Sunday, August 15, 2010

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{Me} Project Empowering Motherhood

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In honor and celebration of Cati turning 6 months I'm going to do a special feature on the blog called "Project: Empowering Motherhood." This project came in response to my Motherhood: The Great Equalizer? post. That post got me thinking about motherhood and how dichotomous the experience can be. In general, motherhood is something we experience and share; it something only other mothers can truly understand. But then motherhood is also something that can be extremely divisive and something that can pit us against one another. In specific, motherhood is something that brings us extreme individual joy. But then motherhood is also something that can make us reach our breaking points. Motherhood is filled with the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. I wanted to highlight this contrast and create a forum to talk about motherhood in all its glory and all its ugliness. The premise is simple: over the next month I'll feature moms who are inspiring on so many levels (from personal to general mom coolness) and they will be answering a set of three questions. Today I present you the questions and my answers.

1. One ugly truth about motherhood. Motherhood is fulfilling but not always rewarding. Yes, you are happy to have your baby, but you are so strained by the demands of actually having a baby. I bet if Cati rewarded me with an intentional smile or a full night of sleep during my first 3 months with her, I would have enjoyed motherhood more in the beginning. You are constantly meeting the baby's needs that you sometimes forget about your own. My relationship with Cati didn't start really feeling rewarding until she became more interactive with me. Sure, you have the rewards of seeing your baby grow but it's not the same as the type of reward that lights your heart, makes you radiate happiness, and makes you cherish the moment.

2. What does motherhood mean to you? Motherhood means unconditional, uncontrollable love. It means acceptance and honor. It also means heartbreak. Motherhood is that thing I thought I could do until I actually had to do it and now I know I can do it. Motherhood means going from selfish to selfless the instant your baby is conceived. Motherhood is the ultimate sacrifice: worry, guilt, and fear are every day feelings now. Motherhood is also the ultimate blessing: you create life and get to see it become alive.

3. How has motherhood empowered you? It has made me realize how significant I am. I am the single most important person in Cati's life now. I am more cautious about everything I do now because of how much Cati needs me and because of how much I want to be around to see her grow. Motherhood has given me purpose and meaning. I am responsible for how Cati will understand and view the world. I don't take that responsibility lightly and I want to make sure I give Cati all the tools she needs to make it through life. Motherhood has made feel connected to everyone because everyone has a mother and can understand a mother's love (or so I hope). Motherhood has made me feel more confident in myself and more proud of who I am as a woman. Motherhood has given me the strength to tackle the here and now as well as the future. If I can handle a crying baby while having a poop stained shirt on while pumping, I think I can handle anything.

My experience with motherhood is obviously limited and is still in its beginning stages, but I feel like I have learned so much about myself and others. Having to take on this role of mother has made me see the world differently and it has made me hopeful in a way I never thought possible. I feel I could write a book about motherhood from everything I have learned and experienced over the last 6 months. I've even thought of a few titles: Round, Proud, Deflated, Elated; Motherhood: The Guide to Being Someone's B*tch; Expectations are like Pots of Gold at the End of a Rainbow or How You Can Never Be Prepared for Motherhood; MILF: The Story of How I Went From Overwhelmed and Clueless to Loving the Mommy Cut; and The Spit Up Diaries: The Story of One Baby and Her War Against Fashion.

If you are interested in participating and being featured on the blog send your answers to the three questions to

1 comment:

Becki D said...

Found ya through RDG - love this series! Thank you for your honest response to the first question...sometimes I feel like I am the only Mom who is not really a "baby person" - the baby stage? Not my favorite. Not by a long shot!