“The moment a child is born,
The mother is also born.
She never existed before.
The woman existed,
But the Mother,
A Mother is something new.” – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
Shortly after the birth of my first baby I came across this quote somewhere in the abyss of online parenting phrases while simultaneously googling;
“What does it mean when by baby’s poop is *insert colour of choice here.”
The moment those words absorbed through to my heavily hormone saturated brain I thought; Yes! Yes, that’s it! That’s just how I feel. Curiously I was relieved. Relieved that right there in front of me were clear, unobtrusive words arranged into neat, comprehensible sentences that described my previously inexplicable feelings.
I appreciated the clarification – the ability to finally grasp the complexities of the emotions that had taken hold in my body the moment my baby had vacated her residence.
For a long time – before ever even considering children in my future – I had a feeling that something was missing from my adult life, or more specifically some piece of me was missing.
That all changed when my first baby was born. In becoming a mother, I had become ‘me’ entirely – more than I had ever been before. I became the person I was always meant to be yet never even knew could exist.
The term ‘clicked into place’ never had a more relevant scenario to describe.
Dramatic? Quite possibly. True? Completely and utterly. This revelation was amazing on so many levels – but a small part of me felt conflicted. I wondered if I was, in some way, letting my gender down by feeling this way?
Everywhere I looked, every article I read, there were reassurances that it was perfectly normal not to feel complete by motherhood, that becoming a mother was simply another aspect of a woman, that women should not be defined by motherhood – and I agreed with all of it.
Mothers are more than mothers. They are wives, girlfriends, aunts, nieces, friends, sisters, daughters. They are doctors, bankers, cleaners, entrepreneurs, shop assistants, fire-fighters, nurses, labourers.
Women are, so much more than anyone thing – but, for me, the absolute and most important title is; Mother. It surprised me more than anyone how becoming a mother made me feel. I was almost embarrassed to admit that I wanted to leave my job, give up all the hard work I’d put in, over the years, in college to stay at home with my baby.
But, a couple of years on and after the addition of another baby to our family, I’ve realised something very important, possibly the most important lesson any new mother can learn – I’m not letting anyone down by feeling this way. Women are women, yes, but most importantly women are individuals and will, therefore, all be individual mothers. We are all different!
How I feel shouldn't be determined by anyone else. How I feel is, just that, how I feel.
In fact to ignore, hide or be embarrassed by my feelings is what would truly be an insult to my gender and myself. I am allowed to feel complete by motherhood. I am allowed to feel like I am someone more now, someone new – someone better.
Because I am a woman, I am a mother and I am me.