We write about motherhood over and over and over again, and somehow it never gets old. So many perspectives, so many stories. We hold each other up. We cheer each other on. Women at their finest. And at their worst, too. We’ve definitely seen some pretty unsupportive behavior. But mostly, I like to think that women are pretty amazing (and also that we actually run the world) and that motherhood is the finest example of just how strong women can be.
It all becomes clear once we give birth. Once you give birth, you know unequivocally that you are at your most majestic. You can truly do anything. You’re on top of the world. Minus the bleeding, pain of nursing a newborn, sheer exhaustion, etc. You have just brought a little person into the world. Not only that, you grew that person in your belly.
But, what we often don’t think about is how that moment that you become a mother is the exact same moment that you become someone else. You are no longer the person who did Jello shots in college before a night out on the town. You are no longer the person who sleeps until 11 a.m. on a weekend because that’s just what you do. You are no longer surgically attached to your significant other who you are SO IN LOVE WITH. Not anymore, sorry to report. You are a mother. You are now surgically attached to your child. Whom you wake up for at all hours of the night and day — no more sleeping in for anybody for what seems like a very, very long time. And certainly no Jello shots, not until at least your 60s.
And we continue to change. From “mother of a newborn” to “mother of a toddler” to “mother of two children,” the level of seniority increases with each new stage. Now a mother of two, I find myself looking at moms of newborns and handing out advice as if it were candy. I mean, do I really know what I’m doing? Do any of us?! Admittedly, yes, the basics become more understandable. When I say basics, I mean things like food, sleep, logistics, etc. But honestly, if someone could please draw up a manual for “Behavior 101” or “Parenting in Unison 101″or “Balancing It All Effortlessly 101,” that would be just great.
This is where the village comes in. We’ve created a village of supportive moms where we can ask even the stupidest questions and (hopefully) not be judged (too harshly). Isn’t it just beautiful that woman can get together and share the toils and troubles, the hopes, the fears, and, importantly, the triumphs? Before becoming a mother I told myself I didn’t want to join moms’ groups or get too sucked into the whole “mommy world.” How silly that was. Becoming a mother has deepened my experience as a woman and has taught me the most about the kind of woman I want to be.