No matter your parenting style or choices, parents can be united in that we are all parents first. As mothers, we should be about supporting each other and building each other up. There are so many firsts that we encounter as mothers, it is nice to have other mothers to share them with. As you discover the true meaning of motherhood for yourself, your thoughts, feelings, and needs may change. It is helpful to find your mom tribe and support yourself with positive people who care.
Discovering The True Meaning Of Motherhood
When we become moms (or dads) we cross over into a whole new world. Dictionary.com defines motherhood as, “Motherhood is the state of being a mother. A person enters motherhood when they become a mother.” This is something you can not understand fully until it happens to you. It is life changing. You now have someone who depends on you for every single thing! And that responsibility will cause you to grow in new ways. It is nice to have the support of other mothers who can understand your new reality.
You may have used to worry about someone judging you for your shorts being too long or too short. Now you find that people are often judging you for something that matters a whole lot more- your parenting skills, abilities, and choices. That can really hit where it hurts.
When my daughter was born, I was the first one of my group of friends to have a baby and I didn’t live near family. When I stopped working full time, I suddenly I found that I needed new friends. I needed friends who could understand what I was going through and had time to spend with me at the park in the daytime. I needed a new sisterhood! Mothers collectively benefit from having access to each other’s pool of information, experience, and advice.
New Moms Have A Lot To Figure Out
Motherhood is such a giant life changing event. New parents have so much to adjust to. Babies are such a blessing but figuring out how to care for them as all the dynamics of your life change can be challenging. Sometimes you want to compare notes, and get some positive advice or encouragement. And sometimes you just want to be left alone to your own instincts and have your own special time. Everyone is different and it is so nice when we realize that and support each other’s choices.
Struggling Through The New Parent Pressures
I was/am a bit of a granola mom- home birthing, breast feeding, cloth diapering, and sometimes baby food making! I did not expect all of my friends to be that way. Futhermore, I understood that we each have to make our own choices that feel right to us.
However, I had to tell a few of my friends more than once that though I appreciated their concern, it didn’t feel good to be pressured into a hospital birth. I explained that I would never pressure them to have a home birth and I would like that same respect.
I had to tell myself lots of times that it was OK that I wanted to be a stay at home mom and be with my babies all the time, even though my girlfriends were all lawyers, doctors, and biochemists.
When I was informed by a family member that there was no way my baby was hungry when I had just fed her 45 minutes ago, I went ahead and fed her again anyway because I felt it was right. You just have to get immune to people’s unsolicited advice and pressure to make certain parenting choices. You have to become educated and then make the choice that you know is right for you.
Finding a New Sisterhood of Motherhood
I became involved in some playdate groups where we met at each other’s houses and had some mom chat time while the babies played. It was great being able to have other moms to chat with who were going through similar baby stages and be able to gather ideas on what was working for others. While advice can come in handy, advice with judgement attached does not feel so great especially when you are trying your hardest and coping with so many changes. That is why I loved my sisterhood of moms that offered support without judgement.
I feel very blessed to have had to deal with only minimal finger pointing and not so subtle blame. I think it is so important to support each other. Our lives and desires do not always coincide and we are all doing the best we can and we all deserve support so we can have faith in ourselves to be the best parent we can be and not get distracted by little things that don’t matter.
My advice is- if you don’t find that you have a supportive sisterhood of motherhood- get new friends! If your family or his family is the problem, try to be clear that you need support. Then, lessen your exposure time if they can’t be supportive. No more mom shaming– and do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
Inspirational Quotes On Motherhood
“A child’s first teacher is its mother.” -Peng Liyuan
“Motherhood is a great honor and privilege, yet it is also synonymous with servanthood. Every day women are called upon to selflessly meet the needs of their families. Whether they are awake at night nursing a baby, spending their time and money on less-than-grateful teenagers, or preparing meals, moms continuously put others before themselves.” -Charles Stanley
“Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.” -Ricki Lake
“I’ve approached so many things in my life with such intensity that I want to approach motherhood with dedication and focus.” -Drew Barrymore
“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” -Barbara Kingsolver
I hope you have created a sisterhood of motherhood for yourself. Check out mom meet up groups. Go to reading hour at the library. Bring your child to the park to play and interact with the other moms. Make playdates where you enjoy spending time with the moms too! Do you feel supported in your mothering decisions?Have you discovered the meaning of motherhood for yourself? What encouragement or advice would you offer to new moms and dads?