Friday, August 14, 2009

The Weight of Motherhood

The definition of weight can mean many things: an overpowering or oppressive feeling of heavy force; to load down or burden; or the quality or state of being ponderous.

Sometimes I feel as though my entire body aches with the heaviness of a mother’s weight. I actually have dreams where I am floating in the ocean or in the sky and I wake feeling free and content, but then I regain full consciousness and reality sets in.

No, this is not what you think. I am not talking about the extra baby weight that many of us admittedly want to either lose or keep off. I am talking about the lovely enormous burden of motherhood. This lovely burden is an overwhelming task. Day in and day out, we put ourselves aside to ensure that our children have every opportunity to grow, learn and be happy. However, at times we are weighed down by the millions of decisions and choices we have to make to ensure this happiness.

The teaching and guidance of motherhood puts enormous pressure on us to live up to the utmost perfection. I am sure that you are thinking right now that of course, no one is perfect. That is what we are taught growing up. However, mothers know all too well that every decision or choice they make for their children whether big or small has consequences. And these consequences can haunt us. We over analyze and ponder these consequences until exhaustion. Then we get some rest and start all over again.

Whether we like to admit it or not, a mother’s journey is filled with the unease and anxiety of her many decisions. Whether it is to challenge a doctor regarding a medical decision for her child; to breastfeed or not; to promote expression of her child’s will and at the same time knowing when to protect that expression; and to hold her child’s heart close while also providing a pathway for her child’s journey of love and growth. The list goes on and on.

As mothers we have the most enormous responsibility one could ever have. We hold the dreams and hopes of our children not only in our hearts, but in the very core of our souls. We ache when they cry; we feel guilt and despair when we’re not there; and we feel helpless when we are unable to protect them from heartache and disappointment.

Although these fears and expectations weigh mothers down, it also moves us towards a common commitment and purpose. This purpose is what I trust the most. A belief that the same purpose that pushed me to become a mother is the same drive that leads me to work to be the best mother I can be.

The weight of motherhood is not something we take lightly, but a beautiful bliss of discovery and experimentation. Every new day provides insight into the kind of mothers we are and the kind of mothers we strive to become. Taking this journey is difficult and exquisite all at the same time. As mothers, we will always continue to be exhausted, challenged and overwhelmed. However, if we are honest about our journey and true to ourselves and our children, some of the heaviness will be lifted and what will be left is the magnificent adventure of being a mother.

Thanks to MomsRising for this wonderful article which was written by Pamela Murphy!

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