Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Early last week i was listening to the latest Pink song and i started to wonder how close she was to delivering her new baby. Then i though, does she fully understand the journey she is about to embark upon? Probably not. None of us did. As i started to ponder motherhood. I realized that to me, the most defining name we will ever be called is Mother. It is life changing.
Not marriage, education, employment, status, finances, nothing changes a person like becoming a mother. There is not turning back once you have a baby. You are no longer Christina, but Mom. That's pretty powerful. You can switch jobs, get divorced, lose your home, fall flat on your face, all that can change, but you will forever be Mom. I think we underestimate the power and pressure of that name. Pink can no longer just live foot loose and fancy free. She is no longer just a woman with ideas, but a Mom who has now inherited the beautiful gift of protecting her child. She no longer comes first. Period. She will forever want better for someone other than herself.
On Earth day/Good Friday i went with my family to see the Disney movie African Cats. It was a beautiful movie that let you inside the protective barrier of two different mother cats in Africa. As i watched the Cheetah sitting on her hill, her eyes were acutely aware of her surroundings and she was listening with a keen ear for any sign of harm. Its like, as i watched the mother Cheetah's body tense with the threat of danger, i felt what she was feeling. Even in the cat world, a mothers first job is to protect. I just find that so wonderfully amazing! I think of what a huge position that is for all of us Moms that God instilled it in not only us, but the animals too. When three male cheetahs tried to invade and harm this mother Cheetah (they are the only animal she can not outrun) She distracted them and pranced away from her pups. She was protecting them, even at the cost of losing her own life. Later i though, if she hadn't been a mother, she could have just run away and left before and problems arose. But she couldn't. Her world had changed and her number one priority was to protect her babies. After a stressful hour of watching the Mothers journey of raising up her little cubs, the Springtime came once again and she had made it through the dissolute winter. As the scene started and the babies were older and stronger, I am not kidding I saw a difference in the Mom. She wasn't sitting as tense. Her eyes weren't as focused and her body wasn't as stressed. She had made it through the season of life where those baby Cheetahs were helpless and in danger of any predator who came along. Finally her last task was to teach them to hunt and protect themselves before they eventually left on their own.
Of course, our lives as mothers aren't only one strenuous year, but dozens. Our children needed to be taught, protected, loved, encouraged, disciplined and cared for. I am amazed as i think of my friends an our conversations. One friend is wondering how she can get her kids to eat healthier snacks, another battles with sleep issues, some prepare to bring a new baby home, Another wonders if she is "doing it right", One frets about the "right" way to discipline and the other considers the harmful chemicals that could potentially affect her child. I don't know if anything connects you to a person like being a mother together.Really being in the trenches. Of course there is our Faith. I believe as a body we are one. But we even battle truths among our fellow Christians.
I have heard so many Moms say it and i remember feeling the change. You hear about how much you are going to love this child, but until you hold your baby in your arms and experience motherhood, you can't begin to understand its effects. I specifically remember after having Ruby, my cousin Becky came to the hospital and was holding her and instead of enjoying the moment, i was overwhelmingly worried that my cousin high heels were going to break (cause that happen so often) and she was going to drop my baby girl! Thankfully, she was a pro. Both at wearing high heels and at holding babies, but i was worried. I mean, come on, that is like crazy thoughts.
That, indeed is motherhood.
Sure we complain of no sleep and fret over attitudes and personalities and worry about the future. But none of us (hopefully) not even for a second would give it up. We are forever changed. We can never go back to just being Christina. I know people argue that their babies are going to fit into their life and not vice versa, but not me. I was happy to give up my name and take on the high pressures of Motherhood. I have never read more books and questioned my choices as much in life as i have now. We just want the best for them, but in order to get there, we have to go through many battlefields, many valleys, but God willing, we will come through it intact and look back on our times of trials as life changing and life forming. We will be better people for having children. That is my prayer. That i will do it "right". And believe me, each stinking day, i know i fail more than i succeed, but i will never give up and i will never stop trying.
As Mothers Day approaches, i am so glad to participate in it. Not for the material gifts, but for the gifts from God that are my children. We are all blessed to be called Mom, Moooum, Momma, Hey Mo-ooom, Mommy, Mother!, Ma, no matter how its said, its music to our ears...well, most days anyhow;)