Count the Bad Mommies

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Does It Ever Really Sink In?

I have a friend who is a very new mother. Her baby boy was born last Tuesday. She has been battling like I never imagined possible. Seemingly no natural maternal instincts, no idea of what can harm her baby.

It may seem judgmental to say that. And you might think that it's the pot calling the kettle black, and I wish I could help her, but her and her boyfriend seem to be refusing help. Which is very brave. I guess I have probably forgotten my own cluelessness far too quickly. Replaced it with memories of calm efficiency.

Well. Mostly I was calm. Mostly I was efficient, although not necessarily both at the same time. I sent her a message yesterday asking her how the first weekend went. She said it was intense, she never ever felt that out of control about something. But what really got me thinking was the fact that she said she didn't feel like a mother, that it hadn't really sunk in.

Then I realised I didn't really feel like a mother either.

Where am I going with this?

Simple. I want you all to write a post explaining when it is that you most feel like a mother. And when it is that you dont. When did you first realise that you were somebody's mother?


Tangerine said...

I honestly would say that, I don't feel like a mother when someone's telling me that I am a bad one or that I am not looking after my son. :( Yes this is true.



angel said...

cool! bad mommy homework!

Expensive Mistakes and Cheap Thrills said...

tangerine - i'm not saying she's a bad mother, she's very brave, in fact. to be trying it all on her own. without having gone to antenatal classes or read any books. i guess i'm just frustrated with her, is all. i learnt a lot of things the hard way, and it kinda makes me wanna prevent someone else from doing the same.

i wish i'd had someone who'd gone through the same thing as me, not so long before i did. i wish i'd had someone to learn from. might have saved me a bunch of guilt. thinking i was doing it wrong. when actually i wasn't.

angel: yay. cant wait to read what you have to say!

Malicious Intent said...

I think I have had an opposite effect. The second my first son was born it was like something hitting me over the head and I instantly felt like a mother. It was the best feeling in the world and I instinctively just did what I needed to do.

With that said, when my son was 2 he was diagnosed with severe autism and MR. Over the years (he is turning 15 in July) I have become more of a case worker/advocate for my son than a mother as that what his needs are now. I feel distant from him at times as he cannot talk and I do not have that same kind of bonding as I do with my 10 year old typical child. However, I know my oldest so well that I can just look at him and read him like a book and know what he is thinking about. We have to watch him like a hawk because of extensive behaviors such as darting (running away) self injurous shit, non-verbal (cannot talk) and the mentality of a 2 year old. So I am living in two different worlds at one time when it comes to being a mother and keeping one foot in each door gets a bit tricky now and then.

What I learn from my oldest usually is not something I can apply to my youngest. So I have to reinvent the wheel often.

angel said...

from my mommy darling: I have always felt I am a 'natural' mommy - from the day I found I was pregnant I was blissfully happy, I loved each baby before they even appeared and had very little hassles with the baby years - really!! But I must confess now that my babies are all adults I often think I was a bad mother many times thru their lives 'cos I blame myself for some of their choices which did not turn out too well for them ........ Bottom line: will a mommy ever feel she was good enough even part of the time??

Mom's reinvent the wheel with each child more often each day than we can recall!

Ydnic said...

I think sometimes i find it hard to be a mommy and never thought i was cut out to be one but now 10 years down the line if i look at my options of when i feel like a mom and when i dont - me feeling like a mom now out does me not feeling like a mom.

Some people are born naturally moms and some of us grow into it. But whatever one our children survive us.
on my list of when and when nots

angel said...


here's a post by dawn @ "the ross experience" letter about mothering

and here's ydnic's post

Eternally Curious said...

Hi! Angel has invited me to post on this homework assignment, and I think I will! Might take me some time, but I think I have a lot to say on this subject that might (hopefully) be helpful or at least insightful to others. Thanks Angel, and Bad Mommy Blog!