Mothers in a box

I want to say this: “I gave birth to my baby a few months ago. But somehow, I don’t see myself as a mother.”

A strange thing to say.

Let me try again.

“I don’t feel like I am a mother…”

Still strange.

If I describe this feeling very literately, it’s like the following:

There’s a certain way I thought all the mothers are supposed to behave and “be”. I believe, subconsciously I used my own mother as a prototype for the content of this box. And all the other mothers, more or less, fit into this category.

They are loving, strong, fearless, sometimes unreasonable, sometimes simple but wise, gentle, strict, controlling, protective…

I know what you are going to say. “But these are just adjectives to describe people. Anyone can be described with one or more of these words.”

But come on, you know what I mean.

They are not just like one or all of the above adjectives.

They are… mothers.

“Mother” is not a cluster of adjectives. It feels like a huge box that contains much more.

But I don’t think I fit into this category. Maybe it’s just how I see myself. Maybe for others, I am already a mother. And I’m right there in that category box with all the other mothers in this world, including my girlfriends whom I’ve known since we were kindergarteners, and the cat I know who just got kittens.

But what if I’m wrong?

What if there’s no such category? Maybe there are just human beings being motherly loving to their children. Yes, they are mothers. But they are still humans. They are humans before the birth of their children, and afterwards they are still the humans as they were before.

What’s added is just their love for their children.

I expected myself now to be more different than before. To my surprise, I haven’t changed much in the last two months.

I still love food, Pablo Naruda and Viola Davis.

I still like to watch people putting on makeups and outfits but not to do that myself.

I still love torturing myself with philosophical questions, self-doubts, and self-induced existential anxieties…

I’m still me.

I have another person in my life for whom I’m responsible for the next 18 years. I have experienced enormous, surreal love for life and this world. I have encountered the version of myself that is extremely brave and strong.

I’ve evolved in some ways. But I am still a human.

I am a mother now.

But I am still me.

And I don’t want to try to fit in a box.

If you have put yourself in that box. Well, get rid of the box.

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