I stood, brushing my teeth, before the bathroom mirror.
“I don’t look like a mom.” This was the thought that went through my head, and then I wondered what I meant.
What does a mom look like?
I am not sure what a mom looks like, or if there is a “mom” look, but if there is, I don’t think it is me.
I have friends that look like “mom.” It isn’t that they are wearing clothes sporting baby spit or carrying the latest diaper tote on one shoulder with a baby on the other. It is just that there is something about them that says “mom.”
Perhaps it is that this is how they define themselves above and beyond anything else. They are, in their own minds, a mom. Although I am a mom, I do not identify myself with this role primarily. (That sounds weird, but it is true.) First I am a woman – a woman who happens to be a mom in addition to other things. But maybe that isn’t exactly correct. I define myself as me, The Exception, who happens to be a woman and a mom…
I have friends that identify themselves solely as mothers. Their lives revolve around their kids, which is exactly the way they want it. It isn’t that they aren’t people beyond the time they spend with their kids. They are. It is just that their role as parent is priority.
I know other mothers who strive to find their own existence as they are caught between the schedules of their children and their spouses. Continually running from work to event to the house to do all that is needed, they are always on the go. And yet, when I sit and chat with these friends, they define themselves as women first and foremost as well.
With this in mind, I consider the friends I have that are men and dads. To be honest, I don’t know that I could, if I didn’t know better, pick one of them out and say “That’s a dad.” This doesn’t mean that they are not dads or that they aren’t great dads. Perhaps it is just that they define themselves as men or professionals or whatever over their role as dad.
I finished brushing my teeth still not feeling as if I look like a mom, but then again, maybe we all do and don’t from time to time. Mothers and fathers come in so many different shapes and sizes. Who is to say what a “mom” looks like!!