You know it wasn’t until I sat down on my balcony to look out at the garden with a coffee, that I started to seriously look at motherhood in a different light. In particular my own path and journey to motherhood, with it being Mother’s Day (United Kingdom) today I’d like to extend a congratulations and high-five to all the mothers—worldwide, not just in the United Kingdom, for making it through another year.
If I were to include my nine month pregnancy, this would be my tenth year of motherhood. Personally, I do believe that once a woman conceives, she’s a mother even if the child is still in her womb baking LOL. Once I reflected on my own ten year journey I realised something, motherhood is a role, motherhood is a duty, and motherhood is a job yes all this is true. That said, as women and mothers I felt that it’s really important not to forget yourself outside of this role, duty, and job that you have. This led me to question what motherhood is really about? And if it’s just about that care and nurture that we provide. I don’t think so, not anymore. I’m rather surprised that it has taken me up until my tenth year of celebrating Mother’s Day and motherhood to conclude this.
Once my thoughts started to go down this path, I started to ponder if motherhood really is just being a mother? And while you may assume that I started to include things like the skills we gain, the patience we learn, and the soft skills that come along with motherhood, as being ‘things outside of this’ that motherhood is about. Well, I never once included any of this.
I personally came to the conclusion that: when it comes to what motherhood is really about, it is not just the role, duty, job, and soft skills set we acquire. Motherhood is about you, me, her, she the person mums are outside of motherhood, that also makes motherhood ‘motherhood.’ Talking directly to any mother who may read this today ( and the partner of any mother too there’s somethings you can take from this), today is a day to celebrate the journey and what we have done, and all we are yet to do as mothers—yes. However, it’s also a day to celebrate:
- Who we actually are—outside of motherhood.
- How we see ourselves—outside of motherhood.
- What we want for ourselves—outside of motherhood
I don’t want my writing to turn into an ‘anti Mother’s Day’ post, while most people are probably writing about the bliss of it, and how to celebrate it but…based on my thought process this morning on the above points, it led me to four key writing prompts or areas to consider and think about, if you’re not much of a journal writer. I’d like to encourage as many women who are mothers, or are about to become mothers and ‘with child’ ( I always find that expression makes me smile and chuckle a bit, whenever I hear it or read it in very early era books or television programs, but by this I mean pregnant! You get what I mean), I’d like us to think about:
How Do You See Yourself Outside of Being a Mother?
Seriously, who are you? What and who do you actually envision you’d like to become, be, or currently are if you are sure about this? As I pondered this question this morning it came to me that, motherhood really should not be what defines a woman. Yes, it’s something to be proud of hugely proud of, I am over the moon to be a mother and love the role. Which, when I think about it is really cool considering I was never the kind of woman to yearn for children from a young age, but I always got a long with children and liked them, I just never focused on the motherhood path for me personally.
Getting back to the question, who are you though? How do you see yourself? This can be interpreted by using time frames, adjectives, other roles you do, your goals etc. For me I wrote down all the things I see myself as. I don’t mean things like ‘kind’, ‘considerate,’ and personality characteristics, I mean actual tangible things like ‘writer’, ‘creative’, ‘advocate’ etc. Try this, take a moment to consider who it is you are or want to be outside of your role as a mother. Don’t focus on your character, everyone who knows you already knows your character rocks! Who are you outside of your character?
What Do You Enjoy Outside of Motherhood?
Again, seriously think about this. Motherhood takes up a hella-lot-of time, especially if your child is I would say under five, or has any kind of special learning, physical, or health need. Outside of this if your child does not have this, or is over five, it’s still a very time consuming role in other ways. Depending on your support system with your role as a mother, you might be a woman that finds yourself with very limited time for much else but… motherhood.
Even if you fall into this category now, or have done, we all do at some point. Children don’t pop out of the womb aged over five! If only. Still regardless, ask yourself, ‘what do you enjoy outside of being a mum?’ Don’t let these things be focused on other people, or even linked to other people. Like being a girlfriend, wife, partner, aunty etc. In fact, don’t even let these things have anything to do with any form of care or responsibility for anyone or anything else! Or anything that is romantically linked to another person. Focus on you and what you genuinely enjoy. Yes, I am encouraging you to be selfish right now.
For me of course writing was on the list, it’s my job. I also had things like drawing, painting, music, spirituality books, music, yoga etc. Actual things I can participate in, learn about, or do for myself, by myself for my own pleasure. Do the same, make a list for yourself, you’ll see why this is important next.
Outside of Motherhood, In This Present Moment in Time What Do You Wish To Pursue?
Referring back to the list you just made, on what you actually enjoy outside of being a mother take a look and see if there’s anything there you’d like to start, restart, follow up with, or pursue. So, if you had things that you enjoy but have never really ‘had time for’, this Mother’s Day find a few moments to sit and think about how you can change this. What is it on your list you’d like to achieve, do, or work towards, complete etc? Prioritise them in order.
How, Outside of Motherhood Will You Pursue Who You Are?
If you have seriously considered the last three questions, what you have just done is defined who and what you are outside of motherhood, and what you like to do as a person—not mother, and what you’d like to move forward with. Now, it’s time to think about how you will pursue who you are, and what you want outside of your wonderful, even if a little stressful and time consuming role as a mother. It could be such simple things like how you would carve out a tiny, tiny, small amount of time to do what you enjoy outside of motherhood. Or research into how you can achieve something you have had in mind, outside of motherhood. This last step here is about remembering, ‘who the fuck you are!’ Outside of just ‘Mum.’
The people who call you ‘Mum’ are very important, they are beautiful individuals who need you, your support, guidance, love and attention yes. But, Mum also needs to remember who she was before giving birth, or wanted to be, or is currently and doesn’t have time for, alongside the path of motherhood.
So, while you’re celebrating Mother’s Day if you’re in the United Kingdom, or even if you pick up this random writing at any other point, please from one mother to another, if you take nothing away from my dribble and random thinking out loud, just remember who you are and what it is you want out of life. Your child(ren) are/is a blessing yes, but you are also put here to become the best version of you and who you want to be, have some well-deserved fun, goals, dreams, aspirations, and achievements under your belt that are not linked to your little darlings. Having a child or children can sometimes help put you on that path, it did for me, but I have learned over the last ten years of motherhood that if I was not careful, this shit would take over who I am and I would lose me, even if the process of motherhood in some areas of my life really did show me who I was. Remember who you are, and what you enjoy, and go out and enjoy it. What are some of the things you wish to pursue? Who are you, and how do you see yourself after reading this? Let me know in your comments.
Happy Mother’s Day!