Gretchen’s response: am I a “mother” or a “father”?

Every week or so, one of us will post a new question related to parenting, gender, and being gay, and then each blog a response, not to exceed 500 words. If you’re a blogger and have something to say on the topic, we’d love for you to join the conversation. You can post your answer on your blog and then link to it in the comments of the original question post.

Here’s this week’s question:

Do you think of yourself as a “mother”? A “father”? Something in between? Why?

Father? No. Too harsh and wrong-gendered. Except on forms that ask for the Mother/Father’s names. Then I’m the father and I like it. It makes me feel strong and subversive. In your face you close-minded institution, you.

Mother? Well, not quite right either. Though maybe it’s just the word “mother” that I’m not. It feels too cold and one-dimensional. Even the word “mothering” feels not quite right to me, but for opposite reasons. Too soft and smothering.

Mama? Yes. This is right. It is both tender and tough. Gentle and giant. It is a parent who lays down the serious law and then lies down on the floor to play with her kids. It is someone who Gets Things Done. Someone who Takes Care of It. It is a parent who is profoundly trusted and slightly feared. A parent who is creative and deep and warm and a whole lot silly.

I don’t know. At least that’s who I want to be; it’s how I imagine “mama.” Is it in between father and mother? Maybe. Though I fancy it somewhere just off to the side.

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3 thoughts on “Gretchen’s response: am I a “mother” or a “father”?

  1. Pingback: .gender dissonance. « .breaking into blossom.

  2. Pingback: Gender, parenting, and being gay: recap of question 2 | Regular Midwesterners

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