What does Motherhood mean to you?

What does Motherhood mean to you?

Somebody asked me this last week, a fellow blogger during a questions and answer post. And put on the spot, in the spur of the moment, I couldn’t even think of how to put it into words. There are too many to even contemplate, too many things, too many moments, too many emotions. And I thought about my answer afterwards, about all of the things that I could have said, that I should have said, had I stopped to think it through.

I would have said that motherhood means waiting. It’s the agonising wait, praying for those two, elusive, faint lines to appear on a pregnancy test, after all of those months of disappointment. It’s the indescribable feeling of pure joy, and terror, at how, in nine months from now, your whole life is about to change. It’s the huge sigh of relief when you hear the heart beat for the first time, when you see that grainy imagine on a scan and allow yourself to imagine what he or she will be like, what your life will be like with them in it. It’s about making choices, about names, birth plans, pain relief, feeding methods. It’s the feeling of panic when you realise that after nine long months, you’re actually in labour, that the agonising ordeal of giving birth is finally here. It’s puffing on the gas and air as though your life depends on it, pushing away your partners hands when he insists on rubbing your back, resisting the urge to throttle him for putting you in this predicament in the first place, screaming at the midwife, “I can’t do this!”, “Give me an epidural!!”, when you feel like giving up. And then there they are, all tiny and pink, all new and perfect, laying on your chest, and it’s all about that moment, when you take their little hand in yours and you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that they were worth it all, that you will never love anyone so strongly, so fiercely, as you do right there and then.

Motherhood is about surprise. It’s the moment when you take them home and realise that you might as well throw the baby manual out of the window, that your baby has individual wants and needs and the only person who can figure that out is you. It’s about a baby, who screams and cries, and somehow you must find a way to differentiate between a hungry cry, a tired cry, a dirty nappy cry, a cry simply for the sake of crying. It’s the shock of those nappies, more nappies than you could have ever imagined, the explosive diarrhea, right up to their neck, poo under your fingernails, streams of wee hitting you full pelt in the face. It’s about the vomit, full on projectile vomit, on every clean item of clothing you will ever wear, on your beautiful carpets, your walls, your once pristine car. It’s about feeding, two, three, four, five in the morning, when you look, and feel, like a zombie, rocking their basket back and forth, with your foot outstretched from the covers, praying to God that they will sleep, even just for ten minutes.

Motherhood is about pride. The first time that they roll, sit, crawl, take their first wobbly steps towards your open arms. It’s the moment when they  utter their first word, when they shout for you, Mama, when they give you the biggest, drooliest, open mouthed kiss and you don’t even flinch. It’s the laughter, the giggles, the look on their beautiful little face when their eyes light up at the sound of your voice, when no matter how tired you are, how stressed out you feel, you know that you are the most important person in their whole life, that they depend on you, whole heartedly. It’s the moment when you catch a glimpse of them from a distance, the way that their hair falls in soft curls against their neck, the flush of their cheeks, the twinkle in their eye, the way in which their beauty takes your breath away, when you ask yourself for the thousandth time, how did I ever create something as so very beautiful as you?

Motherhood is about worry. It’s the nights spent sleeping on their bedroom floor when they’re poorly, lying awake just to check that they are still breathing, sitting bolt upright with every cough, every sneeze, every whimper. It’s the nights where you drive like a maniac to the emergency doctor, spiking a temperature you just can’t bring down, the days sat by their bedside on a busy children’s ward, watching their little chest rise and fall. It’s wiping snotty noses, bloody knees, kissing bumps and bruises better, stroking their little faces, administering calpol, antibiotics, wishing you could just switch places and take their pain away.

Motherhood is about patience. It’s biting your tongue when they stumble over finding the right words, when they take an hour just to eat a few mouthfuls, insisting on using their own knife and fork, however messy that may be. It’s silently counting to ten when it takes them forever to put on their shoes, button up their coats, reminding yourself that it’s not the end of the world to be late, for the fourth time running that week. It’s giving in and watching Cbeebies, even when the sight of Mr Tumble makes you want to gouge your own eyes out, when you fail to see the attraction of watching Daddy Pig and his big fat tummy for the nineteenth time that day. It’s watching Frozen on repeat, humouring them by singing your part during the Anna and Elsa duet, it’s playing Hungry Hippos for the five millionth time since Christmas, and still always letting them win. It’s stepping on Lego, drinking pretend cups of tea, blowing out  candles on a make believe birthday cake whilst opening a Mega Blocks mash up, wrapped in a tea towel.

Motherhood is about letting go. It’s taking them to their first day at pre-school, to primary school, waving them goodbye and feeling as though your heart may break. It’s the silent tears as you walk away, the desperate sobs on the drive home, the harsh realisation that your baby is growing up, that time is passing by so fast. It’s being half an hour early to pick them up that night, craning through the window to catch a glimpse of your baby, praying that they will have been okay. It’s that feeling of relief when they rush into your arms at the end of the day, smelling of play-dough and raspberry rock buns,  telling you how much they have missed you, presenting you with a splodgy, soggy, wet, painting and placing their little hand in yours.

Motherhood is about love. The kind of love that is unexplainable, unconditional, immeasurable. It’s the cuddles, the kisses, the moments that make your heart beat out of your chest. It’s a hand made Mothers Day Card, a wilted bunch of daisies in a grubby hand, a tired little face kissing you goodnight, the moments when they turn to you and tell you, “Mummy, I will love you forever!”.

Motherhood is about being a Mummy, a carer, a cleaner, a chef. It’s being a nurse, a teacher, a referee, a taxi driver. It’s being the Tooth Fairy, Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny, a hundred different roles, a thousand different things. It’s juggling all of your balls in the air at the same time, tearing yourself in two, making sacrifices, doubting your abilities, your strength, your sanity. It’s the laughter, the cries, the relentless screams, the moments when you look at yourself and wonder, when did I turn into my own Mother? It’s a lifetime of moments, a million different emotions and the biggest, craziest, wildest rollercoaster that you will ever be a part of.

But it’s this, all of this, that makes Motherhood the most amazing, rewarding, unique experience that it is. To use one of my favourite quotes of all time, “Nobody said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”

And if you are wondering what my answer was, when asked “What does Motherhood mean to you?, I had simply replied, “Everything.”

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149 thoughts on “What does Motherhood mean to you?

  1. What a lovely post! You’re absolutely right, Motherhood is everything and yes, it’s not easy but it’s all worth it. Beautiful collage of photos too! #TheBabyFormula

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a lovely and honest post! I completely agree that motherhood is ‘everything’. Some days it’s great and some not so much, it’s about the little things, the mundane, the love, the teaching, the learning ….. I could go on!

    #abrandnewday

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  3. This is such a lovely post. “Everything” is so so true. We does “Everything”. Sometimes – it is exhausting but it is so worth everything. Thank you so much Laura for linking up yet another of your wonderful post with us on #FabFridayPost xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful post and equally gorgeous photographs. You had my eyes watering with the wishing you could take it away part… there isn’t a day that goes past that I don’t wish I could take my eldest’s Type 1 Diabetes away for him and I spend a lot of nights sat on his bed waiting for his blood glucose levels to stabilise.

    I agree with the simple ‘Everything’ as well though 😉 Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww I can only imagine, it must be so hard for you. One of my best friends has a son with diabetes so I have seen first hand what she goes through, I honestly don’t know how you Mums do it. Megan was very poorly for the first year of her life and it destroyed me having to watch her in and out of hospital, to think of that being forever is unbearable. So much admiration for you, lots of love. xx

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  5. LOVED this post! You have described Motherhood so beautifully. The ups, the downs, the ins and the outs, the bumps and the rides….Motherhood is simply a continuation of your journey on what you call your life. Thanks for sharing with #PasstheSauce

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  6. This is a beautiful post. It must have been very difficult to put all of that emotion into an interview answer, although I think everything summed it up well
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂
    Debbie

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  7. Everything pretty much covers it! A brilliantly beautiful post as always. 115 comments and counting, I think we all agree with you. Thanks for linking up to #abrandnewday. I’m glad I got to read this as I’ve so much more to come and look forward to

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely post. Motherhood is everything,it is challenging sometimes but we (women’s ) are the strongest in the world so we can manage. Love to all mums. 😘😘😘

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  9. What a beautiful post. It really got me thinking and I agreed with all of them and I think you have captured practically everything – the only thing I would add for me is: “Motherhood is about keeping them safe, being the face they look to for re-assurance, the place they run back to when scared, providing the cuddles to comfort them, and the soothing words to give them back their confidence”. #bestandworst

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    1. Aww yes, absolutely. We had a real scare yesterday when my son was at Old Trafford with his dad and the bomb scare was announced on the TV. All I could think was, I’m not there to keep him safe. It was terrifying, and even when I knew he was safe and it was all just a false alarm, I couldn’t relax until he was home in my arms. xx

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  10. you write it so well, it is all those things. I have always found it the most scariest thing ever along with the best thing ever! Just so beautifully written as always lovely lady! Thank you so much for linking this up with #mg

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yes!! Scary is definitely a good way to describe it, I will never forget having my first and I was absolutely terrified that he was my responsibility and what if I got it wrong?! It never stops being scary though, no matter how big they grow. xx

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  11. aww this is so lovely! I always enjoy reading your posts. I love your photos. You really have a beautiful family. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I’m so sorry for my late comment but I have a hectic week. Hope to see you tomorrow, 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A beautiful quote to finish a beautiful post – everything you said rang so true for me and I think you have described motherhood to perfection. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely post with #PuddingLove x

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I always love to read your writing. You write with your whole heart and with such honesty and so much that we mothers can relate to. Motherhood is everything and more. It’s not easy but at times so simple. And the love is amazing! Thank you for sharing with #momsterslink and I must apologize for my delay in commenting as I’ve been so busy with “real” life these days! Hope to be back this Thursday though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Motherhood is so hard but yes, absolutely worth it. Don’t apologise for your absence, I’ve had a break this week with so much going on in “real” life too, I think we all have times when something has to give! Hopefully see you Thursday! Xx

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  14. The days are long but the years are short! It all passes SOOO quickly but when we are in the muck of the poo or tantrums and spilled milk then it just can’t pass soon enough. I think one of the biggest thing that motherhood teaches me is to slow down and remember my priorities. Family first. Each little phase they go through lasts only so long! I can never seem to capture enough of it!

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    1. That’s so true, I think we are constantly waiting for the next stage, thinking each stage will be easier and you’re right, we almost wish it away and before you know it they are grown. I try and enjoy every single stage these days, even the difficult ones, because I know that one day I would give just about anything to go back in time and remember when they were young. xx

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  15. In tears, after a few rough days I needed to read this and know that there will be good days and there will be bad days. My son will be 10 months old tomorrow and I wonder if I will ever get the hang of it, but that is part of the journey. Learning and growing together as a family. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does get easier I promise. That first year is so hard! It’s exhausting and challenging and the rewards are few and far between. Once they start to develop their personalities and character you feel like you’re finally getting something back! Hang on in there, lots of love. Xx

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