Caterina Scorsone's idea of motherhood changed when she welcomed her second daughter, Paloma, who she calls "Pippa."
The "Grey's Anatomy" star opened up on the latest episode of the "Motherly" podcast about how her youngest daughter's Down syndrome diagnosis changed her perception of what motherhood was.
"When I had Eliza, I think what I unconsciously thought about my job as a mother was that I was supposed to equip her to survive in a competitive world," Scorsone said. "My job was to make sure that she was educated and that she was able and that she had all of the skills that she needed. I thought that was my job."
The 37-year-old mom of two said when Pippa was diagnosed with Down syndrome she realized she was going to have some physical and cognitive differences.
"I don't know what I'm supposed to do, I don't know what I am as a mother, how do I mother this child?" Scorsone said. "If my job isn't to equip her to compete or dominate socially, educationally or physically or economically — if I'm not just supposed to be helping her do that, what is a mother, what is my job?"
The actress said that one day, in the midst of her panicking, she just knew what to do.
"This simple voice came to me where I was like, ‘I don’t know what to do — oh, I’m supposed to keep her safe and I’m supposed to make her feel loved,' " the mom said. "And suddenly my understanding of my job as a mother completely distilled and opened."
She added that this new revelation also made her realize that her parenting of Eliza was "offtrack." Scorsone realized that regardless of what she was doing to "manipulate the worlds" of her children, they were going to grow up and follow their own paths.
"It was not my job to control that path or to stack the deck in any way. I'm here to be a container for them and to keep them safe as they're developing and as their curiosity about their unfolding is happening," said Scorsone. "I'm here to love them. It massively shifted my perspective of motherhood."
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Grey's Anatomy' star Caterina Scorsone shares how daughter's Down syndrome changed her view of motherhood