A “mother” is defined by the dictionary as:
1. to bring up (a child) with care and affection. “the art of mothering” 2. to give birth to.
Too often women think that because they have been the vessel of another human being, they are a mother. By definition number 2, that’s true.
But they let themselves slip. They allow themselves the airs and privileges of unburdened, pre-mother women. They let the second definition carry them through life, pretending. Doing whatever they wish, regardless of consequence. Accepting the praise of being a “mother” without doing any of the work.
There are women who cannot have children; there are women who have several. There are women who care for others’ offspring, sometimes many.
Motherhood IS an art. We don’t know when we’re teens and we hate our moms and pretend like we know anything. There are brushstrokes and outlines and coloration in life you don’t know about until you’re a mother.
Motherhood is work. It’s 24/7/365 with less than ideal circumstances, sometimes. But it has the best rewards. You may not be paid with money for this job, but the kisses, hugs, praises, and beaming faces of your children make it all worth it.
The seed of motherhood is selflessness, that grows into a great tree of nurturing, and care, and love. It has nothing to do with DNA. You are not a mother just because you gave birth; that’s only the first part. You become a mother as your children grow.
You are not a mother when you leave. When you choose other men over your children. When you outwardly hate their fathers. When you choose anger and hate over love. When you refuse to acknowledge that someone can do the job better. When you can’t let your child have the best life possible. You are not a mother when you choose your feelings over theirs. When you make decisions based only on your wants and desires? You are not a mother any more. You’re just a woman who lives with a child.
You’re a mother when you have to wake in the middle of the night for a newborn. You’re a mother when you have to tell your toddler “no”. You’re a mother when you give them bandaids for invisible boo-boos while drying their real tears. You’re a mother when you sing all the lyrics to “Let It Go” and the opening number to DinoTrux. You’re a mother when you send them on the school bus for the first and last time. You’re a mother when you’re white-knuckling the dashboard for their driver’s test. You’re a mother when you embarrass them at their school events by cheering too loud. You’re a mother for every sneak-attack hug, spiteful word, tearful outburst, and quiet reassurance.
You’re a mother. You can be a great one. You’re better than definition #2.