I’m apparently not a “real” mom. Apparently, there are mom characteristics that all “real” moms possess, but I don’t exhibit.
Moms, the very second they become moms, are granted the mom-ness…that is if they have any “real” mom value at all. Moms like other people’s children merely because they are children. Moms know that children don’t like vegetables, so they feed their children “kid” things like mac’n cheese and hot dogs. Moms seek out other moms for the purpose of talking about diaper contents (color/scent/frequency). Most of all, “to a mom, her kids ARE her life.”
Now, when the first little embryo attached (the official Republican beginning of mommyhood), no angels descended to bestow upon me the ability to identify the perfect contents of a birthday party goody bag. (I did, however, become a bad driver at that moment because that is when I started overcautiously and overzealously using the brake.) I guess that was supposed to happen. I’m just the weird mom. I served sweet potato fries at an orange-themed birthday party. My kids were the only ones who ate them.
Furthermore, I don’t assess whether or not I enjoy another person’s company based on that person’s age. Children are not magical simply because they are children. Some kids are cool people. (I don’t necessarily enjoy the company of all adults either for that matter.) I like my kids, but not just because they’re kids; I like them because they are interesting. (Of course, I LOVE them, but I’m discussing why I LIKE them. Different concepts.) I love discussions with my seven year old. I love watching the cogs turn in his head. I love hearing my daughters describe events from their points of view. They always provide new information. (I’m also weird because I talk to my children like people instead of children. Aren’t children people?)
Yes, I get weird looks when my kids tell people that I have never bought Pop-tarts, nor do I ever intend to do so. Being a child is not a good enough reason to replace food with garbage that doesn’t nourish. The goal is not to fill an empty space, but to nourish. Now, this one, I think should give me mom cred. But still no. The fact that I tell the kids, “well, you better get your fill of junk food before we get home because I’m not buying it” means that I don’t understand the nature of a child. Oh, well. This is an Easy-Mac free zone. My kids are HUGE fans of the wheat-free homemade breakfast bars though.
I’m also not a “real” mom because I don’t seek the company of those who want to discuss all of the places where babies leak fluids. Not my crowd. My friends have a few common threads. They are all articulate, educated people who will discuss doctrine and correct me when I’m wrong. Sure, there’s a mom or two in that group, but the mommyhood is not the primary reason for me to seek those friendships. It’s about the type of person, not the occupation. Because I still have friends who are not in the same season of life as me, I’m not doing the mom thing correctly…because certainly “real” moms seek out only moms.
Finally, I have to disagree with the statement that for the devoted mother, her children ARE her life. My children are wonderful blessings for whom I am responsible physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They are my primary occupation. They are my most important occupation. However, they are not my whole identity. When I tried to be a “real” mom, it was difficult not to resent motherhood for making my identity die. I guess I’m not a “real” mom. They are not my life. They are not my identity. That implies an objectivity that I find to be unfavorable for the child. Instead, they are my blessed little responsibilities. They are unique individuals instead of extensions of me. I savor their progress, but I realize that my job as a mom is to work myself out of a job.
I do other kinds mommy things. I administer arnica and grapefruit seed extract as needed. I applaud successes and disapprove of misbehavior. I have magic mommy kisses that fix everything. That’s apparently not enough. I’m insufficient because I don’t intend to understand the mind of a child, but expect the child to grow. I want to discuss quadratic equations instead of another human being’s fecal matter. I just don’t understand being a mom because I don’t understand children. Granted, I didn’t understand children when I was a child.
I feel as though there’s a cookie cutter mom that I’m supposed to be, but I don’t see why. I don’t like the mom I am when I intend to exhibit the “real” mom characteristics. I feel as though I’m playing dress-up instead of nurturing those in my care. I’m really bad at being a poser. Sorry, kids. You’re stuck with me.  Now, eat your plants.