I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. “This” being motherhood. As some of you may know I adopted a puppy back in May which means I have joined the club of “furmoms” or “pupmoms” or whatever you want to call it. Puppy-motherhood destroys your life in a very specific way. I do not leave my house without thinking about her last meal and her next meal, her last potty break and her next one, or her sad puppy eyes and my puppy-abandoning guilt. I am constantly yelling my dog’s name in various tones, sometimes gleeful tones others not-so-gleeful. I am always finding new, mangled versions of items that I once liked or loved and I kid you not, every conversation can become a conversation about my dog; “Oh, your friend Jenny? She has a friend named Nia? That is so funny because my puppy’s name is Mia. With an M.” Yeah, I hate me too.
So being absolutely covered in puppy-motherhood 24/7 and to be 100 percent honest not always loving it, I have started to wonder if I am cut out to be a real mother, you know like to a human baby. See because human babies grow up to be real, walking, talking, opinion-having, functioning (God willing) members of society and while puppy-motherhood can destroy your life in a very particular way, there seem to be about a million different unique ways in which you can mess up raising a human baby.
My visual of a “good mom” is an image of my own mother, who wiped every tear and bandaged every scrape, who cooked every dinner and attended every basketball or volleyball game, who was a champion, a model of self-confidence and self-respect, who showed me how to know my worth and how to demand that others did too. My mother was a warrior armed with tissues, snacks, a northern attitude, an eyelash curler and blush, and I played house as a child trying to mother my plastic doll babies in that same gentle and firm manner that she mothered me. Now, years later I play house in a different, but very familiar way. I have replaced my plastic kitchen that Santa gave me with an apartment away at school and my plastic doll is now a living, breathing, 5-month-old Pit mix named Mia. I still find myself wondering if I’m like her. Am I kind and attentive and nurturing like she is, but also firm and decisive and straightforward? Do I command obedience and respect? Do I pour out love? Am I even tempered and patient? Most days I’d be over-critical of myself and say, “no, no, nope and definitely not”, but then something slips out of my mouth that is quintessentially mom, and ease washes over me at the thought that maybe after all these years, I have turned out to be something like her.
Children and motherhood (the real, hard kind) are not on my radar at all right now. I’d really like to see more of the world before I bring life into it. I joke all the time that my maternal instincts have died because I no longer want to be babysitting or nannying or volunteering in preschools or with kids in any capacity really, but after a while, you’ve got to wonder “holy heck am I ever going to like kids? Am I ever going to want to have them?”
We are so much more than just mothers or mothers-to-be. This life of mine is not a means to an end, where everything I do is centered on inching myself towards marriage and motherhood. We are allowed to not want the things that society tells women to want. You can want to never get married. You can want to never have kids. Or never stay-at-home. Never cook. Never drive a mini-van. Never wear makeup. Whatever your never is. I support it and whatever brought you to it.
I think you’re also allotted seasons filled with temporary nevers where you don’t want things; things that you used to want or will want in the future. I think God turns your heart away from some things and towards others during moments when you need it. I do want children, but I do not want them now or soon. I want them for my future self. I want kids for the future Andreanna who has done all she wants to before having kids and feels ready to have them. I do not want them now so that she can want them then.
This season my heart is turned towards puppies and dogs, however. So if you would like to talk to me about how you got your dog to stop barking or what breeder you got your silver lab from or if you’re just dying to have a conversation shifted from your friend Nia to my dog Mia, feel free to comment or reach out to me on social media 🙂 OR you can check out Mia’s Instagram (you had to know that was coming) @missmiathermopolis