I asked AI “What does it mean to be a mother” and then held a ridiculous “interview” based on it’s responses. Clearly I had too much time on my hands!
Who doesn’t love AI? I, for one, have used AI for writing prompts or to clear up writer’s block. And there are so many new ways artificial intelligence emerges to improve our lives. It’s going so far as to taking over jobs humans can do and many wonder if they’ll be left jobless in the future. With all it’s capabilities, I wonder if AI can someday replace parents, so I asked ChatGPT what it means to be a mother!
So, I’ve “interviewed” ChatGPT (when it wasn’t at capacity) about motherhood, which was quite interesting …
Don’t worry ChatGPT, we, as mothers, totally get being overwhelmed.
Explain What It Means to Be a Mother
When I asked this question, I got this boiled down response.
Overly simplistic, but yeah. So, let’s talk about those responsibilities…
What Are My Key Responsibilities as a Mother?
ChatGPT tells me that my responsibilities include:
Providing physical care such as feeding, clothing, and shelter.
Emotional support and nurturing.
Education and guidance for the child’s personal and intellectual development.
Discipline and setting boundaries.
Creating a safe and supportive environment for the child.
Encouragement and motivation for the child’s goals and aspirations.
Modeling positive behavior and values.
Supporting the child’s physical and mental health.
Providing financial support if needed.
Preparing the child for independence and adulthood.
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. And in truth, I agree with most of these points… so maybe AI is capable of taking over some of my roles as a mother (I could stand to offload some responsibilities … hehe). Let’s find out what it thinks I should do to create a safe and supportive environment for my child…
Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment
Again, ChatGPT has provided me some very basic information, but it’s lacking depth and insights.
And point #8 – limit exposure to negativity and violence? Okay:
- Without being a helicopter mom
Limit is a key word here – but kids are going to get exposed to it because it’s going to happen when we’re not looking. If you know me, you know I think talking to our kids about things we don’t agree with is the best course of action. When my kids come home to tell me about something someone did to them or to a friend at school that was negative, hurtful or violent, we discuss how they can handle the situation – we like framing situations and offering solutions so that our children don’t hold on to victim mentality and/or help them to understand how they can stick up for their friends in the event it’s necessary. Of course, offering tactics for diffusing the situation or seeking help when appropriate are other things we discuss. All this because we can’t be there to shield our children from everything.
So, what if I want to know how to promote self-esteem in my children?
As usual, ChatGPT is spewing out basic ideas without any concrete solutions. Guess I’m gonna have to rely on that mom’s group for ideas.
But I wonder if it can grasp any of the emotional stuff?
What is the Biggest Joy of Being a Mother?
Okay ChatGPT, what are the joys we experience in motherhood?
Seriously, it’s like you’ve experienced motherhood. Or is it?
You didn’t capture the emotions after clawing your way out of desperation when you baby won’t sleep! But of course you wouldn’t … I guess you don’t need sleep. But I sure did! And I’ll tell you that some of the darkest times in motherhood are those when you aren’t getting enough sleep.
But then there’s the sheer joy and achievement when you figure out not only how to get that baby to sleep, but help him or her sleep 12 hours a night.
That’s true of motherhood in general. Experiencing the trials and tribulations, figuring out what works for you and your family and achieving the seemingly impossible. These things include:
- feeding issues
Whatever it is moms struggle with and overcome (and there’s a lot of things as the years add up) bring us joy. Of course, you’re not wrong about the normal stuff like the bond, giving and receiving love, and building all those great memories (in between all the shitty ones we can’t wait to forget).
What are the Qualities of a Good Mom?
Okay, so what do you think it takes to be a good mom?
You know, the more we talk, the more I realize you don’t really know what it means to be a mother! You’re killing me with #10.
Yeah, okay, technically mothers should be selfless, but this is a slippery slope that can actually get us into trouble if we take it too seriously. I can totally agree that being selfless is a good quality most of the time BUT that mom’s can’t forget to take into account their own needs. You know … like when we’re “at capacity” and we start failing our kids because we haven’t taken care of ourselves? And by failing, I mean having no patience and lack appropriate communication skills.
I, like plenty of other mothers, have experienced overwhelm and burnout as both a stay at home mom and a working mom and I can tell you that taking some time to “be selfish” was really the best for the whole family. I think recognizing and prioritizing needs when things need to be balanced is a good way to become a good mom.
What It REALLY Means to Be a Mom
What ChatGPT wasn’t really able to capture was anything with depth or to provide experience or insights. AI can’t tell you how to be a good mother. It doesn’t experience the emotional connections necessary to make highly complicated decisions according to our family’s needs.
AI can’t tell you about the dreadful moments when you don’t like being a mom and how to overcome those feelings.
AI can’t test it’s theories on discipline.
All AI can tell you about the meaning of motherhood are the regurgitated “facts” it can find online.
But motherhood can’t truly be summed up by these facts, can it?
No! Being a mom is hard work trying to make sense of old school and new school “facts”, determining what does and doesn’t work through experimentation and educated guesses based on each child’s personality.
In today’s overly-connected world, becoming a parent opens you up to the constant scrutiny of others (those with and without children) and feeling like you’re always doing it wrong.
Motherhood is a lifetime of ditching our prior ideals and visions (from before we had kids) for the practical applications in order to keep the kids alive when things are hard, change plans because someone’s always messing up the original plan, trying to get everyone to sleep (so that you can get enough) and, in general, learning how to survive the next 18 or so years.
But yes, motherhood also means raising those kiddos to become excellent adults and eating up those moments the kids choose to share their love and affection with you.
I guess AI won’t be replacing us any time soon!