Monday, January 07, 2008

The surrogate

changing dipes, originally uploaded by toyfoto.

Ever ask your kid what they want to be when they grow up?

I know lots of people recoil from the answers, especially when said answer seems to pigeonhole a certain fairer gender into a role their mothers and grandmothers have been fighting against for generations.

For instance:

When the kid says "Nurse" the adult says, "Why not be a Doctor?"

When the kid says "Secretary" the adult says "How about being an Executive."

Of course no one gets too put out when the kid tells you they want to be a princess or a ballerina, because what are the odds? Right?

But when they say to you ... I want to be a mom and a wife ... what do you say?

I know lots of people, myself included, who say 'Yes, but you can be so much more.'

As I'm saying it -- as I'm telling my daughter that she can be a wife someday if she chooses to be, and she can be a mommy, too, but she can also be a writer or an artist or a lawyer or a banker or a politician or a nurse or a secretary as well if that's what she wants -- all I'm thinking is being a mommy is huge. It's perhaps the biggest thing she'll ever be, and to many, many, many people -- perhaps even herself one day -- it won't be enough.

Of course this mothering gig may never happen for Ittybit ... not the way she wants it to, anyway:

MOMMY: "What do you think you want to be when you grow up?

ITTYBIT: "I'm going to marry Elias when I grow up because I want to be a mommy. But I want you to born my babies, OK, because I don't want to get cut."

I guess now is as good a time as any to let her down gently. Hardly anyone's birthing plan ever goes the way they thought it would.


the mad momma said...

only you could write this beautiful post. you know - i always wanted to be just a mommy. till ppl told me that was not enough. but i am back to being just a mommy and writing on the side.. and i wish no one had told me it was not enough. nothing should be 'not enough'.

LOL@the birthing plan bit :)

Kelly said...

I'm guilty of marginalizing this dream of my daughter's to be a mom. It's not my intention to, of course, just as it's not my intention to trick her into thinking one can 'have it all' with just as much ease.

Perhaps it's my own discomfort at being 'just a mom' that's popping through.

Thanks for a thoughtful post.

carrie said...

My daughter and I have many of the same conversations.


Redneck Mommy said...

My daughter and I have had this same conversation. I hope that whatever path she chooses, she finds fulfillment and pleasure.

And I can keep my yapper shut in the meantime.

kittenpie said...

Mine, too, has been telling me she wants to be a mommy. I tell her, "You can be a mommy if you want. You can be a mommy and other things, too, if you want." I try to keep things wide open for her, but it's tough, isn't it?