Mothers are born not made, or is it made not born? I’m confused…
Do you know what I think is one of the biggest lies (or misconceptions) going about motherhood? It’s that mothers are born, not made.
Mothers are not born, babies are.
Mothers are no more born in birth than babies are – both are truly made in the lifetime that follows. They are shaped through the feeding and sleeping issues of a newborn, the tears and tantrums of a toddler and the years of spilt milk, lost homework, scraped knees and broken hearts that follow. My guess is that mothers never stop being made, just as their children never stop growing – even when it’s into parenthood of their own.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard a mum say “I’m just not cut out for being at home with the kids, we’re all better off with me working – happy mum a happy home and all that….”
My observations of mothers lead me to one conclusion – about 1% of the parenting popular fit the category of “being cut out” for life at home with small children.
The other 99% of mothers who are at home full or mostly-full time with their kids are there for a whole host of reasons that have nothing to do with being “cut out for it”.
I feel deeply sad about the lie that tells women and men that some people were “just born to be a mother”. It sets the majority up for failure…or for an idea that motherhood is something that should just come naturally. How can something as life altering as taking care of small, entirely dependent and yet strong willed person 24/7 be something that comes naturally?!?! Let’s get real for a moment.
If you want to work, work – no worries. But if you want to work because you feel like being at home with the kids “just isn’t for you” then please let me encourage you that most other mums feel like that too. Last week when Bliss came into the bathroom while I was showering just to let me know that Bear had opened and spilt the milk and that it was now “just like a waterfall” I was not filled with delight. Especially not since I’d started the day at 4.30am. Standing the kitchen, sopping wet and trying to mop up the mess without dropping my towel, I thought about how much simpler life would be if someone else could just deal with the it. But then I realised that someone else would also get to enjoy all the amazing times too. Being at home with the kids is a really worthwhile and surprisingly enjoyable experience…but a bit like everything else in life, it’ not great all the time. Don’t feel you have to opt out of that time because you’re not “cut out for it”. The surprising truth is that we learn to parent from our kids – and it just takes time.
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