For the past few months, this has been on my mind, "what does it mean to be a mother" My mum's birthday was recently and I saw her recently too. She's easily one of my favorite persons in the world and is the closest to what I understood motherhood to be.
I have often thought of what it would be like for her to be my mum and if I would get a 5* review on Google as a child. I know that she would give me a 10/10, to be honest. I'm good like that.
I have often wondered that as much as motherhood has been such a fulfilling and rewarding journey for her if it is the same for other mothers. Now, as an adult I know that's not the case for a lot of women. I find this very sobering.
A lot of my friends and acquaintances have become mothers recently and have been very honest with me with their struggles and joys of both pregnancies and early motherhood. It is beautiful, humbling, and sobering to watch. I see is endless sacrifice and love I have an idea of, but I can not yet relate to, yet.
I have also thought about it what it would be like to be a mother to a special needs child. Once upon a time, I worked with special needs children and I have to say more often than not, I saw mothers being a lot more involved than fathers. Their mothers knew their proclivities, their needs, their triggers, and their habits. I appreciated and respected that. I understood this would have come from spending a significant amount of time with and learning about their kids. I witnessed but a snippet of their love for them. It was humbling how big their heart was to expand and love these children, totally and without reservation.
What I find very fascinating about mothers, especially new mums, is understanding what their child needs. They can differentiate between their cries as babies, understand their babbles as toddlers, and understand their needs growing up before they become adults. As adults, understand their pain and their heart. It is truly fascinating to watch, how new mum's breastmilk respond to the needs of their child's health, changing colors if their babies were ill. I wonder if this is something that can be explained by science.
Most human beings when faced with situations that stress them out, would avoid the cause of that stress but this is the opposite with (most) mothers, they would literally lay their lives down for these kids, no matter how stressed / tired or busy they are or what context they face. This is truly incredible.
There are also mums who do not feel these things. This is a group that my heart goes out to the most because they cannot be honest about their feelings. They have a sense of obligation to train and bring up the child but they don't necessarily feel love for their children. Maybe they've grown up in a context that does not encourage women to understand that they have a choice NOT to have kids, or they thought they would love their kids but it just isn't happening for them. They suffer in silence and resentment and do not have that space to have honest conversations that will help them come to an acceptance of the fact that this is how they feel and identify the best and healthiest path forward. If this is you, my heart goes out to you and I hope you find a way to come to terms with your decision and make the best of it as much as you can
We afford women (to a certain degree) who are single or not yet mothers the luxury and the space to say they do not want children. This is happening more and more often in the western world these days. To some individuals, it is unthinkable and weird. However, to mothers who have already had them, they are not afforded the luxury of a regret. I wonder if it would be easier to admit that they regret having kids and accept that this is the decision they have made and be provided the support they need to be a functional mother at least to bring up an emotionally healthy child especially if they have good intentions.
I do empathize with this group of mothers, especially the older I get that this must be incredibly frustrating and suffocating especially when we live in a cultural context that will not necessarily accept or tolerate such sentiments without such mothers being termed a "bad mother"
I have often thought about what kind of mother I would be or what kind of mother I want to be. I don't think I would know until I am fully in that situation.
The biggest worry I have is that my hearing impairment will put my child in danger (i,e if my baby is crying or in danger and I do not have my hearing aids on) trust me my imagination has run wild with several scenarios or that the fact that I may not pronounce some sounds properly would make my child not pronounce their words properly. The only way I can control this is by ensuring that my child has a present and good father and support system as much as is within my power and trusting God to help me in that journey.
The essence of this post is really just to afford me the opportunity to explore my thoughts on the very different facets of motherhood. It's not a one-post thing and probably would come up several times. I am intrigued to hear what you think.