Recently, I took my four-year-old daughter on a lunch date. In between bites of chicken nuggets, we chatted about what jobs she might want to do when she grows up. We talk about it quite often, and I love to hear the creative things she comes up with. Typically it involves animals in some way (a dolphin trainer is a frequent choice), but she also tends to pick up on different things she's seen other people do (she's brought up crossing guard and photographer as options before). I honestly can't remember what specific occupation she chose this time, but I do recall the conversation that followed. 

I asked her if in addition to all of her career opportunities, she might think thought she'd want to be a mom. Without hesitation, she looked me right in the eye, and replied (in a very matter of fact tone): "I already am a mama."

"Really?" I questioned her.
"Yeah. Because I'm a girl. And girls are mamas." {Shrugs. Resumes eating her fries.}

So we clearly have some teaching opportunities ahead of us. But for now I just giggled, and we went on with our chatting (and Frosty eating).

But as I thought about it later, I realized that beyond the innocent silliness of her comment, I was struck by the confidence with which she spoke. Of course she'd be a mama. To her, it went without saying. She hadn't put much thought into it. She just saw it as a given...something she had been created to be. She's a girl, so she's a mama. Done deal. (never mind the fact that she doesn't actually have any babies. Minor detail.)

I love this perspective. It's so delightfully simple, and unencumbered by the pressure, the fear, and the guilt we grown-up girls tend to feel. The path to motherhood can be riddled with anxiety- when will it happen? How will it happen? When it does, will I be good at it? Will it fulfill me? Will it overwhelm me? And even after being bestowed with the title of mama, the worry and insecurities don't stop. Am I doing things right? Am I measuring up? Should we have more? Can we handle more? What does it feel like to be "done"?

But my daughter doesn't know all those questions yet. Right now, she has total faith in her ability to be the thing her heart desires, and complete trust that she'll be equipped for the task. She doesn't worry about how or when it will happen. She doesn't question if she'll be good enough. She knows and believes two things: She wants to be a mama. So she will.

I see my daughter's simple outlook and I want that trust for myself. 
And I want it for you.

For those of you who don't have kids yet, but desperately want to...and those of you who do have kids, and feel the urge to add to your family. For those of you moving from "having babies" to "raising babies", and wondering what that means for you as a mom. For those of you considering adoption. For those of you with step-children. For those of you exploring what it might look like to show a mother-type of love to children outside of your family...

No matter what form motherhood technically takes in your life...No matter when it comes, how hard it is, or how it changes over time...If you care for people born from your body, or within your heart, then you're already a mama. 

And a dang good one at that.


Courtney is a mama to two wild girls and a sweet new(ish) baby boy. You can connect with Courtney on her blog, Bowdenisms, or on Instagram: @bowdenisms.