Skip to main content

Feel the Motherhood. Embrace the Motherhood. Be the Motherhood.

Well, I did it. I birthed a child.
This was after most of my life, assuming I would never marry, let alone ever have a child of my own.
I assumed I would be an adoptive single mother (and that would be awesome!). I had it all planned out.
Then I met my husband, and... when you open yourself up to another person, you discover things about yourself you didn't know.
Every time you think you're done growing, life says, "Uh-uh, you've got more to learn, honey. Don't start staring at the ground yet!"
Sometimes it is people that help you grow. Sometimes it's just a quiet walk by yourself.
This latest iteration of my own growth comes in the form of motherhood. And this blog is sharing what I've learned.

There are a gazillion blogs, books, websites, etc. of HOW to be a mother. Usually, they include long lists of things to DO (eg. Plan your meals weeks in advance, go running, take a shower daily, feed baby every two hours, buy this product, shun these people, etc.).

There are, from what I've gathered, a few stereotypical "Mommy Blogs".
1) The Life-Hacker: Blogs about tricks and tips to make your life easier.
2) The Vicarious Voyeur: Blogs where intimate medical details and graphic photos are displayed for their natural beauty and your personal wonderment.
3) The SalesMom: Blogs that feature products and gizmos of every description and their myriad uses for you, the lacking mother.
4) The Faith-Reaffirming: How trust in God/Hope has been renewed, or becoming a mother has altered the course of someone's life. Biblical scriptures abound.
5) The Judge Judy: Blogs that solely exist to make you feel bad about yourself (and make the writer feel better about themselves). Like a beauty magazine pointing out how you could be better than you are... but you're not, so... feel bad.
6) The Doctor Mom: Remedies, medical knowledge, statistics, research, studies, data, data, data.

Blogs are often a mixture of these main stereotypes. While pregnant, I spent on average, about three hours a day reading websites, blogs, and product descriptions all over the internet - and in paper books as well.
But, these are the themes I've noticed.
Are they important? Yes - with the exception of the Judge Judy blogs. No one needs that crap.
However, they remind me of that saying - or song lyrics, or poem, I'm not sure- which I'm probably quoting wrong, "There's surviving and then there's living." Those blogs tend to focus on the survival aspect of motherhood.
What I'm discovering is there is a whole different world as a mother. It feels like the embodiment of the song "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. It's thrilling, it's new, and it's completely unexpected.

I will focus this blog on the philosophical and spiritual - not religious - aspect of BEING a mother. Of course, I can only filter that through my own experience - and it may not be the same for everyone. However, I do believe that there are universal themes to motherhood that could be experienced by any mother.
Why? Mostly because the question of who we are as BEINGS is often only seriously explored by men in philosophy. Men are fine, and I have nothing against them, but even the most open-minded geniuses of the male persuasion cannot conceive of what it's like to be pregnant and have a baby. And creating life is, turns out, a HUGE part of human life. Yet, the philosophy of which remains largely unexplored.
And, one day I was thinking, "what is philosophy?" and the answer came to me, "A way for people to understand the world. One person understands it one way, and writes it down, and other people agree or disagree, and that is philosophy." I just realized that rhymed.

So, I decided I could write my own thoughts and arguments and assert I'm correct. Just like philosophers!
Any philosophers out there that take themselves super seriously, you need to stop. Haha- just kidding. You should take yourself seriously, if you want, but you may miss out on a lot of jokes.

What of BEING a mother? WHO are you as a mother? There's a fundamental difference, like surviving and living. 
Being a mother is, in a way, what actions you take and what support you provide for your child and family (however many people/animals that family consists of - you and baby; you and baby and older child; you and husband and beta fish).
But there's a solid part of motherhood that is an internal change, and it happens organically, no matter what kind of baby spoon you buy or what you decide to do that day (I have binge-watched Netflix all day if my baby was sleeping - laundry was not washed that day).
Being a mother is so much more than what you DO. It is part of your identity. But, not in a superficial way, like "Soccer Mom" or "Yoga Mom" or "Dance Mom", or all the other labels we love to wrap ourselves in to give us status.
Being focused on what we DO as mothers is harmless. It's not bad or good or anything else. It just doesn't complete the picture for me.

I want to be totally clear:
This blog is in no way a judgement of any mother I know. Not my own, not my friends... I don't have enemies, so it can't be them. I do not judge other mothers. Sometimes, I may not understand them, but I try to understand them.
However, I do notice themes and trends in this grand ol' USA. I'm specifying that it's through an American lens I'm looking - because I don't know many mothers from other countries. And I've done enough travelling to know that every country has a unique approach to life.
Also, I'm a rather introspective and, for lack of a better word, "sensitive" woman, so I pay attention to mothers and other women and just observe people more closely than most, I have found.
Yes, I totally just positioned myself as an expert to you, the reader, with no real concrete evidence to back up that I know what I'm talking about. Yay, blogging! I don't have to answer to anyone else! You have no idea if I'm totally lying or not! JK, JK, JK. Just trust me, I'm an honest person. ;)

Okay, I'm getting a little off topic.
Where was I?
Oh, yeah.
No throwing shade on this blog. That's a slang term that I hope stays around forever, and becomes an integral part of the American language, like "Being cool" or "Whassup?". I love it. Throwing shade. What a good slang term. Top 10 in my book.
Anyway, if you try to keep your child safe, and have decided to try your best to take care of your child, NEVER let someone convince you that you're a bad mother. There are a category of mothers that need therapy or outside help and can be abusive and neglectful - I'm not disputing that. Many times, even those people care, but for whatever reason, they cannot cope with being a mother and they take it out on their kids. Even those mothers have every day as an opportunity to turn it around and make it right. Even they are not "bad" mothers. But, they may need more help in being a more caring mother. But, sometimes, labels give us an excuse not to try. Labels give you a box with an address, and you can live there until you figure out you can get out of the box and move somewhere nicer.
If someone is labelled as "bad", what impetus exists for them to reverse their course? They've already been judged and found wanting - why try after that? Some mothers may not care, but I believe they would be the tiniest minority of mothers.
So, assuming you're not abusive or neglecting your children, extract what constructive criticism or advice you can practically use, and leave the negativity with them.
But, that isn't specific to motherhood. My general advice is to reject labels. NEVER let someone tell you who you are. They don't know who you are. Only you know that and what you're capable of.

People compare themselves and their parenting (and children) to you and yours. My baby is only three months old, and I've already experienced a load of this. They do it because, mostly, they are trying to be helpful. Even though it's often not super helpful.

Popular posts from this blog

A Little Bit of Learning Goes a Long Way

While planning what to write next, I realized how entrenched, and often unquestioned, motherhood ideals are. My thoughts of what a mother is "supposed" to be. Are those my own thoughts? Is that who I am as a mother? This external judgement criteria - where is it coming from? I was in the doctor's office when my son was a couple of weeks old. The doctor asked me how I was doing. I had to be honest. I was stressed - and not because of my son. He was just a baby being a baby with his needs and nothing more. I was stressed because I was looking for answers from others, and for validation that I was a good mother. But everything I read or heard was a critique. I realized that no matter what I did, according to someone, it wasn't enough according to someone else. I told her, "I just want to be his mother! I don't care about all the rules I'm supposed to follow. I just want him to know that I love him and be the best mother I can be. But there are so many ru

Post-Partem Depression Forecast: Sunny Skies With a Chance of Clouds

Automatic Reply: "I'm sorry." Wait, delete that. Start over with... "Thank you." You are the mother your child was meant to have. No one else could have had your child. They are you, in the sense that we're all connected. But mothers and children, even more so.  When you feel yourself disconnected from your child, ashamed of how you behaved around them, or frightened about a future without them, remember, your child was meant to come from you.  We can't claim total ownership or control over our children. They are their own beings. They have their own feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and experiences. Usually all of things happen without much influence from the parents.  But the wonderful thing about being a parent is you get to witness it all first hand.  This may be overwhelming. That's okay.  You're upset. That's okay. It's also okay for them to be upset.  Remember, your journey with your child is very different than their journey with you. 

How Awesome You Are

You may not feel awesome when... You're covered in gurp. You haven't had a full night's sleep in over a year. You didn't shower today. You have to suck baby boogers every day. But, you are awesome, even if you're not in your most glamorous moment. Women in general, and mothers, especially, we are capable of incredible feats! Just because one woman can go on a daily run, but you instead go on a daily coffee run - that doesn't make you less awesome. You know that, right? Just because another mother cooks three homemade meals every day, but you can only manage one, that doesn't make you less awesome. Stop comparing. Start appreciating yourself. So, maybe you don't run every day, but maybe you come up with fun crafts for your kids. Maybe you don't cook, but you come up with creative ways to make salads. So many salads... Technically chips and salsa are a salad, right? ... right? Maybe you're not a career person, but you always mana