“Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind.”
― Howard W. Hunter
While I am definitely not holy, taking on motherhood has changed me in ways I both expected and didn’t.
As children, our mother taught us that being loyal to our blood was not only a must, but also a necessity to survive. When I brought my daughter into the world after 24 hours of labor, 5 hours of pushing, and a subsequent C-section, I knew loyalty when as I lay like Jesus on the cross (being sewn up, arms stretched in a cross, and body feeling bizarre), I saw this lovely face presented to me.
When I took her first to my breast,I knew she was mine, made of me and her father, and my kin. As scared as I was to change her diaper or do the wrong thing, I was filled with the assurance that she was mine. Mine! Ours! Our daughter.
Real uncompromisable love. How I would work to grow it and earn her love!
I cherished the time I had with her while at home as a newborn and infant, although it was lonely at times and exhausting, but still, my loyalty, attachment, and devotion grew. To be honest, I had never quite known such happiness, such duty, such work, and such sacrifice. I was a late bloomer and while I had taught preschool, infancy was foreign to me. I was the baby of the family, and as such my daughter was the first infant other than nieces and nephews to garner my affection.
The other day though, someone commented how it was “too bad my soon to be ex-husband and I did not decide to part ways before she was born.”
I was horrified at that thought.
Never once have I regretted getting married or being with him. If we had decided to end it sooner, she would never have existed. I would never have learned to commit to someone or love someone. I would not have grown as a person. I am exactly where I need to be and I was exactly where I needed to be back when I met him.
To me, ending a marriage is a devastating choice and blow, especially one made by two people (like ourselves) who are excellent parents and who actually really tried to make it work as so many folks don’t try.
But I never once regret it.
I am grateful for our time together and for the fact that this good man made me a mother.
To be a mother. To mother.
The role of motherhood as often caused me great joy, yet also great confusion. On one hand, I want to be an individual and embrace my career and hobbies, yet on the other hand these feelings have caused me great guilt. On one hand, I want to be home as much as I can, and on the other, I feel bad when I cannot be “Laura” outside of the home…nor can I afford to be home as much as I would want, especially now.
Motherhood has strengthened my bond with women, and also questioned my bond with women. Questioned my bond with family members. Questioned myself. My own mother.
How good am I? How willing am I?
Am I mother enough?
Am I mother as I should be?
So I say thank you to the person who decided to make an amazing daughter with me. Who has been an amazing father–exactly as I expected and hoped–and who has provided me with the joy of being called Mama.Mom. Mommy. Mother.
Without him–without that marriage–we would not have had the chance to see our child come to life, and she truly is a powerful and vivid combination of our genes.
Will it be hard?
Yes. As I went for a run today, I started to fill with panic. Will I be able to survive financially? Will she be ok? Will he be ok? Will I be ok?
Am I okay?
Yes. No. Yes. No. No. Yes.
I will be okay. This too, shall pass. We will make it. Daughter and me. He and our daughter. All three of us.
We will be alright. And one day, this will all seem like a distant painful memory, but again, there is no regret.
Only the joy of experience, the pain of failure, the fear of the unknown, and the pure love of the best person we made together who when she is with her daddy, I miss so very much.
Sharing is hard, but she needs us both to be who she will be. We made her together. We will raise her together, apart or not.
So thank you for making me a mother.
I would not be a quarter of the person I am today had I not had her.
Happy Mother’s Day!