This morning while doing some crocheting in bed I watched the movie Motherhood (starring Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver and Anthony Edwards). The movie is basically a day in the life of this New York Mom as she prepares for her daughters sixth birthday party while she simultaneously tries to write a 500 word essay about what Motherhood means to her as an entry for a parenting magazine contest.
It got me thinking. What does Motherhood mean to me? There aren't enough hours in the day for me to list all of the ways that my life has changed since that day 10 years ago when I first heard the words "You're pregnant". Every woman experiences these changes...but it means something different to each of us.
What does it mean to me?
It means everything. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is about my babies. Every choice I make all day long, from what I have for breakfast, to what the thermostat is set on at night... is impacted and effected by what those girls need first, and then by what I need or want second. They are everything that matters in my world, and I am blessed and honored to be their Mother. That being said...
I have never been one of those Mom's that parent "by the book". When my oldest was born, I wasn't one of those crazed new Mom's that won't let anyone hold the baby, or that never leaves the house because there may be germs. When she was three months old and spit her pacifier out and it hit the floor... I picked it up, stuck it in my mouth to clean it off, and then gave it back to her. When she was 6 months old, I let her cry it out at naptime because I needed to get things done without carrying her around.
I let her get dirty at the park, and let her fall and scrape her knees, because she had to learn to watch where she was running. I have always been strict about how she behaved because I didn't want her to grow up thinking she could get away with doing anything she wanted. I made her eat food she didn't like, and forced her to say please and thank you.
When I had my second, I let the older one help. I let her hold her sister and help change diapers... I made her responsible for things, because I want her to grow up feeling responsible for her sister. I believe that someday it will make them closer...because my Mom did the same thing with me and my sister, and I feel like without that responsibility to each other we wouldn't be as close as we are now as adults.
I believe that every Mom has to do things the way that is best for her. NOT what the books/magazines or blogs say.
I am a Mom. That is who and what I am. Motherhood is one of my defining features, and I'm proud of that.