With another Mother’s Day is just around the corner I have been invited to ponder the meaning and definition of Mother.
The Definition of a Mother
There is a distinct difference between mother as a noun, versus the action of mothering in the form of a verb. Reading the definition of a mother it says a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth. The verb ‘to mother’ means to bring up (a child) with care and affection, also referred to as ‘the art of mothering’. In the past to mother meant to give birth.
It is interesting to note that the person giving birth and the person bringing up a child with care and affection may not always be the same person.
Becoming a Mother
Throughout my early adult life I had the distinct feeling I would have two children before I turned thirty. I could imagine being a mother but really, this was just an idea and far from a real image of being a mother.
Later in life, once I decided I actively wanted children, I noticed a shift within me. The mother inside me was giving birth to itself.
Appreciation of my own Mother
Only having a child myself has truly allowed me to appreciate the journey my mother has gone through, enjoying the beautiful aspect as well as dealing with the challenges of having children: the hugs and kisses, as well as the “No!” and “Go away Mummy” comments.
Being a mother is an experience, one that I never could have imagined. People who have children say: “You don’t know what it’s like until you have them.” They are right. I thought I did know but truly had no clue. I’m still finding out day by day what’s next to come in bringing up my daughter.
Yearning to be a Mother
Not every woman can be a mother but every woman has had a mother. Many women would have loved to be a mother but didn’t have or can’t have a child due to various reasons. With my limited experience of yearning for motherhood (before I was a mother) I empathize with these women. I remember the disappointment I felt every month of not being pregnant. I remember the sadness in looking at other pregnant mothers striding along holding their bellies.
The need to be mothered
Many children never have the experience of their birthmother’s love and care. One can only hope that they find another woman to raise them as a mother. We all need to be mothered or cared for, even as adults. We translate it into being loved, understood, heard, seen and felt. It is a basic human need.
I do hope that on this Mother’s Day every woman has someone or something she truly cares for and has someone who truly cares for her, whether she has living children or not.