Parenting is described as the hardest job with the least amount of recompense and yet it is also the most fulfilling job with the greatest rewards and deepest sorrows. I’m feeling very reflective these days as my boys are both moving on in their lives and that means change. Moving from being Mommy to Mother. Last year as this process became a reality for me, through deep pain, I wrote the poem “This Mother’s Hurting Heart.”
That pain was deep and awe inspiring but it also caused me to examine a role I had always dreamed of but never fully understood. The Role of Motherhood. This role is not for the weak nor is it for the male counterpart despite what society wishes to say to the contrary because we are specifically designed and tasked for this role from creation. I know this is not a popular thought nor is it the current trend but it is the truth. Motherhood is a role for women because it requires a certain understanding of who we are as women. The feminist movement has had some good and some bad to it. It has helped and harmed the female role in our world. You see women were never meant to be equal to men but rather to do all the things that men cannot. God specifically chose to design a woman differently from the man. From dust, He created man…yes, the rhyme of how boys are made which says …of dirt, snails and puppy dog tails, well, the dirt part is true…and from bone, he made woman. Not just any bone, but the rib bone. The bone which is closest to the heart for love and under the arm for protection. Man was made in God’s image and woman was made to be a helpmate for him to accomplish the big challenges that God had given him. Sugar, spice and everything nice is the things girls are made up of so that rhyme goes but the truth is that sugar can be too much sometimes and give you tummy aches and the spice, well, some of us are just spicier than others… the everything nice…well, this is a lesson that needs teaching to a few! The point is celebrating women doesn’t mean putting them into a box nor is it trying to make them exactly like men. Women as mothers are not only life bearers to populate our earth but women are life bearers from creation. We are meant to give life to others through our words, deeds, and actions even if we never give birth or mother others in the physical sense. When trying to achieve any other purpose, a woman is found desperately searching for the person she is to become.
A mother isn’t a role that happens only because we gave birth. A mother is a role we choose to fulfill. I said I always dreamed of being a mother and even in school and college people laughingly called me “Momma Donesa” because I was always trying to “mother” people. Mother isn’t a role I will ever grow out of or change. New memories will be made and new roles in life will be played. I will always be a mother. But the time of the children being dependent on me has shifted and this is bittersweet. Recently, I said as much to my mom and she said she knew, and for me to remember she lost three kids at once…that’s because my sister and I traveled off to college shortly after the murder of my brother in 1989. I can only imagine now the pain she felt and how bereft the emotions. My mother is my best friend, confidante, and example, as well as being my hero. Never did I imagine that I was her biggest blessing and her biggest heartache at the same time. You see, that’s the role of mother. Finding the beauty in the hidden places. Finding the diamonds under the coal. Finding the gold amid the dirt. Finding the rainbows despite the storm. This is the depth of Motherhood.
I hear tell by those around that being a grandparent is super cool and so much better than parenting but I find that hard to believe. I loved being Mommy. It was my dream and I continue to live it fully. It is time to embrace new dreams and time to fill those days with being Mom, Mother, Grandmom, Friend, Sister, Mother-In-Law, and many more.
So, a loving salute to all moms out there whether you are a mom in the making, a mom on loan, a mommy in the battlefields of toddlerhood, a mom swinging the teen years, a mother in law, a mother in age, a mother of none or a mother of many.Motherhood is a blessed time of life that starts from the moment you are born a woman to the end of your days. For today, I lean on the wisdom my Father taught me…You are always a mother for you are the mother of the woman you will become.
Poem: This Mother’s Hurting Heart
Who knew that when your kids grew up, they grow away?
Who knew that the toddlers who once begged for every moment of your time now barely tolerate your presence in search of friends and fame
Who knew that those sweet mouths that were once sustained by your breast now break your heart with their careless words not meant to hurt or sting
Who knew that those hands that once caressed your necks and twirled your hair now slap at you if you get near as your kisses now embarrass them?
Who knew that the feet that once ran in joy to your presence now run away as fast as they can towards others who are much more exciting
Who knew that the children who once begged you for more time to read, play & spend with them now see you as a distraction from their lives as they move in a new direction?
Who knew that the words I love you from your child’s lips would no longer mean you’re their only love?
Who knew that the hours/days/months/years of planning birthday parties/special events/etc. that once thrilled their hearts would now become an endurance of epic proportion?
Who knew that the endless sleepless nights of crying for you would now become sleepless nights of worry for their future and their safety?
Who knew that the scars/pains of childbirth would only begin the scars/pains inflicted unintentionally by those same children?
Who knew that those nightly cherished hugs/kisses might be your last?
Who knew that your morals/advice and wisdom so carefully shared would be ignored with disdain for a time until they learn them themselves?
Only Another Mother. And her advice:
Cherish these moments because those days of sweetness are but a few and soon you too will touch the pictures in memory poignantly wishing for those days long past….