Mother: After my third daughter was born, the realization began to seep in that I would have three sets of eyes, watching me, learning what it means to move through this world as a female. As overjoyed as I was with being a mother of girls, and I truly was, I also wondered if mothers of boys had it easier simply because their offspring was the other.
It was not as if the enormity of the responsibility as role model hit me all at once, exactly. It was more like a slow drip drip into my gut.
While in the thick of caring for a young family, it becomes alarmingly easy to begin to forget oneself, one’s potential, ambitions or dreams, outside of family life. Family can become synonymous with Self.
And although I was blissfully focused on raising my daughters, (okay, it wasn’t always bliss- it was damn hard sometimes too) years turned into decades, and I would later wonder if I might have robbed them of the chance to see a mother with a career, pursuing goals outside the home, making money, earning a living.
Sure I would eventually pursue my creative goals while they were still young, but until they were nearly grown, it never took up more than a very small space in my life.
What if it wasn’t enough to be a female role model who was happy, had a healthy body image, a solid and loving relationship with their father? What if I was suppressing a deeper longing for fulfillment and leaving something very critical out of the equation?
Those were questions I would ask later – and I know it is a privilege to be able to ponder this.
At the time though, with a new baby girl added to our family, I just kept loving them all, and occasionally slipping away, for a few hours, a day or a weekend, to write down my thoughts. These thoughts would eventually, over the course of many years and words, lead to the birth of a creative vocation.
Did being such a later bloomer in this way deprive my daughters of something? (because this is what mothers always ask, right? How did I do for them? Was it enough? And don’t mothers of daughters demand an answer of themselves more so than mothers of sons? Or maybe not, I don’t know. I will never know.)
And would I have done it differently for myself?
Maybe? I don’t know.
Everything seems as it should be today, so probably not.
Does it really matter?