Lots of heated debates going on right now about what mothering is.
Here's what I think:
Mothering is not JUST making food, cleaning puke, dropping off and picking up kids in a car. Washing their clothes and putting them away. Reminding them not to jump on the furniture, placing them in time out when they do.
You know what REAL mothering is to me? Because that list above, while important and is meaningful doesn't really grasp at what it really is. Because honestly, a daycare worker could do all of that.
When you girl comes home from school and she had her period in her pants but you only allow her to wear pads. But, you can see the pain she experienced and you have to use your brain and make a decision for what you feel is best and you take that girl in the bathroom and show her how to use a tampon. You sit down and talk with her about anatomy. Her private anatomy. And then...she talks to you about her embarrassments and you have to wade through which are normal and which aren't all based on your own past experiences. YOUR beliefs. You get to fill up this childs head with whatever path you would like her to take. And at the end.....you never worry if you just overstepped.
Some of you CSM's can do this. The door was left open. Some SM's can't and shouldn't ever do this type of parenting with their steps.
THAT is how you know if you are truly mothering......when you can truly call them "your own" or "ours".
And THAT was only ONE example. One simple example.