When does motherhood truly begin and what is it? Are you a mother the moment you find out you’re expecting a little one? For many women, the answer is yes. The moment there is confirmation of a new life most women begin practicing great care and caution to protect the little one inside. Is this mothering? Protecting you little one? It is, but motherhood is so much more.
There is no limit to what can be considered motherhood. Motherhood can bring joy greater than anything you’ve ever known, but unfortunately the same can be said for pain and sorrow. When your child is hurting, you hurt far worse. When your child is happy, you practically cry from joy yourself. Motherhood heightens the emotions we feel and explodes the limits of what we think is possible in life. There are truly no limits.
The jobs that motherhood entails vary by family and cultures. However, most agree that mothers have some of the most basic jobs of humanity. They are to provide nourishment and safety for their children. A mother’s work is not complete until her child is fed,
loved, comfortable and as safe as is humanly possible. For many mothers this simply means living a warm nurturing life in an environment that has always been ideal and safe. For others it may mean making seemingly impossible decisions to be sure a child is safe and well cared for.
Beyond the basics of food, shelter and care, mothers also take on pivotal roles in a family. The mother is often the ballast of the family ship and offers support and a safety net to not only the baby, but to all family members. Mothers also tend to be the one who sets limits and makes decisions on behalf of her children. She may, of course, consult with the children’s father or other family members, but ultimately, mothers know their children best and can determine what is best for them.
When you love a child as fiercely as a mother does, your heart swells, but becomes subject to much more than you ever anticipated. Not only do you love your child, but you may feel a profound empathy for the children of others. Movies and news items that would not have moved you previously are now too painful to watch, and even the simplest television commercial or a glimpse of a happy baby in the store can make your heart ache with quiet happiness.
Because you love your children so deeply, you will also be required to take on much of their pain. When it is time to start telling a little one, “no,” or setting limits for their own safety the child may be upset, and it is up to mothers to help them understand. The expression, “this hurts me more than it hurts you,” has never been as true as when you are a mother.
While mothering may be tough at times, it comes with its own very special rewards. From the first kicks in the womb to perfect little toes at birth, your child is a part of you for nine months. Some mothers may fear losing that connection when the child is born, but there is no need to fear. The baby that you loved inside you garners even more love and joy in your arms. Even the hard times of motherhood, such as a tantrum, may be followed by giant hugs and sticky, slobbery kisses that make everything better again. Your child is a part of you, and when you enter motherhood, you will never be the same again – nor will you ever want to be.
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