Being a mother means we’ve chosen to give it all to someone else.
I think we can all agree on that, right? Some days we might not agree. Some days I might think you’re a little crazy for thinking this motherhood thing is “beautiful.” Other days I’ll argue with you that it is, in fact, “so easy!” (And likely take back my statement within seconds.) The definition of motherhood varies from day to day.
We all have our daily routines, or own methods, and our own way of defining motherhood. I feel the important thing to emphasize is that motherhood is about bonding, and not just with your child. Motherhood is this “club”, a group of other moms and caregivers, who “get it.” Regardless of what kind of caregiver we are or where we are in our journey, we are never alone. Somewhere out there is another mom who is also looking for someone to lean on.
This is one thing that I didn’t consider prior to becoming a mother. I had no idea that I would need such a community and other mothers to confide in. No one can really understand what you’re going through unless they are also on this motherhood journey. The advice we give and receive is priceless. I would be lost without it most days!
Motherhood might look different for some families. It might not always be biological mothers. The important thing again is that we do all have this common ground. We all have a safe space and that starts with motherhood.
The beautiful thing about it is that we can all have our own definition of motherhood.
My definition of motherhood from when I was a young girl compared to now drastically differ. When I was younger, my definition of motherhood was simply the expected job of a woman and caring for little kids. It really looked that simple.
Now, I can honestly define motherhood as the most insanely powerful, exhausting, beautiful, and rewarding role I have as an adult. It’s hard. It’s harder than I thought it would ever be. There are so many elements that I come face to face with daily that I could have never predicted. There is no way one person could ever forecast their journey in motherhood.
Being a mother requires lots of hard labor.
This job is intense. The labor goes beyond those hours or days that you’re physically trying to welcome these kids into the world. There is a massive physical strain that this job puts on your body. The lifting, the pushing, the chasing…you’re almost guaranteed to stay in shape. But that’s counting on the fact that you’re getting a recommended eight hours of sleep and eat right. Oh right, there are no breaks and no time to sleep during this job either. It’s the hardest work that I have ever done. My body reminds that every day.
Motherhood is all encompassing.
Did you think that making sure your husband has his lunch ready was part of motherhood? Me either. What about making sure the car gets the oil changed? Or scheduling the family dentist appointments? For whatever reason, once I became a mom, a lot of these tasks came on to my shoulders. I’m not complaining, but the load seems to grow and grow without any relief in sight.
There are so many additional things that I really didn’t figure would be on my plate once I became a mother. General caregiving for the little ones sometimes feels like an afterthought. Suddenly, my list of daily things to do far exceeds what it used to. The responsibility is expected and predictable, but some days it just seems insane.
Being a mother also has many rewards.
All that hard work really does pay off. The bending over, the chasing, the reading of the same book over and over again…it has its perks. The look on my kids’ faces when they accomplish something is worth every little strain. Even if it’s just completing a ten-piece puzzle, their sense of accomplishment gets me every time. They can find joy in finishing the simplest tasks, and we helped them get there. In the beginning, it’s incredibly fulfilling. I can only imagine that it gets better as these little ones grow up and finish their first chapter book, hit a home run, or learn how to drive a car.
Motherhood is being the teacher and the student at the same time.
We are teaching them these awesome skills like how to put a puzzle together and how to ride a bike, but they are also testing us almost just as often. I am able teach my kids how to play games, play a sport, and do the alphabet. But when it came to navigate their emotions and how to deal with their ups and downs, I am clueless.
I’ve read a bunch of books, listened to endless podcasts, and asked my friends for advice. Everyone has their own opinion and so far none of their opinions and ideas have worked. Slowly (very slowly) we are working our way through these teaching moments and figuring out our own path. I can’t stand doing something that I’m not good at. But, as a parent, we must cave a little and allow the teaching moments to happen to us.
Nothing compares to it, regardless of your definition of motherhood.
The other day my husband decided to take my kids for the morning so that I could have a few hours to myself in the house. He took them to play frisbee golf, watch a football practice, and ran around the track at the high school. This is what my kids want to do 24/7, seven days a week. Frisbee golf is their new thing and don’t get me started how obsessed with football they are. They had the most amazing time with each other. I expected them to run out of the car enthusiastically sharing their morning adventure. What did my three-year-old actually do? He got out of the car and screamed at the top of his lungs, “I LOVE MOM!”.
Nothing will ever beat that. Motherhood at its very essence is this powerful force that we have the pleasure of being connected to. The fact that we can have that much influence over their little brains and their little hearts just blows me away. Even in their happiest times, away from their mom, they still come home with mom as the first thing on their brain. Although some days I might define it as the craziest choice I’ve ever made, it’s truly the best gift.
Author, Guest Blogger & Winey Mama contributor, Amanda Webb