What does it mean to be a mother? Most of us choose to become mothers and that choice comes with great responsibility. The children you having given birth to, are not property, it is not like buying a handbag and when you become tired of it or it becomes too old you can throw it away. That child you have given birth to, that child you chose to have is a lifetime responsibility.
Children are a gift and a gift, which should be treasured all your life. Eventually these children become adults and thus become independent but never truly independent. To you they will always be your babies and for them they will always run to you in times of need. You as a mother will give and give regardless and when they become parents only then will they understand what you have given up for them and what you have done for them.
Motherhood is also a gift and it is a gift that keeps giving. As you see your child take his or her first step, the first time you hear the word mummy, when those little arms stretch out for you, their first play at school, and their first certificate for excellence and so on. You know you did that, you are moulding them to who they will become.
I am not belittling fathers, father can play a large role in a child’s life but let’s not forget it is we as mothers that carry that child and feel every kick, every discomfort through pregnancy and the pain of child birth. The relationship we have with our child is different to that of a father. We have a connection that no father will ever understand. Most of us will go without to ensure that our child receives everything we can possibly give them. It is our pleasure to see our child thrive and knowing we have done everything in our power to ensure that they succeed, is the greatest gift of all.
My mother once said if my children do better than me in life then I have done a good job. I understood what she meant but being a mother is not a job!!! Your children are part of you, they are an extension of you. When that child is growing inside of you, it is your body that feeds them and nourishes them. How can you not see them as part of you?
We want our children to grow up independent but in today’s society it is harder for children to go out in the world. The cost of living has soared, the cost of renting or buying a home has become so expensive that it is out of the reach of many. Therefore, we help them as much as we can and that is part of motherhood and being a parent. After I left home, I would still run back to my mother whenever I felt the need to, I needed that comfort, her arms around me and that sense of security. As an adult the roles change slightly but her role of making me feel safe and loved did not change at that time.
I remember trying to get home on a cold winters evening. I must have been 11 or 12 years old. I waited for a bus that seemed to take a lifetime and decided to walk, it started to snow and I could no longer feel my hands, my feet and my face was numb. As I reached the top of our street, I saw my mother, who had become extremely worried, as I had not yet arrived home. She put her arms around me and suddenly I felt this warmth surge through my body. That is the warmth of love.
It is unconditional love; you will always love what you brought into the world, what you nurtured. You may not always like your children now and then but you will always love them and always do for them, even when they have children of their own.
I use to live next door to a father and son. I assumed the son contributed to the household, as he was working, but what I did not know until he told me. He paid rent to his father and contributed towards the bills. He had to buy his own food and when he told me at the end of the month, he could not wait to be paid as he was low on food, I didn’t understand this at all. In my culture, majority of parents do not charge their children to live at home. We as children contributed because we chose to and those that don’t, have not been raised properly. Sorry to offend anyone but that’s how I feel. My mother never asked, she wanted us to save as much as we could in order to buy our first home. We as her children made the decision to take over the responsibility of the bills and food shopping but this only happened when we started to work.
When we started to earn a living it was our pleasure to do for her what she had done for us. I think this way of thinking is about upbringing, the way you are brought up. The love of a mother is an amazing thing and the love you give as a mother cannot be described. The feeling of love holding your child in your arms is overwhelming. Unless you are a mother, you can never understand what it means.
Do you remember as children when you were hurt due to a fall or you cut yourself? What was the first word that came out of your mouth ‘MUM’. Admittedly, I still do that today. When I have sudden pain, I shout out for my mother even though she can’t hear me. It is natural, we as children, no matter our ages, we run to our mother’s for comfort, to kiss the pain away and truly you do feel like the pain has gone or has subsided. I know it is all psychological but that is the feeling of a mother’s comfort and a mother’s love.
My son does it all the time, he runs into my arms when he needs the warmth of my love. My 12 year old is almost 5ft 10in and trusts me when I say he still sits on my lap or lies on top of me for a cuddle. There are times I lose all blood circulation and I swear I’m going positively blue, but I know as his mother he needs this comfort and I don’t complain. If he has a nightmare, I can hear him call me even though I am asleep and I instantly awake to comfort him. I can see and feel how he is feeling, even when he tries to hide it from me. This is what motherhood is all about.
Some parents believe that when their children reaches adulthood that they should go off on their own, leave home and make their way in life, whether they are ready for it or not. I respect their beliefs but I think they are wrong. A child needs to feel ready to leave and only then will they truly succeed in life.
Their success is our success. If we push them too quickly and they fall, who will pick up the pieces? We will, is it not easier to help them until they are ready? Let them cut the apron strings, not us. I become teary just thinking about my child one day leaving home, he will no longer be in the next room but when he is ready, I will let him go and encourage him. I will also let him know I will always be here and the door is always open. I will make him understand that he will not have to face the hurdles of life on his own. His mother will always be here physically or in his heart.
We as mothers will die for our children, we will go without to ensure they are fed and clothed. Being a mother is a gift from god. Do not throw away that gift away and how you treat that gift will determine how they treat their children. Do you not think that love will produce generations after generations of love?
I have heard said ‘when they are babies your arm aches and when they grow up your heart aches’. I welcome my whole body to ache for my child. Would I give up being a mother? Not for anything in the world!!! When it is time to meet my maker, I will close my eyes in peace in the knowledge that I have prepared my child for the world, no matter how long it took me. Knowing that my love will go on and on and I was truly blessed to be given this gift from god.