She Has No Maternal Instincts

This is not my mother.

That urge to just love your baby, no matter what?

I’m not quite sure my mother has it.

I want to believe what she says: that she loves all her children, that she wants to raise Joy and take care of her, that she wanted to stay home with us… but then, when I look at what she does, I don’t know.

Here are some of the things she said (and did) when I visited this past weekend:

“My goal is not to buy her any clothes. I mean, what’s the point? I’ma just put her in a onesie and put her on a blanket.”

I’m sure this is something you say by your fourth child. It has to be. And yet… I see moms come to school with their fourth child dressed to the nines. So… I dunno. Is dressing your child indicative of your love for them?

The baby is crying on the bed. An alarm has gone of to feed her over an hour ago. I’d asked my mom if she’d wanted me to wake up the baby back then, but she’d said no, for me to finish eating first (so that when the baby did wake up, I could feed her, while she finished cleaning). When the baby woke up, I wasn’t done eating, so I couldn’t feed her. Mom, meanwhile, didn’t even look at her, didn’t go see how she was doing.

Again, this might be a parenting decision. I know not to jump every time a child cries. But for an infant? Of barely 2 months old? (2 days if you count her premature status.) They need to know the world is safe. They need to know their needs will be responded to

They need to know they’ll be heard.

I’m not sure my mother ever heard any of us.

“I found these,” she holds up two pregnancy tests, “and it made me cry. And these,” ultrasound pictures. “This has not been a good experience.” She proceeds to throw them all in the trash.

Things that should have been happy mementos for any loving parent.

Again, I don’t know. I don’t have four kids. Perhaps by that last one I’ll be throwing away these things, too. But I don’t think so. I think I’d like to keep them, especially so my child can have a way to know about herself and the time before she was born; so she could know that we wanted her to come and be part of our family, and that we were so excited to meet her.

The baby is crying. Mom tells me, “You better hurry up and get over there!”

Again… maybe…?

I seriously don’t know about this one. Like, why couldn’t you just go tend to her for a bit until you could give her to me?

They said eight weeks? I’ma have her everywhere. I’ma rotate her through people’s houses.

Mom rejoicing in the fact that she soon won’t have to raise her child at all – she’s just gonna house-hop her until she’s grown!

You better be ready for me to drop her off at you and TM’s place for the weekend. Like, “Hello!”

Aaaand this is why TM didn’t want them knowing where we live. I couldn’t understand it at the time, but now I just feel bad…



If I hadn’t told anyone I probably wouldn’t have gone through with it. But NAunt2 made me tell everyone, and then I felt bad.

Once again, one of the dozens of times my mother has told me that she would have rather had an abortion than any kids. Only this time, baby Joy is a part of it, too.

It seems like the further I got down this list, the fewer excuses I could come up with. Yeah, the not buying clothes and wanting to drop her off elsewhere in and of themselves are not indicative of her being a bad mom…

But coupled with that last bit?

I think it’s a safe bet.


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