The Shape of a Mother

Familiar with the incompatibility adage a square peg in a round hole? That’s basically the situation between motherhood and me. If motherhood were a round hole, I’m surely a square peg that can’t ever fit into it. I don’t even take to the idea of being cut and smoothed to fit. People often tease me about getting practice for motherhood with my niece and nephews, but I always say that all the things I do for my sister’s kids are purely “aunt duties” — I can’t do more than those and I refuse to do more than those.

My strictly “aunt” stance has partly to do with the many differences in principles my sister and I have when it comes to raising children. For example, my sister doesn’t believe in spanking — I do. I have a more biblical leaning when it comes to child rearing practices, while my sister turns to psychology books. She also doesn’t want her children to engage in heavily competitive situations because she knows that will make her greatly competitive as well. As for me, I don’t really mind.

Thus, whenever my niece and nephews get into a situation wherein my sister’s “mothering” principles need to be upheld, I’m always like, “Go to your mom — I can’t deal with this.” Every time people hear me say that, I always get comments like, “You really aren’t cut out to be a mother,” or “You can’t be a mother, you give up too easily” and if my mother’s nearby, you can bet your stars she’ll add, “Not fit to be a wife, too.”

Well, some women are meant to be wives and mothers, some are meant to be nuns, and some are meant to be just old maid aunts, like me — that’s just how things are. The world has very specific roles for everybody, and I think while I’m not shaped to be a mom, I’m pretty great as an aunt. Like yesterday, I noticed that my niece’s feet are getting really big so I told her that the moment she and I share the same shoe size, she can borrow all my shoes. Her eyes lit up because she loves my collection of boots. I also told her before that if I die, and grandpa and nannie are in heaven already, she, Cam and Sawyer will get everything I own. She pouted sadly at me and said, “I don’t want you to die.” Come on, if I weren’t a great aunt, would my niece say that?

Anyway, while there are some things I cannot do for them, the little ones know that when it comes to food, I’m the one to turn to. I’m a pretty good cook, and aside from that, I don’t mind busting my budget buying them what they want. Cam, my nephew, has very specific choices especially when it comes to drinks — he doesn’t like really sweet beverages and he hates soda and other carbonated drinks. He always goes for healthy drinks for children, and often the really expensive ones. We went to this nice café once and he demanded for this big bottle of special coconut water, which was more expensive than the juice and carrot cake I ordered — Aunt C had to use her credit card because of that! He managed to drink it all in two days, and the pretty bottle’s reusable, so it was definitely not a waste of money. As for Sawyer, he still eats everything (dirt, lint, snot — you name it, he eats it). I don’t think he will be making me use my credit card anytime soon.

There’s no doubt the shape of a mom is super special, but there’s no shame in not wanting to be one. I’m proud of my “aunt shape” — I’m fun and it’s almost impossible for me to say no to what my niece and nephews want.

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