"What does it mean to be a mother?", well that might seem to be a loaded and complicated question, but it's also one that requires us to reflect on our motherhood journey and remember all of the moments and things that make us love being "mom".
Motherhood, in my opinion, is a complicated thing. It's a journey that is so important and well-cherished, but also one that is accompanied with unrelenting stress and consistent worry that you're just not doing good enough. Motherhood is also the biggest emotional rollercoaster I can ever think we as women can go on. That shows true in belly-laughing at breakfast with your children because they put the whipped cream from their French toast on their noses, and then crying by lunch time because the same children decided to spill their juice all over your brand new rug. Like I said, motherhood is complicated, but man is it rewarding.
A huge thing I think mothers are collectively bad at is convincing themselves that they are never doing enough. I know for my own self, I can feel on top of the motherhood game in the morning and by the time dinner rolls around, my tank is empty and I feel like I can't give anymore, which in return makes me feel like a failure. While I know that I am not a failure for being exhausted and touched out, those feelings are hard to pass in the moment. I think it's important for us to remember that even though we feel our efforts are minimal somedays or that we are failing, our children see the exact opposite. Our children see their heroes trying their best and constantly making them a priority. Even a simple thing as giving them a piece of paper with a pack of crayons seems huge in a child's eyes, and they will love you for that and everything else.
So what does it mean to be a mother? For me, it means looking at your life and the world from a different perspective. All of those plans and dreams you had before having children? Well, they don't end or become impossible, it's just your vision shifts a little because now all of your plans and dreams involve your children. It's a bit of a sobering thing, and definitely difficult at times, but sharing your life with tiny humans who love you unconditionally is pretty special. Being a mother also means cherishing every moment we have, because we all know how time is forever fleeting. It's ever prevalent by how quickly our children's birthdays come and go and somehow they go from 3 months old to 3 years old in a blink of an eye. Being a mother means accepting all the parts, both good and bad, that come with life. Life is like the ocean waves, sometimes they're smooth and low, you can swim in them with no issue, and sometimes the waves are choppy and tall and you would drown before you could swim. Never was I able to handle those waves in stride like I do now until I had children. There are rough and choppy waves like when your children are sick and inconsolable and you don't know what to do, or your kids are being kids and like to give you a harder time than usual. But then, there are smooth and gentle waves like when your child tells you they love you for the first time or when their little hands reach and touch your face while they're cuddled up next to you for a nap.
What it means to be a mother is to be an understanding, nurturing and honest safe place for your children. It means being a best friend for life, a wonderful educator, and a stand-up comedian. It means being really good at coming up with songs and bedtime stories and wiping away tears when they fall, because we're really good at picking them back up again. It means being everything to your child, because that's all they will ever see you as.
Happy Mother's Day, mamas. Don't forget to love and take care of yourselves.