Defining motherhood, one moment at a time
Motherhood is made up of a series of ordinary, everyday moments. Even childbirth itself—probably one of the biggest moments of any woman’s life—is fairly routine if you consider that more than 350,000 babies are born somewhere in the world every day.
But following that momentous occasion, for the most part, motherhood is fairly uneventful.
Hold the baby. Feed the baby. Watch the baby grow.
Cook. Clean. Repeat.
Some days (weeks, months, or even years!), motherhood doesn’t feel like much more than that.
The gift of just being there
As your children grow and go out in the world, you take pride in their accomplishments, but there are no medals for being a mom. On the whole, motherhood is thankless, selfless and sometimes just straight up boring.
Chauffeur. Referee. Counsellor. Picture taker and dinner maker. The roles you assume as mother, protector and household manager go largely unrecognized.
But there’s something special about the roles you play, something wonderful about those routine everyday moments…
Even through the difficult times, the moments of frustration or desperation, your presence ingrains a bond with your child.
When you don’t know when you last showered, you’ve been wearing the same clothes for three days, your baby won’t take the breast or the bottle and you’re crying on couch…
When you think you have $12 left in your account to buy meat and discover there’s nothing left, and you don’t know how you’re going to feed your family…
When you’ve been called to the school for the third time that month to talk about your child’s behaviour, and you feel lost about what to do…
And when you think you’re doing it all wrong; when you look around and think that everyone else knows what they’re doing; and when you’ve put your own mother up on a pedestal for being perfect…
We all have to start somewhere, and we all have doubts about ourselves (surprise: your mom did, too!). While you’re doing your best to guide your children, you’re learning life lessons along the way. All the while, your children are learning from you. It’s a beautiful cycle that binds families together.
Motherhood is not made up of hallmark moments
On the whole, motherhood can be kind of messy, and it’s rarely made up of hallmark moments. It’s not about being a superhero mom who swoops in to save lives. More important than that, it’s about being an everyday hero whose day-to-day actions sustain life.
When you think about it, at the core, there’s actually something incredible about the kindness of a mother and her basic instinct to shelter, clothe, feed and nurture her children.
Somewhere between waking up at 4 am, maintaining a household, and doing whatever it takes to make ends meet, you’re modeling something truly amazing for your children.
Your love is ingrained in their hearts
In the midst of growing up, they won’t know the sacrifices you made, or the times you put their needs before your own. Some of it they won’t see; most of it they won’t remember.
But one day, maybe when they become a parent themselves, they’ll see you in a whole new light. The same way you’ve probably come to see your own mother, or whoever raised you.
Motherhood is described by Elizabeth Stone as “…to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
You can view that from your own perspective, as a mother, and the vulnerability of forever sharing a piece of you with someone else.
But don’t forget to look at that from your child’s perspective, who, without even knowing it, forever carries you in their heart.
This mother’s day, take a moment to appreciate all the moms in your life—yourself included. Remember: we’re all kind of making it up as we go. Acknowledge wherever you’re at and everything you do for your children.
Because every moment counts.
And don’t forget to enter Cashco’s Mom Stories contest, which offers an opportunity to win one of four $500 cash prizes. Go to MomStories.ca to fill out the form and share a story about your mom, yourself as a mom or any mom you know.