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.
I remember when my daughter was first born- the joy, the exhaustion, the pride, the amazement. I knew that birth was a miracle but after experiencing it first hand, the word miracle took on a new meaning. Suddenly I had a little bundle of life in my arms. This little tiny being came from me! She was so fragile and she relied totally on me. I became forever a different person. I became a mother.
On Becoming A Mom
The process of becoming a mom had, of course, started even before my baby was born. I spent so much time preparing for my baby to come. I had my husband paint. I chose the artwork, the crib, the changing table. I carefully watched sales to score on baby clothing. I inventoried my baby gifts to figure out what baby essentials were still missing. I wanted everything to be perfect and ready when the baby came.
I prepared for a home birth. I went dutifully to my midwife appointments. I let my midwife prod my belly and listen to the heart beat. I ate well, I exercised the right amount, I did everything right and I was shocked when the midwife told me, my daughter was in breech position.
This experience started me on my journey to learning that as a mother, you are not always 100% in control. Part of becoming a mother is learning to deal with the fact that this baby that will have a will of it’s own. My daughter was trying to help me grasp this concept already! After recovering from this unpleasant news, my daughter educated me further by not coming until 8 days after her due date. Eight days felt like an eternity. It really was a lesson in letting go of my expectations and accepting what I was dealt and learning to embrace my circumstances to the best of ability. Moms come to know all about developing a plan B!
I know that this happens to many moms during the birthing process where things don’t turn out as we had wanted or expected but we have to learn as moms that we can’t beat ourselves up about it. We can’t control everything and that is OK. Becoming a mother, means we just have to keep doing our best for ourselves and our little ones and looking at the positives.
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. Furthermore, 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
What is motherhood? Well, it is being a mom and it feels a whole lot better when we have other mom friends that we can relate to. 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
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” -L.R. Knost
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?