Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Motherhood Equation - Essay #2

*What motherhood means to Francesca, mother to 2.5-year-old Bianca*

They say that the bond between a child and a mother is the strongest possible bond there is.

I’m a full time student and my husband is a stay-at-home dad. I’ve found that motherhood as it’s defined by society is being the center of your child’s care and the center of your child’s life. Being the one your child looks to first when they’re hurt or tired.

I don’t know anything about this kind of motherhood.

When my daughter is sick or hungry her dad is the first person she wants. When she asks me to run with her around the house, it’s for her to run away from me and for her dad to “protect” her. When I hold her in my arms, staring into her beautiful dark brown eyes and fondly ask, "are you my baby?" she answers with a coy smile, "no, daddy baby."

I laugh and pretend she’s made a funny joke, because I know that’s the right thing to do. She only speaks the truth of her experience. She is daddy’s baby.

I feel left out at times. Sometimes when we’re out shopping she won’t let me push the stroller because she wants daddy to. Sometimes she asks for milk, but doesn’t want me to give it to her because she needs daddy to.

I’m working toward a Ph.D. in cellular biology. I’m not even sure if it will earn me a decent paying job when I graduate. I’m scared to death I’m working so hard for little return on investment later.

But sometimes when she hears me come home, she runs and jumps on me and gives me a big hug. Sometimes when I hold her she puts her hand to the side of my face and says "mommy beautiful hair." Sometimes it feels like she’s really mine.

My most favorite time with my daughter is when daddy isn’t around. I urge him to go to rugby practice as much as he can. I try to convince him to spend the weekend at a friend’s house. Why? Because when it’s just me and her I am mommy. She wants my attention. She’s excited to be with me and wants me to play games with her. Sometimes we go shopping or just play outside, it doesn’t matter. It’s just fantastic that she is enjoying her time with me.

And if I have a week or two off, it gets really good. She’s so excited that I’m home everyday and by the end of the week she’s coming to me as much she goes to him.

Motherhood comes down to time spent. The more you put in the more you get out. But it also means sacrifice. Sometimes motherhood is sacrificed to give our children a home and an enriched life. Though they may not understand our absence now, they will be proud of our hard work later. That’s what I hold on to when daddy’s baby doesn’t want me around.

*Francie* *October 5, 2010* *490 words*


  1. Francesca, this is beautiful. I cried. You have a very lucky little girl.

  2. Thanks Sarah. I was afraid it was going to come off as too depressing.