Confession: I Was A Reluctant Mother


upset mother son jumping on couch
This reluctant mother found that motherhood was exactly what she needed.

And yes, when one boy is vomiting at 2 a.m., another needs multiple rides to retrieve forgotten textbooks and I must reschedule client meetings because of another half day, I agree. Wasn't this parenting gig your idea?

But Frank didn't force me. I leaped, knowing the landing might be bumpy.


I love my sons, now 16 and 12, with an intense ferocity I hardly understand. My work life is arranged (with noticeable financial consequence) so that I can be around before, like an unexpectedly thrilling lightning storm, they are gone—to college, larger lives, maybe spouses who want to have their babies.

When I was pregnant, I thought my logical—if ambivalent—attitude an advantage: I would be a mother who lives not for her children, but with them. Now, no matter how much I sometimes want my mothering duties to disappear, I wish I could keep these kids in my sights and arms forever. I used to worry that this wouldn't be enough for me. But a proverb says it's wise to want what one already has, and I do.

Lisa Romeo lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons. She works as a freelance writer and editor, and teaches writing online and in the Rutgers University Writing Program Extension. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, O-The Oprah Magazine, online and in literary journals and essay collections. She is at work on a memoir. Lisa has written for YourTango before, about marrying her opposite. You are invited to visit her website, and her blog about the writing life, and to follow Lisa on Twitter.