What is a Mother? Defining What a Mother is and Defining 'Self' in the Process.

I am a mother, great but what does that mean? I have a lot of roles in my life, the largest one at this moment and the most life altering one has been that of mother. The question was asked of me tonight, who are you? or more appropriate, who am I? At first I had no answer but then I opened my mouth and out popped, I am a mother.

It occurred to me though, what does that mean? That I popped out two kids and now I feed cloth and tell them what to do. It has to be more than that, what is a mother?

When my son was born I was a new mother and with that came a whole lot of change and upheaval. For 24 hours a day I was at his beck and call, feeding him, dressing him, changing him, rocking him, entertaining him, and loving him. Then as he grew older my role changed he learned how to talk, walk and use the toilet. He dresses himself and makes his own friends separate from family friends.

My role as a mother changed when I went back to work the first time and then when I stayed home after my daughter was born. Now it has changed again as both are in school full time and I'm back at work.

The role changed in that I was not needed to do the same types of things for my children, but that still doesn't answer the question what is a mother? What does that mean? I am a mother.

I teach them to be independent of me and figure out things on their own. I encourage them to love each other and take care of each other. I am in essence working myself out of a job, soon they'll make their own money and provide for themselves. So what is a mother?

What is it that makes someone a mother? Any woman can have a baby or raise a child but what makes them a mother? Does the answer to this question really matter? Does my 'self' or identity really center on the role, or does the statement I am a mother mean more then just the role of mother? Do I exist outside of my role as a mother or is being a mother who I am and everything I do I should do as a mother. If so what is that?

Just a question, a thought, a glimpse into the insanity of identity. Who are any of us really? I am but an extension of my upbringing, an extension of my mother, my grandmothers, my heritage and now an extension of my children. So does it really matter who I am? I am a mother.

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