Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Before Mother was my name

Before I became a Mother parenthood seemed to be just another step taken in life. I knew I'd have children. At least one child. I never planned for them, or to become a wife as some women I knew. I was confident that when the time came I'd know and there I'd be, a wife and Mother. It was and it wasn't like that. In college meeting a charming man became a delightful courtship and ended up in a partnership for life. Children were still just something but a whisper. I noticed other young people with their own children but for me it was something too far off. Soon that whisper turned into a shadow. The idea of motherhood slowly slipping into my thoughts. Before I knew it there I was on the cusp of being a mother.

I had always been comfortable with children a perpetual babysitter my level of experience was rather high. Still, having your own children is something all together different. Something more tangible. Something binding. That piece of you that piece of him all in one whole new person. Motherhood is first tasted in pregnancy. The internal private questions you ask the feelings you have always with you just like that growing baby. My first pregnancy was relatively easy. Though I learned that becoming a mother was something easy and complex. Easy because it is a natural process of marriage (most marriages) and complex because of everything else. The one most unexpected aspect of motherhood has been the presumption that strangers have a right to your new role. There are people who felt compelled to mold my thoughts into agreement of their own beliefs. Those people felt it was their duty to convince me that I would never be capable of being a good mother if I didn't do this, that, or the other. I must admit some were genuine and concerned offering tid-bits of advice, nothing more. Others were nearly bullying and harsh. I understood my rookie level but I did not expect the constant hazing from other mothers. That was the most difficult part of being a nearly there mother. Those overbearing women feeling it was their social duty to inform me of all of my shortcomings, most of which at that time being I had not born a child. Enduring that can be emotionally unsettling. I wondered about lesser confident women and how they were feeling about those moments too.

Becoming a mother comes quickly after birth. Becoming a good mother takes years of practice and patience. One thing I have learned is to take each moment with your child and savor it. Savor that tiny person and be grateful. I also know enough not to frighten or intimidate a first time mother. Motherhood is difficult enough why make a woman feel even more daunted? While I'll never be "perfect" I know that I'll be a good mother. Wisdom and experience has taught me that being perfect or the best is not important. I know that being a mother is a tough job and sometimes getting through the day with a smile is being a perfect mother.

1 comment :

Christine said...

well said. in my 16 years of being a mother, I have learned that mother knows best what is right for her family. I have gotten a lot of sideways glances from women who think I am doing it wrong. but, guess what? my children are healthy, happy and well adjusted. and yours will be too.