Motherhood is a Complex Gift

Mother and Child by Gustav Klimt

Mother and Child by Gustav Klimt

This weekend in my part of the world it’s Mother’s Day so thoughts of motherhood are quite naturally with me. I have many blessings in my life. I feel them intensely when I am with my children. It’s not often we are physically together being geographically spread across continents but we are emotionally together no matter where we are and for that I am immensely grateful.

I view motherhood as a most special gift. I am filled with wonder at how this came about, the sheer brilliance of human creation. In the words of Pamela S Nadav, ‘There is a special sweetness on being able to participate in creation.’ I know it, I am grateful for it and I celebrate it. 

But it is not only the physicality of motherhood that is intriguing but also the idea that we have influence on the spirituality of our children, a role neither mother nor child may even be aware of. I love that such an icon of our time, Oprah Winfrey says as much,

‘I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is’. 

This idea is not only beautiful and humbling for me as a mother  but it made me ponder on what we as mothers learn and pass on in some form to our children in our role as  spiritual teachers as we are nurturing lives and in the process help shape them.

To me mother hood is:

An opportunity to give and receive nurturing, wisdom and joy. 

It is a way to learn about humanity in all its forms - strength and weakness, vulnerability, openness and challenges. 

It is a way to learn about yourself, to define boundaries and to keep re-defining them as individuals, life and circumstances change. 

It has hurt

It has worry

It has shame and guilt as we strive for the unattainable model of mothering perfection

It has incredible and tangible joy and happiness

It has satisfaction at what you achieve as a mother and individual, what your children achieve as individuals and what together you achieve. 

It is an opportunity for reflection, humility and gratitude  

It teaches restraint, knowing when to step back and when to offer help and advice 

It offers each of us, mother and child, the opportunity for independence and growth while still maintaining strong bonds that will not diminish 

But mostly it is an opportunity to give and receive absolute love. 

Mothering is a finely tuned symphony and one I'm honoured to be playing my part in. This symphony is played with great nuance when played well – knowing when to step up and when to step back, when to go softly and when to push a little harder. It is often trial and error borne of experience, mostly intuition but when love is the key we manage to find our way and the part to play. I am truly blessed.