Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Motherhood is Beautiful

This afternoon I had swaddled miss Z up and was bouncing her around (a pre-nap ritual anymore) while perusing facebook.  All in the same scan, I see two separate friends who recently had lost their mothers, some friends who are afraid they are about to lose their mother, and plenty of new baby pictures.  As I look at my daughter, desperately aware of the earth-moving events happening simultaneously, I see a very different picture of being someone's mother.

As a kid, and even a little now, a compliment from my mom is usually a paradox of sorts.  If she fails to compliment or notice something I've done well, then utter disappointment builds up.  And yet, as soon as the compliment rolls off her tongue, my brain smirks and says, "Yeah, but you have to say that.  You're my mother."  And to a point, it's kind of true.  The two kids sleeping down the hallway can throw crazy fits, highlight all of my inadequacies and make every mess imaginable and I'll still giggle at how 'cute' they are at any given moment.  All the milestones are significant mostly because they are being reached by MY child.

And yet, every hour of sleep I lose to feed or rock a baby is a choice.  Every diaper I change or every vegetable I make sure is eaten is a choice.  Mothering, while arguably highly instinctual for some, is most certainly a daily (hourly) choice.   It's a heart-breaking reality that some mothers do not make positive choices for their children - rejecting them, abusing them.  Those that do strive for their children's growth and well-being are much more valuable because we see that they have chosen to mother, when they could have chosen not to.  

Motherhood is beautiful.  Discovering a new human being and teaching them the world all in one breath is amazing.  And mom's do it every day.  But that's not even the best part.  Growth in every way possible creeps into your life, sometimes without even realizing it.  I know parenthood isn't for everyone, but if you're on the fence about whether or not to have kids, this is what tips it in favor.  Those precious little souls (that make me wonder what I did with all of that time I used to have) are changing me for the better.

Miss Z was sleeping and had another hour before needing to eat again.  J had confirmed my fears that he had contracted Hand, Foot & Mouth disease and went to bed loaded up with herbs and a fever.  Most things in the house had been straightened and I was wiping down the counters in the kitchen.  Suddenly, I had flashes of my grandma's kitchen all cleaned up and glowing in the dark from some lighting underneath the top cabinets.  All the kids and grandkids tucked away in a corner or couch somewhere before or after some big holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas.  And the weirdest thing happened.  I didn't resent the cosmos for having to wipe down the counters or clean up dishes.  Having my own kids in their beds and finishing up my household tasks for the night was absolutely fulfilling.  It felt right and comforting and good.

Never before had I really understood why someone (moms usually) would work so hard to provide things like warm meals, clean beds and comforts of home from a place of joy.  It seemed to me they probably did it because no one else would and it was expected of them.  And of course sometimes those are the only reasons anything gets done, at least in this house for sure.  But in that moment I felt the incomparable joy of motherhood.

1 comment:

Hannah Scott said...

This made me tear up a little. You are such a great mama, and I love reading about how it continues to change you and help you grow. Miss you guys!

What Happens If You're Disappointed This Week?

Disappointment is a big issue with kids around.  Every parent will tell you not to say a word about a trip to the zoo or a possible visitor ...