Sunday, May 2, 2010

Life in the Mother Hood

"The family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
The family is ordained of God."
—The Family, A Proclamation to the World

I had just moved to the hood—the Mother Hood. What did I know? I was twenty years old and I was a brand-new mom. No money, no experience, no education. I arrived in this new world with the barest necessities: a faith in God, a husband who loved me, and the example of a happy childhood. But life in the 'hood didn't come naturally to me.

I had enjoyed being the center of my own world. It was a shock to have a newborn who demanded all my energy and time, physically, mentally, emotionally—every tiny ounce I had to give! Some women prepare for this by postponing kids until after they've satisfied some of their own goals. This would not have worked for me. There would have been more to sacrifice. As it was, my initial feelings were still sometimes resentful and frustrated. Overwhelmed, I thought I wasn't ready for this season of selflessness. The time for preparation was past, and I had failed to prepare.

But I discovered something important. The abilities I wanted to have as a mother could only be developed by actually being a mother. I couldn't get them any other way. Just like a runner gains stamina from running, I would train best in the authentic mom-a-thon. This new baby was my first coach.

Oprah had a program highlighting all the negative stuff that nobody tells a woman about becoming a mom. You know: exhaustion, hemorrhoids, loneliness, boredom, lack of stimulation, lack of appreciation, lack of everything. I identified with it all, but I think she needs to have a program highlighting all the positive stuff nobody tells a woman about being a mom. The benefits don't come all at once, like a two-year-old's tantrum. They are scattered through the Mother Hood. I didn't find many of them for years, and I'm still discovering them hidden generously in nooks and crannies of my soul.

In honor of Mother's Day I'm going to write about some of the awesome blessings that have come to me through being a mother. I'm an expert, having had a forty-year career. Come back tomorrow and bring your friends. I'll raise your expectations of the Mother Hood.


Katie H said...

I love this & need it as I barely start out on the path (& am genuinely freaked out). Thank you...looking forward to tips of advice about what is great!

Jennifer said...

Between marrying later in life and dealing with infertility, I didn't have my first child until I was 34. Even after all the work I went through to get her, even with all the life experience I had (including being the oldest in my family, with my youngest sib 18 years younger than me), even with a husband who was supportive and had ample time to help me out - being a mother was the hardest thing I had ever done before. It still is. But I love it.

Being a mother is the most fulfilling, rewarding, richest life experience I have had so far, and I can not imagine anything that could top it in the years ahead. Only my relationship with my husband measures up the joy I get from my relationship with my children. I only wish I could have had more than the two I've got.

Diane said...

We can't truly appreciate the blessings without some of the trials. I have had both, and the blessings always come out on top - perhaps sweeter because of trials.

I became a mom in the early 80's, when it was all the rage to be a professional and have your kids on the side. I chose to be a stay-at-home mom, and I wouldn't change that experience for anything.

kenju said...

And maybe you should send the post to and ask that question!! I agree, there are many, many joys of being a mother and they never end (at least for me, they haven't)

Hil said...

I love this post and can't wait for the ones to come this week!

Shelley said...

I love your honesty.

Tiffany said...

You are incredibly genuine and endearing--I love learning from you!

Sarah said...

Perfect. Just what women need to hear. Can't wait to see it.