Motherhood is a gift, not a job
posted by: Mile High Mamas
A job is defined as working for money.
Motherhood is defined as working harder than any job in the world, and doing it for free.
Motherhood is not a job; if it were a job, I would have a loaded bank account. With (almost) five little ones, homeschooling, and staying sane through the emotions that occur each day, I sometimes wish money came with the hard work! But the truth is, this journey of parenting is a gift. A nonreturnable gift in which you lose yourself, find yourself, and possibly even discover your true self along the way.
There is nothing in the world that can be considered as selfless as becoming a mother. Allowing your body to grow, home, and then feed a baby. Accepting a child into your arms to love and care for, for all of time, is an incredibly unselfish choice to make. While motherhood is not for every woman, those who do journey this path do so without first knowing what a gift it will truly be.
It does not matter if you are a working-outside-the-home (or inside the home) parent, or if you are a stay-at-home-mom. The term “Full-Time Job” should never be applied to raising your child. The truth is that a full-time job can be resigned from or fired from; it can be negotiated; you can be promoted or demoted; you can be un-invested in a job. Motherhood does not come with such terms or options. Motherhood is simply your whole heart.
Motherhood may embody being a maid, a nurse, a wet-nurse, a zombie, a chauffeur, a chef, a peacemaker, a psychologist, an event planner, a psychic, a personal assistant, a teacher, a seamstress, a coach, and a boo-boo-kisser… all of which may be considered careers with doctoral degrees needed, but these bullet-points on the non-existent resume of motherhood are actually the building blocks to the foundation of real life as a parent. These tasks that most of us complain about over coffee are the very items that wrap up this gift as a whole. Consider the horrible carpool lane as the tacky stick-on bow that tops the beautifully wrapped present!
Sometimes it can be hard to look past the daily tasks and daunting items that consume this journey (like sweeping the kitchen floor 36 times before 2:00 pm), but when you really take a moment to soak it all in, you realize just what a gift you have been granted.
The wind blowing against your cheeks is sweeter when experienced next to a three-year-old who describes it as the air that makes the leaves dance. A child will love you unconditionally, just as you will love her. She will teach you all about life in ways that would never see without her. She will bring you back to your own childhood, create extreme hurdles for you to overcome, and teach you the meaning of sacrifice. In motherhood, you will compromise and sacrifice so much, but you will be filled with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and pride.
A mother is connected to her child; the body releases oxytocin when providing milk, and a sixth sense is born. These are all known changes that can be understood and appreciated, but the other things like watching a baby awaken throughout the first few months, find her personality, and call you ‘Mama.’ Those are true gifts. Being present for first steps, drying tears and explaining that broken hearts do heal, these are the moments that last a lifetime. These are the moments that are included with this gift.
But what’s more that these milestones? What could be even bigger than all of this? Motherhood grants you the gift of connection and understanding to all of the women who have ever walked this journey before you. It ties us all together and creates the village that we so crave. Every mother experiences this journey in her own way and time, but the emotions are all similar. It is a second language almost, a love language between mothers. The ability to look and see when another mother needs support, when she needs celebration, when she just needs a break. It is the gift of seeing another child as you view your own, being able to catch him before he falls and send him back to his own mother for kisses.
Motherhood is the gift that opens your eyes to the world. There is more than working jobs and making money. There is more than the daily to-do list. There is more than simply living. There is motherhood, and it is unlike any gift you have ever opened before.
Enjoy your journey, understand this gift, become an activist for all mothers and all children. Be a part of the village and speak the language, for motherhood is a gift and will never be your job.
-Denver mom, Elizabeth