during pregnancy, i had several episodes of looking in the mirror and thinking “that’s not a mother!”
i wanted to have my baby more than anything in the world, but i felt deep apprehension about my ability to live up to this complex and idealized role. did i really think i was capable of being to this baby all that my mother was (and is!) to me? ridiculous! could i see any resemblance between myself and any of the mothers i saw in literature or on tv? no!
i’d find myself staring at my reflection and seeing a completely inadequate git, who was bound to be laughed out of any self respecting mothers group, and given the side-eye in the nappy aisle in the supermarket.
and then arty was born.
and i was so busy being his mother, that i didn’t stop to think about it until now, when i’ve realised something incredibly liberating: arty doesn’t need me to be the platonic form of mother. he needs me to be his mother. and that is something that only two people in this world know how to be. we know it instinctively, and we do it uniquely, because we know our boy like nobody else can, and he loves us like no others.
there are certainly other mothers, real and fictional, that i admire and whose mothercraft i feel i can learn from, but i don’t need to worry if i don’t resemble them too closely, because to arty, i’m what ‘mama’ looks like. and that’s enough.