We welcomed a new baby into the family last week.
It is interesting, viewing motherhood from one step back, as a grandmother instead of as a new mother. While I pulled Grandma duty in the days just before and just after baby's arrival, a couple of things stood out to me...
Motherhood requires incredible strength and stamina - physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.
As I watched my hugely pregnant daughter care for her husband, her two-year-old and her home, I was amazed by her strength. A restless night of labor, a sleepless night with a newborn, another sleepless night...with constant demands on her body and her emotions...and yet she persevered with a patience and steadiness that astounded me.
Instead of complaining, "I am so tired!" (which she was) - she instead exclaimed, "I love my sweet babies so much!"
Yes, my daughter has personal dreams. Some of these have been put on hold, possibly forever, while she focuses her time and energy on the tremendous task she and her husband have of raising their family.
Life, interrupted. Is that what motherhood is?
It is life. It is living this day, this moment in communion with the divine, in the company of eternal souls that try the limits of your understanding and your faith and your endurance.
WE welcomed a new baby into the family last week.
We welcomed a new baby into the FAMILY last week.
Motherhood is about community. It is about the WE and the FAMILY, instead of about the I and the ME.
Motherhood takes a woman out of the narrow confines of her own skin and stretches her soul, her heart, her energy, her dreams...
infuses all these parts of her mother self into the selves of others, who grow up into unique people, very different from herself, and who in turn begin the cycle anew and, by doing so, disperse her mother heart even further, into yet another generation...
so that the teeny-tiny spot one mother occupies on this planet (where she lives, her job, her aspirations, her disappointments, her personal preferences), this teeny-tiny little spot can no longer contain her because she has been so greatly expanded, through space and time, sometimes quite literally around the globe.
* * *
Why, indeed. Today, as I celebrate this newest addition to the family, my heart breaks for young mothers who are frustrated, disappointed, and depressed because they feel "trapped," the moms who feel like they have given up so much in return for so little, the mothers who have not yet understood the greatness of their calling.
Oh, for eyes to see!