I am not a mother — or at least I am not in any literal sense of the word. At the age of 53, I have never had children. Nor have I adopted any. And no matter how much I joke about my dog being my “child with fur”, I know that she really doesn’t count.
And yet, I have spent much of my adult life caring for children and young people in one way or another, as a child life specialist, a teacher, an honorary aunt and fairy godmother. I have also devoted the past 14 years of my career to teaching and advising others about how to best meet the needs of developing children. Sometimes I even feel a sense of deep maternal care and investment in my adult students, many of whom are millennials young enough to be my children.
But I am not a mother. So what does this mean when Mother’s Day rolls around? Continue reading