'Motherhood’ a space of vulnerability, love, resilience, lessons, second chances and an abundance of grace. That’s my take and definition of motherhood right now.
In 2010 when I officially became a mother I felt very alone in that journey. Instagram was barely being introduced, my Facebook friends were filled of the younger generation and after all, I was a teenager in college; which meant you didn’t see pregnant girls very often. Back then, it wasn’t necessarily cool to be pregnant out of wedlock, it wasn’t a fad to get pregnant just to force a family and being pregnant at my age was a damn shame. Point. Blank. Period. I got the cold shoulder, the double looks, the somewhat smile in your face…feel awkward then talk behind your back kind of people. Friends that used to be friends, no longer knew how to actually talk to me. Strangers that felt bad for me, being blinded to the fact that I didn’t ever feel bad for myself. Pregnancy and motherhood seemed like a foreign thing. Ya know…the typical, “big mistake” outlook in the community around me. But in a weird way, now looking back I am really thankful for that. Why? Because I didn’t feel like I had to please anyone, or rush to make my baby do things just because there was another baby doing it.
Now days, everywhere I turn…somebody is pregnant. A new social lite is pregnant, taking maternity photos and challenging the next girl to get pregnant and do it better. A newlywed couple is “trying” to get pregnant. My friends are pregnant. Strangers are pregnant. Girls with a crappy on and off boyfriend are pregnant.
It is the new thing and if you’re not pregnant, what are you doing? With pregnancy, comes motherhood right? In a new generation of mothers everywhere I turn, it makes me wonder. What kind of mother do I stand to be, in a sea of what seems to be no longer a sacred thing. I feel a lot of times pregnancy, and birthing multiple children is for the sake of social media. How can I prove that I am that “super momma” image? How can I prove that my body can bounce back faster than the next pregnant girl? How can I boast about how I didn’t get stretch marks, and I did this this and this?
My point is. THE PRESSURE to be a mother is ridiculous. Now days, I don’t feel the focus is on being a good mother, or a mother that gives back, or a mother that helps other mothers, or community. It’s a lot of pretending, and you can tell the fake from the genuine. It’s all about the “Super Mama” image. The mom that has multiple children that are dressed in the newest cutest name brand clothes, whose baby sleeps through the night and hits his or her milestones the fastest. Who can do all organic, all natural, non-GMO for every single freaking thing. No excuses. The mother that can be the mother, but the boss at the same time.
Ugh. It’s a shit show. I think we gotta take it back to the basics ya know? Like true community. Accepting one another, mother-to-mother, meeting one another where we are at and being okay with it. Not feeling the need and sick pressure to constantly say all the “good” things our babies do because we feel like that’s what we need in order to prove we are doing a good job. How about instead, we talk about how we cried in the hot shower and really contemplated what the heck we were thinking having kids? Or how about yesterday when you yelled and were impatient, or were too tired to play outside so you let your kid sit on his or her ipad? Or how about your kid got detention at school for being a bully? Or your baby needed to stop breastfeeding and switched to formula? Or that huge tantrum he or she pulled at the grocery store, while strangers just stared and shook their heads?
I am all for organically being filled with gratitude and finding the good in everything, but I think we have to as a community of mothers allow one another to be RAW, and REAL and not have to do the whole show off to others dance.
I don’t want to do it better than the next mom. And young girls shouldn’t have to see grown women getting pregnant just to take a bomb maternity shoot. Ya know? We should be mothering children because it’s a true desire and role that we believe in. One where we make a difference in the world through that human being growing.
Children are a gift from God, and whether they hit their milestones or are in the 99th percentile at their check ups, lets just meet one another at the same tree of life and acknowledge that motherhood is so much more than all the fluff.
Give one another grace, and don’t compete and compare. I say this a million times, but I’ll say it again, “if the women of the world came together instead of seeing one another as problems, we would be a force so strong.”
Grow where you are planted. Share with other mamas that recipe for the meal you made the other night. Tell the mom that had a C-section she did an amazing job, instead of making her feel like she didn’t birth the right way. Give the mom a hug that is complaining about being exhausted, even though her baby sleeps through the night. Acknowledge the momma that still has her belly after 6 months and then some.
Bottom line, motherhood is hard. It is not for the faint of heart and it is not something that you can fake your way through. It takes a village, and we can’t just say that, we gotta create one!