Motherhood looks differently on every woman. Some mothers are single and juggle school and/or work two jobs just to support their babes. Some mothers are lucky and happily married but had to wait years for their dreams to come true, while other womans’ prayers are never answered. Some struggle with infertility, failed adoption, foster parenting, step parenting, youth mentoring, and others have histories of abortions. And, the most heartbreaking, some mothers have lost a child.
Some mothers provide three home cooked meals a day while others watch their children shovel French fries in their face and are thankful that they are at least eating. Many mothers limit screen time and plan art activities – and then one day they say, “to hell with the rules!”, and let Paw Patrol babysit for 23 minutes and 22 seconds because they need a moment of peace. Don’t ask me how I know the exact length of a Paw Patrol episode, I plea the fifth. Despite all these differences, one thing remains the same. Mothers see their children as extensions of their own soul. There is a reason most fear mama bears above all else – there is nothing we will not do to protect our children.
I learned a fun piece of trivia this morning from my pastor, Levi (at Awaken Church in Anchorage for those fellow Alaskans, I highly recommend this community). He said that Mother’s Day has the third highest attendance rate following Easter and Christmas. This really spoke to me. It just validates the influence that we have over future legacies. Even though we aren’t perfect and make mistakes we remain one of the greatest influences of the future. Doesn’t that make you feel so special? I mean sure, its a little overwhelming with that pressure on our shoulders… but consider the ripple effect we as mothers have! We are the heart and soul of our societies. Remember this, just how special you are, when you have a meltdown and cry in the closet because your two year old still wants to nurse all day and has a tantrum to put all other tantrums to shame (please tell me this isn’t just me!). Remember that we all have our stuff. We all have shortcomings. Despite what motherhood looks like in our homes, I know with certainty that no one can do a better job mothering your children than YOU! And your love and guidance will make ripples…or waves!
One more thought….
As an artist (storytellerphotographic.com shameless plug) – motherhood is my muse. All experiences of motherhood – pregnancy, giving birth, newborn phase, toddler phase, all the way to grand baby phase. It is all so beautiful. While I don’t have a ton of experience photographing other families I have seen one thing, time and time again. Mothers have a sparkle in their eye when they look at their children. They have a certain expression, a specific smile that only shows itself when they gaze at their children. Of course, this smile doesn’t always shine, for instance when my toddler lost his **** while leaving the park last week – I’m certain I wasn’t smiling. But then we got moving and he started singing and I felt the corners of my mouth turn. All mothers have this expression, and it is truly one of the most beautiful things to witness.
So, let’s raise a cup of cold coffee to you! To all you women, despite how you wear motherhood, here’s to you! I hope you got a nap, had someone else do the dishes, and jammed on a fantastic brunch today!