There’s No Such Thing As A Perfect Mother, But There Are Millions of Ways to Be a Good Mother
“Sometimes it’s very hard being a mother. Yes, it’s worth it. Yes, it is one of the most powerful experiences that a woman can experience. Yes, nothing leaves more of an impression on you as the moment you finally hold the child in your arms that just came from your womb, dirty, wet, hot, and who looks you in the eyes and as if they were saying, “I know you.”
But it’s hard.
Not just the lack of sleep, the effects of childbirth, the care newborn baby demands (so tiny, yet so demanding!), or even the cocktail of hormones that leaves you disoriented several weeks later. Nor is it the inexperience and uncertainty about whether or not you are doing well, nor is it the the questions and comments from relatives who mean well, but who do nothing but enhance your own insecurity, your fear.
It is much more than that. It is the total and sudden break with your own identity, which at the time of birth defined you: your projects, your ambitions, your job, your friends, your body, and whatever you called yours. Your time. Your life.
It’s looking at yourself in the mirror as your little one is captivated by your chest, and you do not recognize yourself. At what point did you become this haggard woman who does not have a minute to take a shower? Who is she? Who are you now?
You are still you, just a larger version of yourself. But at first you do not know it. At first you can’t find yourself. There is no way to link this new life of yours — changing diapers, breastfeeding for hours, and lullabies — with that other life that seems so remote, one in which you were coming and going as you pleased, arranging your time and belonging to yourself.
Because, of course, your whole being is now for another. And the other is feeding itself through you, not just with your milk, but also with your touch, your songs, your words, your heat.
There will come a time when, almost without realizing it, the feeding time shortens and hours of nighttime sleep lengthen. Your baby will learn to hold its head up, then roll over, then crawl.
One of these days they will smile at you and you’ll think that every effort has been little. One day they’ll say, “Mommy.” You’ll see them jogging in the park, going up the slide by themselves, playing with other children, scribbling their first letters which they will show you proudly. And you will not want to go back to the way you used to be for anything in the world; how little you knew about love…”
Source: Vivian Watson Molina, A New Maternity
Because that’s just the beginning …
Whether we are mothers or children, we can come to understand that just as there is no being in this world that doesn’t make mistakes, there is no prototype for a perfect mother. A mother is a woman with her flaws and insecurities, but with a great responsibility to do the best she can.
Luckily there are more good mothers than toxic ones, and the majority of us can thank our mothers for having given us the possibility of living in a wonderful world.
A woman, from the time she becomes a mother, happens to have the greatest privilege in the world: infinite love. A mother who loves her children always make mistakes, but her love will provide a boost for the fruit of her womb to do the impossible.
A mother’s heart grows bigger every day from the time she has the pleasure of seeing her child hold up its head, roll over or crawl. Because from the first glace at her belly, a mother falls in love unconditionally for life.
Because a mother is a bigger version of herself and her heart is an infinite universe. Despite any mistakes, she is the most divine being on the planet.