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What makes me a mom?

 
Can non-biological parents love their kids as much as biological parents?
sad mom and daughter
By Terri Lailvaux

Pic: Shutterstock

Article originally in Parent24
I have been asked many times whether non-biological parents feel the same way about their kids as biological parents do.  Are they able to bond and is that deepness of emotion achievable?

There are many ways to create a family.  Adoption, surrogacy, step-parenting, donors, fostering and probably more. What makes a mom?  What makes ME a mom?

It’s that constant pull between joy and terror.  Joy at watching my child run, play, laugh, grow, learn and sleep.  Terror that something bad will happen to him, that he will get hurt physically or emotionally, that I could be doing a better job parenting him.  Worrying about his safety and his education and his future are part of my daily life.

If you look like a mom, and act like a mom, then you’re a mom, right?

When I hold him and wipe his tears and reassure him that everything will be ok, that is me being the best mom I know how to be.  When I try to ensure a healthy lifestyle including equal amounts of learning, playing, exercise, balanced meals and rest, that’s me being “super-mom”.  Juggling work to attend the school play or sports day; missing adult dinner parties to take care of my sick child; spending what seems like hours going through homework; all that make me a mom.

Hard work brings endless reward

The things that make me a mom are pushing the swing in the park for ages, making endless peanut butter sandwiches, cleaning up spilt juices, lifting from school to sport to parties to play-dates, accepting that my house can never be as perfect as I want it to be and waking up at 6am to play Lego – despite only getting to bed really late the night before. 

But there are also the kisses, the “huggles”, the morning cuddles in bed, the “I love you mom!!” 20 times per day, the laughing, tickling and tumbling on the bed, the snuggling together to watch a one hundredth re-run of Ben10 or Shrek and the gazing down at my sleeping child every night before I go to bed.  I stand there wanting to just breathe him in and absorb him and etch that moment into my memory forever.

I had no idea that love could be this deep, this consuming, this beautiful and this painful.  My child has taught me the true power of unconditional love.  I want to protect him and shield him and please him and squeeze him! 

Being a mom is really, really hard but so, so worth it. 

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
 
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