On Mothers and Motherhood

May 11, 2007

by Alice

I used to tell my mother that I didn’t think I could be a stay at home mom. I needed to be more social, have something to do with my days. What a cloud I lived in, thinking that the stay at home mothers didn’t have anything to do all day . . .

A woman I work with recently corrected me. I was asked a question to which I replied, “my mom didn’t work” and she quickly replied, “for pay, your mother didn’t work for pay, but SHE worked”.

A very close friend just had her first child at 42. She is a name partner at her law firm. She recently expressed to me how difficult it was to be away from work. She had come to rely on the praise she received from her accomplishments as a measure of her success. Being away on maternity leave left her with no way to measure her success. She had discovered that Motherhood does not provide the praise she had grown accustom to.

At one point in my life I wanted kids, I don’t anymore. I’m not sure if this will change at some point, just as at some point it changed before. But kids are pretty darn ungrateful, and I should I know, I was the worst.

The other day, out of the blue, I remembered that my mom unpicked the GUESS patch off a pair of my old jeans to apply to my new jeans to appease my need to feel cool when I was in junior high. Thank you mom.

Last year my mom sent me a picture of myself in grade school, me in my plaid uniform with a dorky white tie and hideous crooked teeth. For the first time ever I thanked my mom for braces. I don’t think I’ll ever be thanking her for the Little Orphan Annie haircut AND perm.

Last month my parents flew to San Francisco to visit me. We had a very nice long weekend together. My dad had to leave a day early. He was on his way to Korea for a conference. My mom and I had the last day together, just the two of us. All we did was talk. We talked about when my parents were first married, when they were in graduate school and had my brothers and lived in Pennsylvania, we talked about their first car, and how they struggled to make ends meet yet how much fun they had regardless of the struggles. It was a really nice visit and it was nice to have that day with just my mom to talk about our lives and mothers and motherhood.

I’m not sure if I ever want to be a mother, but I’m sure glad I have a mother.



  1. Alice, you’re not alone in feeling that way, I’m sure. I’m guessing it’s because motherhood is immeasurable that it’s so priceless, and so understated.

  2. Alice, very nice post. Thanks.

  3. This is very nice and informative post. I have bookmarked your site in order to find out your post in the future.

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