Have you heard of a young woman who shudders at the thought of becoming a mother because of fear that it will somehow rob her of identity, opportunities, and success?
I have, and it makes me sad.
But what is even sadder, is that I find myself still wrestling with these fears. And I am already a mother.
The truth is, motherhood has the potential for the opposite. It may actually be a hidden passageway to our true identity, rich opportunities and meaningful success. If we let it.
Before I became a wife and a mother, I truly thought I was a patient person. I didn’t have any visible anger issues. In fact, I was great with people (and if you knew me in that time period and thought the opposite, please just let me live with the illusion, ok?) But over the past three years that I’ve been married and now almost two years that I’ve been a mom, I discovered I wasn’t that patient person I thought I was. Oh-no-sir. Even worse, I suddenly became a person with an anger problem. Over the smallest things.
The thing is, with our relationships with other people, it feels infinitely easier to let go of stuff. We hang out with friends for an hour, or maybe even a day, and then we say good-be. There’s a lot of breathing space to process, to let the Green Hulk go back to the nice Mr. Banner that he is, and remain the best of friends.
But at home, it’s a different story. You go to bed and wake up with the same people. And the worst of you feels very comfortable showing up pretty much whenever it feels like it, especially on sleep-deprived gloomy rainy Seattle days.
Because let’s face it, we can only discover who we are in the context of our everyday relationships. And as wives and mothers, we have the rich fertile soil we call family in which our true self can emerge. The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.
But it is in this background that we can begin to embrace any good in us while consequently working on those potentially damaging quirks. A gift in disguise so we can be a closer reflection of the Beauty we are made for.
When we think of rich opportunities, we don’t really think about the domestic life now do we? But the domestic life offers, what I think, is the richest of opportunities towards simplicity, creativity, and generosity. Especially with children.
- Simplicity: As a new mother, you quickly learn that you must simplify your life in order to thrive. You quickly learn to that you must figure out the basic purpose of your day to day existence, the meaning behind your domestic duties, the Core of what your family life is about. It just forces you to go back to the simple and the true. There is no other way.
- Creativity: Our children come into this world with a great enthusiasm and capacity for learning. And they make wonderful teachers and inspirations to see the world in a whole new light. Our children draw us back into the world of stories, songs, movements, color, and so much more. They call us to rediscover childhood, innocence and wonder. We learn to create once again, and our hands are lovelier and we are all the better for it.
- Generosity: Having children magically expands our soul to fit all the children of the world into our heart. If we are passionate over our children’s health, we have the opportunity to also be as passionate over the health of the children in the most unfortunate parts of the world. Children no longer become a nuisance, but the potential world changers we can influence and guide with our own life. We give ourselves away not to a cause, but to the small people of the world who are every bit as important and precious.
Personal success is highly overrated. Bill Gates figured that out. I don’t know if it was fatherhood that changed him. But his efforts in the world of education and diseases go so much more beyond thinking of his personal fulfillment. I’m not saying you have to be a parent to go that route. Nor am I saying that only fathers and mothers think beyond their personal success. I’m saying, motherhood can reroute our energies of personal happiness into something more grounded, more eternal, more supernatural.
Meaningful success is always rooted in relationships. Our relationship to those we love, to humankind, to all of creation, to the Creator. Somehow, family life can bring that into clarity. For example, instead of seeing our kitchen as just a place to cook dinner, we can view it as a place where we nourish our family with lovingly prepared meals, a place where we vote with our dollars towards food that is in right relationship with everything that exists, a place where we extend hospitality to those who could use something to eat, a place where we practice creativity by learning what ingredients go best with what, and how. Our success in the kitchen is transformed into something grander, and bigger than ourselves.
So Go Ahead
Let Motherhood redefine you. It’s a good thing.
This post is part of Steady Mom’s 30 Minute Challenge.
If you liked this article, would you kindly pass it along to others? And I’d love to hear what you think! All the best! ~ Vina