This article of mine was originally published in the recent (Vol 1. Issue 4) issue of Island Gals Magazine. Visit their website to learn how to find this Vancouver Island publication. And thanks to creator and editor Johanna Socha for including me as one of the “gals”.
What is Motherhood All About?
If an alien came to your house for a visit and you had to explain to it what motherhood was all about, what would you say? What words would you use to explain the experience of being a mom?
When my daughter was a baby I was thick in the throes of breastfeeding, diaper changing, and all the other nurturing tasks that babies require. Being a mom (and learning how to do it well) really left me little time and energy for anything else. Now, three years later, many of my days are still filled with activities for and with my daughter and I’m juggling work at the same time. Motherhood is busy.
I find it quite amazing to watch my daughter grow into the person she’s becoming. I feel so lucky to be guiding her along the way. My own mom has always said that raising my brother and I was the best thing that she and my dad ever did – a true testament to the important work of raising a child and dedication it takes. (Yes, I am lucky to have them as parents, to be sure.) Motherhood is passionate.
Motherhood feeds me in many ways. I am energized by the creativity spilling forth from my daughter, and drawn along with it for my own betterment. Would I be colouring, painting, playing with Play-Doh, skipping, running or singing as much without a child? Never. My daughter’s boundless energy keeps me going, if only so I can ride along on the bright magic carpet of her imagination for a little while longer. Motherhood is creative.
But while motherhood is amazing, it cannot be everything for me. And so my search for the ever-elusive “balance” between motherhood and work is ongoing. I remember saying to a friend when my daughter was a baby that I was going to do something just for me once a month. Well, more than 40 months later I think I have a bit of catching up to do on that promise to myself! It’s a hard one to keep but so important to try to live up to. Motherhood is a balancing act between what my daughter needs and what I need.
Motherhood is a little bit of everything: a rich, slow-cooked cassoulet of emotions, actions and learning that just gets better with time. I have tremendous respect for other mothers now that I have had my own experience of motherhood’s tribulations and exultations. It’s the toughest job in the world and quite possibly the most rewarding one.
What is motherhood all about? It’s an ongoing art, a wide open joy. I’m a mother and a woman – and I suppose I’m still figuring out how to do both!