The Mom Gene

Outtakes 338

The Mom Gene

By Cait Collins


Our minister and his wife have three lively toddlers. They can be really sweet and then get busy. I have wondered how his wife will manage three kids and a baby. I volunteered to let one of the boys sit with me during services, but both boys wanted to sit with me. I thought, “Why not? I can handle this.”

I was so wrong. You see, I don’t have the Mom gene. I tried explaining to a four year old why he could not play with my antique matched jade bead necklace. My sister shook her head and handed him her necklace. My sister could hand one a crayon while preventing the other one from dumping a bible on the floor. One ate two bags of snacks and the other handed his bag back to me stating “I don’t like these.” I thought every kid liked Goldfish. You see, I don’t have that Mom instinct. I never had kids, so if I ever had that gene I did not develop it. And while I might be able to deal with one toddler at a time, I’m woefully inadequate in handling two.

Sometime I feel inadequate as a writer. I can put the words together, but it’s not always the ones I should be using. I find it difficult to write the emotions. And sometimes I just can’t get the setting right. This is very difficult for a perfectionist. I’d like to believe everything I put on paper is perfect and will not need editing. But as fellow writers you know the perfect sentence is as rare as a perfect gem stone.

Writers don’t edit because the sentence or paragraph is lousy. We edit to make the story better. To flesh out characters. To include another perspective. Or to evoke an emotion from the reader. Like being a good Mom, learning to honestly review your work and make the corrections takes time and patience. It requires determination and hard work. But are we willing to invest the same effort into being a great writer as we do being a good parent? It is a choice.

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