The cover story on the current issue of Time Magazine asks the question: Are you mom enough?
To that, I answer with a much easier question: Did you pop a baby out of your vagina?
This story got me thinking about my sisters. One of my sisters gave birth for the first time at a pretty young age. The rest of the family basically ripped her a new asshole every day for the first few years, especially my older sister who hadn’t yet conceived. Now, my older sister has a perfect little baby of her own. This perfect little 1-year-old likes to lick electric sockets, play with knives, and eat dog food. My older sister has since stopped trying to tell my younger sister how to parent.
My point is that the experience of motherhood is completely unique to each situation. Is your kid still alive today? If so, you can consider yourself a good mother.
Maybe you had to work a lot when your kids were young in order to put food on the table. Did this interfere with your mothering time? Yes. Would your children be dead or fostered if you hadn’t worked so much? Quite possibly. My mother had to work to raise four kids on her own. Now, as adults we are well-adjusted, happy, genuinely awesome individuals.
Maybe you decided motherhood wasn’t for you and abandoned your kid. If so, you are probably an asshole and your kid is much better off without you. Staying away was the best thing you could do, and technically having the wherewithall and self-knowledge to know you would have been bad for your child’s well-being is pretty astounding in itself.
Nowadays, with the divorce rate skyrocketing, gay adoption issues, homeless babies in Malawi, and teen pregnancy statistics up it has become painfully apparent that there really are no rules when it comes to raising your child.
If you can make sure your child knows that it is loved, and keep it alive for 18 years until it can fend for itself then yes, you are mother enough.
All those other concerns are just judgy bullshit created to make you feel bad about yourself.