The Untold Privilege of Motherhood

Motherhood provides innumerable gifts and blessings if we are open to it. With the celebration of Mother’s day I reflected on what it means to me to experience motherhood.

It has been an absolute honour to be a mother. And probably one of the most difficult journeys I embarked on. But it seems that somewhere deep inside of me I decided to take this responsibility seriously. I came to motherhood late in life, something for which I am exceedingly grateful. By the time I had my son I felt ready to be the custodian of a little person and to do it as mindfully as I could. To me he has always been an enormous gift.

Some of the gifts of motherhood

Enjoy the moment. My son taught me about having fun. As a child he was enthralled with life. When he was bathing one night I asked “Don’t you think you should hop out now?” “No” he answered, “I am giving the ants a boat ride”.

We had a regular ritual of walking at the beach collecting shells or seeing who could spot certain shapes. We played rough and tumble games. When I made food he would often help. Cheese and carrots would be cut into different shapes. He would make his own salads. He always did things differently. What an eye opener for me as a creature of habit.

Accept what is. My husband had a nose operation and it changed the shape of his nose. A few weeks later our young son asked me: “Mom, are you used to Dad’s nose?” I said “No, not yet”. “Well you just have to get used to it,” he answered quite matter of fact! There was nothing more to discuss.  I wish I had the mind of a child sometimes. What he said was just so true, get used to it, stop the questions and move on.

Laugh. He was quite mischievous sometimes. One day he said to me “my hands want to tickle you, but I don’t!” His gran one day commented to him “your Mom is very thin” and he replied “Our dogs  (Italian greyhounds) are also very thin!” I just had to laugh!

Back off. I once explained a concept to our son and he answered in quite an irritated way. I said I was trying to explain something that would make things easier to understand. His response: “Who came up with that idea?” I answered some or other man. “So, you see, if he can figure it out for himself then I can also find my own answers to problems!” This has been one of the biggest lessons for me to learn as a parent.

Being real. He once made a hurtful comment as children often do and I burst into tears. It was a day I was not feeling particularly strong. I walked away to gather myself. He followed, in tears for having upset me. We chatted about the incident and I said he is not responsible for making me happy. We spoke about the fact that we will say things that are hurtful. But that it is important to talk it out. He has been really good at this.

Self-awareness. At times when he was out of sorts I managed to see that I was pre-occupied with work or household chores. However, when I became more reflective of my own state of mind and became more present, his behaviour changed instantaneously.

I grew up in a home where our parents never thanked us so I decided to change this. I would always thank my son for helping around the house or doing things. To this day he shows appreciation for what we do for him: be it a gift or a tasty meal.

Being affectionate. Our son has always loved hugs and being told he is loved. When he was small he went through a few weeks of asking me daily If I loved him. I said of course. Then he took me to a fridge magnet that had a list of six things every child needs to hear. The first point was “I love you”. I once asked him if he ever got tired of hearing I love him and his answer was a simple “no”.

Accept feedback and take nothing personally.  I have had regular feedback from my son: some light hearted and funny, other less so. Despite being raised in a home where children were seen and not heard I have learn to interact differently now.  As a result my relationship with my son is more real.

So, today my heart goes out to those women who have lost a child. The loss you experience is indescribable.  I am immensely grateful to still have a son and know what it is to face my own imperfections.

If raising children is affecting your well-being you will value counselling sessions.

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Posted in Parenting, Women.