Is This Not Mothering?

I may not be an actual mother, but sometimes I get weary of mothering anyway. I take my husband, who has Alzheimer’s Disease, to the doctor and find myself explaining where we’re going and why and assuring him that the doctor will not hurt him. He will not give him any shots. As we walk, I hold his hand, not out of affection the way it used to be, but to keep him from getting lost or falling down. In the doctor’s office, I speak for him because he’s not good with words anymore. The doctor speaks mostly to me because my husband does not understand what he’s saying. When it’s over, I wait while he goes to the bathroom, then treat him to a hamburger. Is this not mothering?

Likewise, when I come home from a trip, I need to pick up my dog at the kennel. First, I wash her blankets and straighten out her bed. I make sure I have enough food and make an appointment with the vet for her shots. Then I go get her. She runs out of her cage, gives me a big wet kiss and jumps into the car. All the way home, she’s trying to get my attention. Pet me, love me, entertain me. Is this not mothering?

I recently read about a new website for Jewish women who are childless. It’s called Take a look. Even if you’re not Jewish, you may find something helpful.