Why I Value The Role Of A Mother
In the two-plus years since I rearchitected my day to day to lean into motherhood, I've felt unparalleled contentment, confidence, exhaustion, and fulfillment. I've also felt self-doubt, which I've come to realize is often in the company or in the aftermath of company with anyone who doesn't see the work of a mother as I do.
I grew up with a full-time mother. A woman who I credit with teaching me how to sleep and eat, play and talk, read and write, bike and swim and all the basics. And all the not-so-basics - like how to cover a floor with bubblewrap to get through the last hour of the day or rabbit bookends out of bricks. Our family immigrated to this country from India when I was three into a tiny studio apartment on the sketchy side of the tracks in an all-white town. As my dad built his first company, we slowly maneuvered from studio to one bedroom to two bedrooms to townhouse to colonial as we assimilated and grew into our new home and new economic standing. My mother made all those transitions for us, and somehow despite colossal adjustments year over year, I have an unwavering recollection of a stable, easy, fun childhood.
And so for me, that's a mother - the constant that protects a child from uncertainty and chaos and surrounds them with kindness, respect, and imagination. Not everyone grew up with full-time mothers. Not everyone grew up with mothers like mine. A lot of people admire their mothers for very different reasons - for humor, for discipline, for grit or career accomplishments. Some people have very complex relationships with their mothers. Some grew up more with their caregiver than their parent.
As I constantly re-affirm my choices for this chapter - my commitment to make this time about raising my children to the best of my ability, I am always working on separating my worth as a mostly full-time-mother from how others value that work. When someone questions if I get bored during my days, I still bite my tongue and then spend a little bit of time as I fall asleep reviewing the sermon I wish I gave them on the 14 hour day with a child, the magic of engaging those little brains and beings and the physical to-dos to keep their worlds going. I won't pretend that it doesn't affect me and I'm bullet proof, even if I have a website called Mother Untitled about the choices we make as modern women to embrace motherhood.
Just like in choosing our careers, neighborhoods, and partners, we all have various circumstance, value different rhythms and traits in our households and come with our own experiences, personalities and values. They shape the choices we make and how we see the choices of others. This Mother's Day, I committed to myself to let go of the want for universal approval - the deep, secret (well, not anymore) wish for my most intellectual critics to say, "Bodie is so lucky to have you raising him."
On Mother's Day, my mother wrote me about what a wonderful mother I am. My father meanwhile celebrated my mother on the opposite coast. My husband just wanted me to rest because he deeply believes I deserve it. And I felt acutely aware that I am a product of a home that values my role as a mother. No matter what your choices are in this chapter, they are right for you, uniquely you. And you are deeply valued by the people who matter the most.
Did this resonate? I'd love to hear your experiences with self-worth as we all transition into evolving roles in motherhood. xo