What Motherhood Means To Me
We’re just coming off of Mother’s Day here. I have to tell you, it’s really not a day that I look forward too. Maybe it’s just too many years in the service industry, or the fact that my husband and I work irregular hours. We don’t really have anything sacred around here when it comes to all of these made up holidays. They start to feel like just one more thing we have to try to fit into our already overflowing lives.
But I did take a few minutes to think about what motherhood means to me.
It means everything. Once you become a mother, it taints everything else around you. There is not one decision you make or dollar you spend or moment in time where your love for your child doesn’t influence you.
I’m not sure if somethings happens on a cellular level, or if our brain chemistry changes, or if it is simply instinct. But motherhood turns you into a different human.
Think about it. Kids are a lot of work. They are needy, demanding, complicated, moody and sort of abusive. Yesterday, my son threw something at me because I told him it was bath time, while my daughter screeched “WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE IT HARD FOR ME?” .
And yet, we tolerate the assholery and crazyness because you still have to do what’s best for them even when they hate you for it. Even if what’s best for them is checking them for wood ticks and cleaning the mud out from between their toes.
I think so many women have a hard time with motherhood not only because they are trying to “have it all” , but maybe because we feel some need to prove that motherhood hasn’t changed us and that we can still be the same friend or employee or whatever. But I say embrace the change. The minute your child is born, you suddenly know what it is like to love something more than yourself, and that makes you a different person. It makes you a different friend. It makes you a different employee. It makes you less available and less inclined to give a shit because you have other priorities now.
And you are also teetering on insanity from lack of sleep or emotionally exhausted from all the psychological warfare your 4 year old is throwing at you. Or maybe that’s just me.
I can’t think of any other situation where I would allow someone to scream at me 100 times a day and I’d still be nice to them.
So what does motherhood mean to me?
- It means a chance to pass on the things about myself that I am proud of.
- It means a chance to raise another human being to be a positive force in this shitty world.
- It means learning that even in the worst of all situations or when I am at my breaking point, if I act out of love it will have a stronger and more successful impact that if I act of anger.
- It means learning patience and kindness wins every time.
- It means learning to be honest without brutality.
- It means selflessness.
- It means loving through imperfections.
- It means sacrifice.
- It means humility, because kids have a funny way of becoming the teachers.
- It means pride. Pride in seeing all your efforts taking flight.
- It means having a purpose. I no longer work hard so that I can play hard….I work hard so that my family has all the chance they need to succeed and be happy.
Motherhood isn’t for everyone. It’s often thankless, grueling, and just downright shitty. It will strip you down of everything you once believed and humble you to adapt to whatever comes your way so that your baby can thrive. But it also will reward you a million times over. Because knowing the love that exists between a mother and child is nothing short of miraculous. And worth all the other crap.
So yeah. Motherhood means everything to me. And I don’t need Mother’s Day or triple priced flowers to remember that. Gifts are nice, but time is precious.