Is there a feeling that comes with being a mom? Biological mom, foster mom, step-mom, adoptive mom… hell even fur-mom! Do we all FEEL the same? I know that this may sound like a weird question or a “oh come on!” moment, but truly, I wonder.
What brought this on, Kim? I can hear you ask. I feel a bit weird admitting to what I am about to admit but I’ve always been raw and honest and this question hit me like a wall of bricks last week…
Setting: Campground. Beach side. On vacation.
Little one just spent the whole morning frolicking in the sand with his “cousins” and after an early lunch, we decided on an hour kayak/paddle ride prior to his nap. To say that he was burnt out with contentment thanks to the adventure, would be an understatement! Sound asleep, I was able to lift him out of that kayak, carry him back to our cabin and change him out of his wet clothes when I realised that we were locked out. He was so zonked that he snored as I wrapped him in a towel and sat down on a chair. Head on my chest. Little hands tucked in. He was at peace.
Just writing this, I breath in… I have this little feeling in my belly. Love. Content. Exhaustion and relief that I get to have a zen moment. I (of course) took a picture in that moment and, as I looked at it, thought “wow! That’s the face of happiness!”. However, I then thought to myself that I looked happy in that photo, I do glow – if I may say so myself – but how am I FEELING that happiness? This zenitude, this quiet belly warmth – was that enough of a feeling? There was no UMPH to it. Just a sort of quietness that felt good. A comfort. So (of course) that is when my brain went into overdrive… “Is this how a biological mom feels when their kid sleeps on their chest?”, “would the feeling be stronger or different if this child had come out of my body”, “would the attachment be the same if I was not simply a foster mom?”. I felt a tad guilty that I wasn’t aaah-ing and oooo-ing at this precious moment that I was sharing with this child. I was so very content, but should I be feeling more?
Later, after Timbits’ nap, we joined Alex’s family for dinner and while Alex was cooking, I dared ask. I expressed how beautiful of a moment I just had with our little one, but that I wondered if FEELINGS were different when you are the one who has given birth. Did this lack of strong feelings made me less of a mom? That’s when Alex’s brother chimed in and said that what I was feeling as a foster mom was probably the same kind of disconnected, yet powerful, love that fathers feel towards their children.
NEVER would I ever have made that connection. And for the first time since I started my fertility – and then foster – journey, I could imagine how dads (or the non-carrying partners) FEEL. How dads grasp and recognise the happiness that comes with the title. How they can love despite not having had that 9 months to connect on a deeper level.
But is there really a difference? Is it just something that I am making up because I did not carry this child and my insecurities make me feel less? Do fathers and other “type of moms” actually feel differently when compared to mothers who get to experience pregnancy?
The forever-learner in me wanted to give birth right there and then, just so that I could compare, see if the feelings were the same… then adopt and see if the feelings were the same… then become a step-mom and see if the feelings were the same… do an analytical study, come up with a AH HA! conclusion that would make it easier for us all to understand what being a parent FEELS like!
God knows that we have the same feelings of exhaustion, exasperation, amazement, content,… towards our children – may they be biological, foster, step, adoptive and even fur – but I do still wonder though. Would you have felt MORE than me in that scenario? Were my feelings strong enough to be considered those of a mom? Is there a “mom” feeling that only those who give birth will know and all of us will just never grasp?
Unrealistic… I know!
I am not too certain of that answer, but all I can say, is that in that moment, on that picture – it is definitely the face of happiness!
TO BE CONTINUED…
You make a great mom.
Everything is as it should be.
Thanks for sharing your amazing story ❤️❤️❤️
Ah thank you 🙏🏼
Dear Kim, everytime I read your post, I am in awe of your truthfulness. You voice questions that many may keep quiet, afraid of people’s perception. Reading your words is refreshing and you keep it real! I would like to say this though, you are as much of a mom as a biological can be..being a mom is more than carrying for 9 months. You care so much for your lil one, you should never doubt your feelings of what is and what isnt. Follow your heart and your mom’s instincts 💜. You’ve got this.
Ahhhhh wow – I truly appreciate your words ❤️
I honestly never even really thought of that question , guess cause I’ve birthed my kids , but I honestly don’t think there’s a difference in weather ur the birth mom , foster mom or step mom , in my opinion love is love , you never think that you can love someone so much you hardly know , I can tell you love timbit as if he was your own flesh and blood , My fiance loves my 3 older kids as they were his own , though he started raising my kids when they were 7 it was a whole different experience then now with our little one .
The heart know who it’s suppose to love and you care for that boy as if you birthed him. I enjoy seeing ur updates and videos of you and ur little man..
First of all, I’m so happy for you, Kim truly! Having gone through a difficult fertility journey myself (though mine concluded with the birth of my daughter) I think an overwhelming feeling that we both share is gratitude!! Gratitude of being able to experience motherhood… and that has nothing to do with pregnancy and childbirth, I think.
You ask a very interesting question, and I don’t really have an answer, other than…. Every case is different?
There are soooooo many factors that come into play, and I don’t think there is a universal “mom” feeling, might it be biological or not.
To the argument of Alex’s brother, One could reply that the bio dad still has a genetic connection to his child, even though he did not carry him for 9 months… But is biology even important? Bio moms have admitted feeling different towards each of their children.
All this to say, motherhood is SO intense in every possible ways… And it doesn’t have to be fireworks everyday (it rarely is) it’s just like you describe it: a mixture of exhaustion and contentment
In my experience anyway….
So beautifully expressed. Thank you ☺️
Kim, you are a wonderful, fur Mom, Foster Mom, I am sure you feel exactly the same way a birth mother would (Having said some birth Mothers do not have a conncection) I think you are wonderful & full of love and it does show in your happy face, wishing you a lifetime of more.
Kim you are amazing. That little boy is yours in more ways then you will ever know. He feels loved and protected in your arms. You are his mom, and your heart tells you so. You do look happy and you make a great mom. 🙂 I love reading your block, you are so real and refreshing. Thank you, and be proud.
Thank you so much Carla ❤️