Motherhood is such a beautiful, complex, amazing journey. We each have such a different experience and yet we all have the same experience. We all know the feeling of unconditional love that fills our hearts in places that we didn’t know existed. We all face the daily struggles and challenges of lack of sleep, fussy eaters and the dreaded mother guilt. We are in awe of the babies we have given birth to who turn into infants, toddlers and then somehow teenagers and then parents themselves. And at one time or another we have all felt a longing, even if just for a second, for our old selves who could pee in peace and sleep in on Sundays.
What I have reflected on, quietly to myself, since Olivia was born is how the shared experience of motherhood has brought me closer my own mum and also my grandma. I always knew that I was loved, but just how much was not something I could comprehend until I held my own daughter in my arms for the first time. That instant moment of joyous, exciting, bursting at the seams love.
As I have gone on in my own motherhood journey, my mum has been an invaluable support to me. While I was in labour she drove to the hospital and sat in the car park so she could be closer to me. And since then she has been there for me in a way that only a mother can. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I am so thankful to have my mum as part of my village.
But the shared experience of motherhood can extend beyond your own mum to your sister, aunt, best friend or the new friends you meet at mothers group. It is the same shared experience as the lady at the bus stop who is hoping a hole will open up and swallow her while her toddler is throwing a tantrum, or the blogger who admits to yelling at her kids and is crucified for it, or the mum who is going back to work much earlier than she had hoped because well, there are bills to be paid. We don’t have to agree with the choices every other mum makes or the clothes her kids wear (or what she wears for that matter) or how much sugar she uses in her baking. But if we can remember the shared experience, the fact that we all have little people who we love with all our heart and only want the best for, the fact that we all have challenges along the way and the fact that we all have choices that aren’t easy to make, then I think the world will be a better place.
There are many challenges of motherhood, but there will always be more joys and the shared experience is one of them. It doesn’t come anywhere near hearing the sound of your child’s laughter or the glimmer in their eyes as the discover the world, but it is still pretty damn awesome.
This is the first in a new weekly series of blog posts about mums sharing their stories. Whether you are a single mum, a grandmother, a mum of many or a mum to one, a mum-to-be, a step mum, a working mum or a stay at home mum, and you want to share your story about a particular motherhood journey or experience you have had then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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