Why do we wait to hand out the title of mother? Why is a woman carrying a child only thought of as a mom-to-be. It’s as if she won’t be a mother until she’s up all night with a crying baby or her house is strewn with toys and dirty laundry. Like she must earn her motherhood by packing lunch boxes and carpooling her children.
Does a woman only earn that title of mother when she holds a living baby in her arms?
Well, I’ve never been a mom-to-be. I’ve always been a mother.
From the very first daydreams of motherhood–I was a mother.
When I said to myself that I was ready for this adventure–I was a mother.
When I dared to look down and I saw those two lines–I was a mother.
When I sat doubled over with the pain from losing my first baby–I was a mother.
When I said I was ready to try again–I was a mother.
When I stared at the screen and saw that another baby had left–I was a mother.
When my body welcomed more life–I was a mother.
When I hoped and wished that this time would end with a baby I could hold–I was a mother.
When I held that baby who had died inside of me–I was a mother.
When I handed her to a nurse knowing that I would never see her again–I was a mother.
When I became pregnant again and felt more uncertainty than hope–I was a mother.
When I worried that I would never hold a living baby in my arms–I was a mother.
All along I was a mother, but it wasn’t until my first living baby was safe in my arms that I was congratulated on becoming a mother.
But I was a mother all along and it was not changing diapers or late night feedings that made me a mother. Motherhood is not messy playrooms or packing lunches. These are not the moments that define me as a mother.
Because mothers are not made by the babies they hold. Mothers are made by the babies they love.
I have loved many babies–those I’ve carried within my womb and those I’ve imagined in my dreams. They are all mine and I am their mother.
I was never their mother-to-be. I’ve been their mother all along.