Why I Left My Mom Genes in the Fitting Room

A beautiful woman wearing her mom genes

A beautiful woman wearing her mom genes

I had the feeling as soon as I picked them up that they were not my style. Still, I wanted to give it a try since millions of women rave about them, so I took them to the fitting room.  After much tugging and tucking, some wiggling and wrestling, and more bouncing and breath-holding I came to the expected conclusion. No matter how I might try to force it those mom genes simply did not fit.

It turns out that I am one of those women for whom motherhood is just not in the cards. Throughout my adult life I have had moments of wonder, but after brief reflection came to the correct conclusion that though something may have been missing, this was not it. While I do have a care-taking, nurturing instinct, I have no maternal instinct. I do not feel the pull, or the calling, or any other thing that is natural in those who want children. The idea of breastfeeding, changing diapers, and late night crying leaves me more than a bit freaked out. Even the vision of giggling playtime, sweet baby smell, and unconditional love is not enough to wedge me into my mom genes.

My genetic code is missing the mom gene

My genetic code is missing the mom gene

Moms, please do not misinterpret me here. I love your kids, honestly I do. I just also happen to love the fact that they are not my kids. This does not mean that I do not want to spend time with you and your pack. I love it when you invite me in as an adopted member of your tribe. You see, while I cannot get into mom genes I can slide easily into my “cool aunt” genes. I look quite good in them, and it is a role that I cherish.

I have been known, on more than one occasion, to burst into tears at the mere sight of one of your wee ones. I can converse fluently with your four-year-old, though I admit to needing your interpreting skills for the gibberish dialect that comes from your two- and three-year-olds. I can hold your toddler in my arms while you finish your meal in a restaurant. I can teach your son the basic rules of football and baseball. I can immerse myself in whatever imaginary world your kids are playing in on a given day. Not only can I do these things, I enjoy doing these things. I also enjoy leaving at the end of the visit to return to the childless sanctuary that I call home.

The truth is I love watching my mom friends slide comfortably into their mom genes. I am in awe of all you mommies out there every day rocking your mom genes, strutting your stuff to and from school, dance class, football practice, and doctor appointments. The same goes for you daddies in your dad genes (although maybe we should opt for some dad khakis instead because the mental picture of bad mom jeans is made that much worse when it is one of bad dad jeans). What you do is nothing short of incredible, this shaping of the future. I am thankful for you and for the mom and dad genes you wear so well.

I realized that my path, my purpose, did not include the wearing of mom genes. So it was that I took one last backward glance at them as I exited the fitting room. It was not a wistful, melancholy glance, but rather one accompanied by a small smile. I was secure in knowing they were not meant for me. Instead, I knew that those genes would be carefully folded and returned to the display to await their perfect fit.

My kind of jeans

My kind of jeans

(All photo credits to http://www.pixabay.com)

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90 thoughts on “Why I Left My Mom Genes in the Fitting Room

  1. This story is, in many ways, my own. I have tried on many genes, wondering what will fit and flatter and what won’t. Wife genes looked great, once I found the right pair. I’ve always loved my skinny genes. Tall genes have never fit, and I doubt I’ll grow into them.

    Mom genes have stayed on the rack, and will remain there in the face of their popularity and my mother-in-law’s urging to try them. They’re all wrong for me, but I know lots of women who will love them.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have found I am most comfortable in my wife genes, too. And we have two sets of disappointed would-be grandparents who have come to terms with things. As for my skinny genes…well, they were mysteriously replaced with not-so-skinny ones once I passed forty. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. What a great metaphor–genes! When I found myself surprisingly pregnant (structural issues prevented me for a while), I knew I was blessed, but I was terrified! I even asked my own mom if when the baby was born I would want to tease it like I did my poor cat. She said that I would never want to and she was right. Funny how if you are on that path, your mom genes kick in. Cheers to you for your willingness to accept your beliefs. Great post and very brave 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • The very thought of the thousand different ways I could do it all wrong are enough to terrify me. I think if fate had made it so I would have been able to somehow find those genes hidden deep inside. Luckily I can stick to taking care of the cat! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Nothing wrong with knowing your own size and fit! 🙂 Gene fit is not an exact science – and heaven knows there are plenty of genetic “muffin tops” out there who would have been better off really thinking analytically about what gene size and shape truly fits! Excellent metaphor, btw… wish i had come up with it first, but then, i am one of those who fit the mommy Genes. And grandmommy Genes… 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Karen, I love your honesty and your metaphor. Both inspiring! Sometimes we really do try too hard to wear certain genes in life, when really we need to do what we feel is best. I love that you are so kind in regards to those who have chosen to be mothers–we really can be kind and loving to everyone despite the road or genes they have chosen in life! Beautiful post, Karen. Love it! Oh, and Happy New Year!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Where would we be without mommies? 🙂 I wanted to make sure when I wrote this that while motherhood is not my path I would never trivial it in any way. I am a believer that it truly is the most important job. Thanks, as always, for reading Marla! Here’s to a wonderful 2015 for all of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have absolutely no interest in being a mother. I love kids, I really do, but I don’t want them at all.
    That said, I’m still young, so that may change in 10 years. But I just feel no desire to always HAVE to be thinking about a child, which is what moms do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think that part of the reason why I knew it wasn’t for me is that I am inherently lazy and somewhat selfish of my time- two traits that do not mesh well with parenting! You have both time and the prerogative to change your mind…or not. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Another great post Karen. I have got Mummy genes, but as I change shape now and again, they don’t always fit properly, but I still struggle to pull them on and they just about do up! You have lots of other pairs of genes that fit you better, and I bet your cool Aunty ones are a fantastic fit. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love how everyone has been carrying through the metaphor to the comments! I wasn’t sure it would come across right when I wrote it, so this makes me happy. Thank goodness my aunt genes fit as none of my actual jeans currently do! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow, beautifully written! Such a cool idea to write this in the way you did.

    I also don’t fit into mom genes. I have been told that when I get older I would grow into them, but I don’t think that’s the case. The mom genes aren’t my style either, and they would never fit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for reading, commenting, and the follow. I love your blog and will be following.
      I can honestly say I never had the desire to be a mom, and I knew it from a young age. You can change your mind or not. As you said in your post- Don’t want one, don’t have one! Best, Karen 🙂

      Like

      • Thank you for the follow. 🙂 I’m so glad I stumbled on your post. It was such a creative perspective, and so fun to read.

        I have always been that way, too. I remember dreaming abour traveling to new and exotic places, not living in a small town with kids. I always wanted to do big things, and I knew that being a mom wasn’t a part of that future.

        Like

  8. Hello Karen! Great post. I too have no desire to have children and as I stare my 40th birthday in the face it is now as unlikely as it ever was. More than apathy that some people seem to feel, I have been actively opposed to having them and that’s unlikely to change now.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful post. I can certainly relate. I’m at the stage where I’m paused in the doorway, looking back into that fitting room, wondering if maybe I ought to give the mom genes one more chance just in case they somehow miraculously fit this time. Closing the door on them carries a finality I’m not ready to face yet, but I think a part of me knows it’s only a matter of time before I turn my back on them for good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It happened for me with great finality within the past two years. I went through a period where I felt an emptiness and a dissatisfaction with life in general. I had to do some deep soul-searching to include this topic. I realized that it was career oriented. That coupled with hitting my forties sealed the deal.

      Like

    • Thank you for taking the time to read! I’ve been over at your blog, and wow, you are so talented! I do not have any crafting ability, but I am a fair baker. I may have to try that dark chocolate and orange cake!

      Like

  10. This is amazing. I love this.

    I have a few friends who are childless because they choose to be childless and I am amazed by the things they tell me that people say to them. Why do people even have an opinion?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why do people have an opinion?! I get all kind of looks when I tell people I’m married for 17 years with no kids. You can see the mental wheels turning and know they are thinking, “I wonder what’s wrong with her?” I’m all about moms (mine is awesome), I just don’t choose it for me.

      Like

      • People are weird. I get looked at cross eyed when people find out I’ve been married three times. Then I find out some people have opinions about it. Really? They weren’t there..how could they have an opinion?

        Like

  11. I followed your link from your comment in the Community Pool feedback post and I am so glad I did!
    I know I am quite young and probably don’t have a credible view on mum genes (as parenthood is far far off at the moment), but when I look into my future, I don’t see myself with children. In my heart, I feel that the mum genes are not quite right for me, even though society demands otherwise. Maybe I might change my mind and feel that urge when I hit late 20s, but it’s nice to know that there are people out there that are happy with no children, and most importantly are not looked down because of it

    I adore your refreshing writing style as well as your layout and header which drew me in immediately and compelled me to explore more. I am most definitely adding you to my reading list so I can aspire to write as eloquently as you do. 🙂

    At the risk of coming off as a shameless self-promoter, I would really appreciate it if you could glance through my own newly hatched blog and give me constructive feedback and support.

    http://miscellaneousdreams.wordpress.com/

    Much love
    Ash 🙂

    Like

    • Hi Ash,
      Thanks for finding my blog! You have plenty of time to find out what “genes” will fit you best, and you have the right to change your mind a thousand times, too. Thank you for the compliment on my writing, it’s nice to know people are connecting! I have visited your blog (love it) and left my comments on your site and on the community pool. Keep writing!
      Best,
      Karen

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Some of my wisest friends are phenom aunties but knew they weren’t cut out for having kids. Kudos to you for figuring it out instead of being a lemming. I love being a mom–but you have to really want it to survive the tough days!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I meant to comment when this post first went up and forgot – sorry! I have also known all of my life I did not want to be a mother. I am the fun aunt, a role I embrace with zeal. But I knew early on I did not want to have the responsibility. I have always been open about this with the men I date and sometimes it is a deal breaker. That’s OK though, because I feel it’s important to be honest sooner rather than later. You can wear whatever genes or jeans you want.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I love wordplay and especially when it’s this meaningful. I too don’t wear dad genes. Not entirely by choice, but not with any regrets either. I’m just glad to realize that I don’t need to have children to be a complete person. I just wish they had an Uncle’s day once a year so I could get more chocolate or a new wrench.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No kidding, we aunts & uncles should have a day! There is a woman, Melanie Notkin, who runs a site called Savvy Auntie. She has established a day in July as Auntie’s Day, but I don’t think my family has bought into it yet…Oh, and she refers to us as PANKs (Professional Aunt No Kids) so I told my husband that makes him a PUNK, a title you may want to claim! 😉

      Like

    • Thank you. I know when I tell people we’ve been married for 17 years and have no children they inevitably tend to look at me like I’m somehow broken. I believe it is because the call to motherhood is so deeply strong for many women that they cannot imagine not having the desire. I can understand that as well, and like you said it comes down to personal choice. Thanks so much for stopping by and participating in the conversation!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I applaud you & everyone that’s commented and embraced their ‘genes’. Someone once told me I wasn’t really a parent until I had more than one child. I’m enjoying my half-parenting life with my one awesome child. My genes only stretched that far and I’m OK with it, too 🙂

    Like

  16. Its awesome when someone knows their size and what fits them- I think it makes them a better person. From the culture I come from, you dare not decide that- it comes with the package of being married- wearing the mum genes. BTW- I love the terminology you used ‘genes’! It was so easy to paint a picture in my head in relation to what you were really talking about.
    Nice to meet you too! #Suzie81SpeaksPartyGuest

    Like

  17. Pingback: Impromptu Blog Party- Tropical Storm Style | Fill Your Own Glass

  18. Reblogged this on Fill Your Own Glass and commented:

    In honor of my blog’s upcoming one year anniversary later this month I thought that I would share some of my most viewed posts from the past year, along with some of my personal favorites. This post is my fourth most viewed post, and it is one of my most personal pieces in which I talk about why being a mom was not in the cards for me. Thank you all for each and every visit you have made here!

    Like

  19. I remember a time fresh out of high school when a friend mentioned she never wanted to have children. I was shocked; I figured she would change her mind. She didn’t and it suits her so well and now I find myself envious of her at times. Once you put the mom genes on, there’s just no going back, there’s never a respite. No regrets, I’d just like a break every now and again. Someone said something about 22, when my kids reach 22, maybe things will become a little easier.

    Like

  20. Thanks for sharing this, Karen.
    I imagine that this must have been a difficult decision. But it sounds good to hear that you came to terms with it. Then it must have been a relief once you made up your mind about this.
    I love the way the article is written. Great metaphors and really entertaining. Thanks for reposting this.

    Like

  21. Hi Karen,

    I’m so glad you know who you are.

    Because the truth hurts. There are so many people, men and women, hurting themselves by trying to fit into genes that’s too tight and painful.

    Instead of admitting they can’t handle the Moms or Pops genes, they try to blame others. It’s okay to make mistakes and ask for help.

    The truth is learning to love the genes you have and take responsibility for your actions.

    And that’s what you have done by knowing who and whom you are.

    Thanks,
    Vernon

    Like

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