Becoming a Mother

Motherhood is a lost art. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood has not been forgotten. Little girls grow up playing with dolls, being the “mommy”. There is still a social expectation that if you are a woman you will become a mother. There is still that biological pull, the ticking clock, that hits us all at some point. But the “art of being a mother has been lost. The purpose of motherhood, the importance of motherhood, the awesomeness of being a mother is rarely spoken of. Once we get into it, we sit there sleep deprived, trying to figure out what the heck we’re supposed to do with leaky breasts and a screaming newborn, frantically flipping through our pile of parenting books and feeling like we are in way, way, way over our heads. We kind of just walk through motherhood in a daze, rarely enjoying it, rarely understanding it, with a fake smile on our newly-wrinkled faces, never really allowing ourselves to establish our identity as a mother.

maddox

I didn’t really become a mother until Baby #3, which I learned is a truly precious gift. With Baby #1, I can remember allowing everyone to tell me what I “should” do. With Baby #2, I remember trying to continue with those things, realizing I was starting this parenting thing ALL over again, and I questioned everything I had ever done. I remember never feeling confident, never feeling comfortable, never feeling like I was doing my best. Then the day came where my son was diagnosed with autism. I sat there with my 17-month-old son and newborn daughter, and thought to myself, “Well, this is certainly going to change things.” I think this was the exact moment I began to grow into motherhood. I would no longer allow anyone else to tell me what to do, and I told myself, “No one knows this baby like I know this baby.” I began growing and learning. I began gaining confidence in my decisions. I began getting comfortable in my role as my child’s protector and advocate. But I still wasn’t fully “there” until my third child.

eden

By Baby #3, I’d begun surrounding myself with women of all different backgrounds, with all different parenting styles because they no longer intimidated me. I no longer felt I had to surround myself with mothers who did everything exactly as I did, because it no longer made me question every decision. Instead, I was able to pick and choose what I did and didn’t want to implement into my own journey of motherhood. And THAT is how you truly become a mother. One day, you wake up and, even though you may have already been in the role of motherhood for 2, 5, or 10 years, something happens and you become a mother. One day you feel powerful. One day you no longer question every single decision you make. One day you grab on to the title of “mother” like it’s a badge of honor. If we had fewer “how-to” books and more real-life support, if we put on fewer masks and had more open and honest conversations, if we weren’t so afraid of learning that we are doing this so dreadfully wrong, we would actually have the freedom to allow ourselves to become a mother.

kason

What point in your parenting journey do you feel like you became a mother?

 

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12 Responses to Becoming a Mother

  1. Charlotte October 23, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    “I no longer felt I had to surround myself with mothers who
    did everything exactly as I did, because it no longer made me
    question every decision.” LOVE THIS! If we all learned to embrace
    this philosophy maybe we could call a truce to the mommy wars! I’m
    working on this myself.

  2. Allison October 23, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    This post is so true. I feel like I learn daily how to be a mother. It’s so easy to feel alone in this journey, but I hope this blog will help other moms in the region to connect and support each other in becoming mothers in their own way.

    • Krista
      Krista October 24, 2013 at 12:07 am #

      Every week when I sit around a table with fellow mommies for our Bible Study time and we share our similar struggles and obstacles and hurts I feel a little more “normal” about the mess ups and the irrational feelings that come along with being a mother. Seeing that all mothers have the same moments gives me freedom to live outside of my mistakes! I hope all the moms who come here know that we are all in this together!

  3. Tina Lanoux October 24, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    I am 4 months into the adoption process of a beautiful 2yr
    old little princess. After 13yrs and not a single pregnancy my
    husband and I conceded to the fact it would just be us forever.
    Then a random conversation with a long time customer on a
    Wednesday..led me to Ave on the very next Sunday. We have been
    sharing custody ever since and the adoption should be final around
    February. I am an only child and have no experience with children.
    Every day I question just about every decision I make in regards to
    her. Is she eating the right things..is she eating enough..am I
    doing everything I can to help her learn and grow into the person I
    hope she will be?? It’s all so overwhelming. I’m thankful I found
    this group and maybe a few new friends. I work full time as does my
    husband so I can’t make all the groups that meet up during the week
    but maybe we can make some of the weekend events. Looking forward
    to meeting you all!

    • Krista
      Krista October 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      Tina, a book that I recently started reading with my ladies’ Bible study group that I WISH I had had 5 years ago is “Desperate: Hope for the weary mom who needs to breathe”. It kind of released me from my need to parent the way I always felt I needed to (how everyone always told me to) and gave me the confirmation that I DO know what I’m doing even if not every single thing comes naturally!!! Congratulations on your journey with motherhood! Ave is so lucky to have you in her life!

    • Cyndy November 20, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      Tina, I also adopted all 4 of my children and I had the same fears. In fact, when my 16 month old came to live with us I had no idea what to feed him…..lol. To me he was a baby so I ran out and bought a ton of stage 4 baby food. When my mom called that day to say she was coming to see her new grandchild I busted out crying telling her I could not get him to eat. She asked what I was feeding him and when I told her she said, “I’m on my way and I’m bringing a happy meal with me!” That kid is now 10 and I’ve managed to keep them all alive. Hehe

  4. Suzanne October 24, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    I love this!! I don’t know when I feel as though I became a “mother,” to be honest, or whether it has even happened yet. I have a 3.5yo and a 10w old and still look at them and think “my goodness, I don’t know what I am doing. I still feel like I am in my early 20s… how did THEY get here?!” Ha! BUT, I have come to realize, and often pass on when asked for parenting advice, that there are a million ways to do the ‘right’ thing. You just have to find out what works for YOU and YOUR baby, as hard as that may be. You can’t follow one person’s “only thing that works” or one book’s “proven success.” It isn’t that simple. Somehow, you just find YOUR way, and that is good enough! Sometimes I have to remind myself of that 😉

    • Angela October 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      Suzanne, you definitely seem to have it figured out! I’m still trying to figure out “my way”. It’s definitely a process but so worth the journey to becoming a confident mom! (Great meeting you and your sweet girls yesterday by the way!)

    • Krista
      Krista October 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

      I agree with Angela! I think realizing that you can do it your way is where it all begins! I by NO means have it all figured out and pretty much every single day I am thinking, “is this normal? do other kids do this? what do I do now?” haha. Parenting changes every day with every phase and every child. I think you’re doing a great job!

  5. Samantha Corcoran October 25, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    I completely agree with the idea of “becoming of mother”. For my first, like expected, I was a wreck. I didn’t feel confident at all! Although of course it’s amazing, and joyful it certainly clouded by doubt! With my second the fear disappeared. I actually enjoyed the newborn stage, and wasn’t afraid I’d somehow “break” him or he would magically have life threatening issues every 5 seconds I closed my eyes to rest. The difference it made! I of course question different stages and so forth, but I always agree I know my child best and that’s the beauty of it. I also think more moms should talk, help, and support versus judge. I enjoyed this post, thank you!

    • Angela October 25, 2013 at 7:05 am #

      I was the same way with my second! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Krista
    Krista October 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Thank you, Samantha! My favorite thing to do is get together with a group of women who are all doing it differently (where no one can gang up on just one other mom because she’s the “odd one out” and where there is the acceptance that everyone is doing it differently) and just talk about what is going on in our lives and with our kids. We each have so much to offer to each other if we just stop trying to prove that we are the ones doing it right all the time haha. I have learned the most from the mothers who come in crying because they said something to their kids that morning that they wished they hadn’t, or the mom who gave her kids McDonalds two days in a row because she was too exhausted to cook, or the mom who just shares HONESTLY about her story. Because the truth is, there is no perfect mother and there is no perfect child. We are each doing the best we can with our individual personalities, challenges, and families. We are all trying to figure it out together, and it is oh so wonderful to have other mothers to help you feel like you are not the only mother who has ever done it wrong and who can tell you that one bad day doesn’t make you a bad mom!

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