhood or parenting was for me. Back in my youth, I was going to be a famous, nomadic actress and, if I ever did want children, I would simply adopt them. After my award-winning career peaked, of course and I would hire plenty of nannies to help care for them. I had it all figured out.
Not The Mother I Expected To Be
When my friends started having babies, I would laugh and say “You guys are crazy!” I’m not having kids until I can create them and pick their genetics, Gattaca style! I was a bit of a nerd.
I am not the mother I expected to be, when I found out I was pregnant and, at 24, still had no clue how I was going to make it work. I still don’t know what I am doing.
When I gave birth to a tiny baby boy and my mothering instincts, that I didn’t even know existed, kicked in. I still wasn’t the mother I expected to be, because I never expected to be one!
I am not the mother I expected to be when my son became harder to handle and more difficult to understand. Boys will be boys, everyone told me.
When my daughter was born and my son was diagnosed with Autism, I thought, “Oh dear God, what makes you think I can handle this?!” I wasn’t the mother anyone expected me to be.
I am not the mother I expected to be when I told my son to quit being a jerk and told my corner of the internet, that my kids are assholes and I’m ok with that.
When my son asked me about love and I told him, “Someday, someone will love you for who you are!” and at 7 years old, he looked at me and said, “But until then, I have to watch out for those fancy money snatchers!” “Fancy money snatchers?” I asked. “Yeah, the girls that dress up 100% fancy, but only want you for your money.” he said calmly and logically. I tried to match reaction to his response, but, alas, I unsuccessfully choked on my Mt. Dew.
I am not the mother I expected to be when I had a threenager, when she was 4 going on 14 and I am definitely not the mother I expected to be, now that she is 5 and slamming doors at a 15-year-old level. I fear for the teen years.
When my son went into the bathroom and vomited EVERYWHERE except the toilet, I was not the mother I expected to be. While I sat on the floor, crying in between gags and wondered how I got here, I wasn’t the mother anyone expected me to be.
Expectations can come from so many different places. They can come from our family, our friends, society and ourselves.
I am not the mother I expected to be. I am not the mother ANYONE expected me to be. However, I am the mother that I NEED to be and that my kids NEED me to be. There is no manual, there is no how-to-video and nobody has it exactly right, but if we give it our all, then we are doing our best.
This was originally posted on themadmommy.com and has also been published under my name, Echo Aspnes, in this anthology.