Motherhood is more than carrying a child in your womb for 9 months.
Motherhood is more than daily wiping of noses, cleaning of faces, filling of bellies.
Motherhood is more than driving, shopping, cleaning, cooking.
Motherhood is part of being a Woman, but not all of it. It is part of growing up, for some of us. It is conducive to gaining appreciation, but not for everyone.
I was still a child myself, really, when I became a Mother. Joshua and I did a lot of growing up together. We both learned a lot about sacrifice. I learned how to say good-bye to him in the morning, he learned that separation from Mother wasn't such a bad thing after all. Especially since he got to go to Grandma's house (which, sorry Disney, was the happiest place on earth). I learned I could love someone until my heart might burst and be completely enraged at the same time. He learned that the wrinkling of my forehead was not a good sign for anyone. We learned a lot about time, more specifically about how little there is. Just yesterday he was a bundle of knobby knees and elbows with a baby face attached. Now suddenly he is on the verge of young manhood. Frightening. We have spent a decade together on earth, a span of time that flew by so fast I can scarcely remember most of it.
Motherhood is learning that you aren't, after all, the center of the universe - even your own.
Motherhood is wanting to do everything for your child and sometimes knowing that everything means nothing at all, means letting them stand alone, means sending them off into the world.
Joshua has been riding his scooter to school. Each morning, he pushes himself down our driveway. Near the bottom, where the sidewalk and our driveway come together, he turns his scooter smoothly to the right with one leg up and one leg on the scooter. As he disappears from view, my stomach clenches with fear. When we moved here he was still wobbling around on that scooter, still barely aloft as he learned to balance. Now he flies. It just took some time, some encouragement, some patience, some practice.
Motherhood means believing in something greater than yourself.
Motherhood means trusting in the power of your child.
Motherhood means living with constant fear.
I often think to myself that my children deserve more. That they should have a Mother who is more engaged, a Mother who is more patient, a Mother who is more kind, a Mother who loves herself more. I also think they deserve less. A Mother who yells less, a Mother who is less self-involved, a Mother who beats herself up less. Sometimes when I look at my children I think I am not good enough for them. Sometimes when I look at my children I see the spark of divine shining through so brightly I am almost blinded and I think it was a mistake they came to me.
Motherhood means learning there is good in everyone, sometimes buried deep.
I think about my own Mother sometimes. I think about how she suffered and sacrificed. About how she changed and grew. About how she always - and still - believes in the greatness of her children. I think about how she must have had these worries and wonders too, about how she conquered her own demons, climbed her own mountains, learned her own lessons, dreamed her own dreams.
Sometimes I think we take the humanity out of Motherhood.
Sometimes I think we expect Sainthood instead of Motherhood.
Sometimes I think we forget that a Mother is just a Woman with children at her apron strings.