Today's exercise is to, as usual, take ten minutes and write about what motherhood means to you. Not just, what does being a mother mean to 'me,' but what does a mother do, or what does Mother mean?
Here is my take on being a mother...
No one can tell you how to be a mother. For, as everyone jokes, children have no instruction manuals. Mother Nature delivers the wonderful new life and expects that you will figure it out. Books are filled with advice. TV shows abound with what-went-wrong and troubled children. But only one person can tell you how to be a mom. And that is your child.
Only a child can tell you what will light a face up with excitement. Only a child can pick what makes a face glow with a smile. And a child can show you what makes tears fall or fists flail. Only a child can be a teacher to the person who is supposed to teach them.
Those fleeting moments of pure joy when a child randomly smiles and the world stops or when laughter chimes like the most holy of bells, those are the rewards for a mother. The entire focus of a mother is not just to raise well adjusted children, but to nurture memories full of joy that last a life time. A mother should make something that can be shared.
Mothers tend to forget, between dishes and laundry, what impact they have. Every smile, every frown, every grounding and reward, affects history. Each mother is creating a path that shows not only her child what it means to be an adult, but her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For the paths started today will be handed down through the children, the children she hasn't met yet.