I was not born with all the knowledge of motherhood, nor was any woman I have ever spoken to or read about. We figure this stuff out as we go, and we share what we learn with other women. In fact it is the greatest aid we can offer one another on the Path of Motherhood. We give birth to become mothers, but to become a true mommy there are a few hard lessons that we all must face.
No matter how many questions we ask or how much we learn there is no being prepared for the journey of motherhood. It is a journey filled with the unexpected with equal parts headache and joy. We suffer the consequences of our actions and on occasion those of our children. This is the inescapable responsibility of motherhood, well, inescapable for any true follower of the Mommy Way.
These are the great truths which all mothers must acknowledge and accept to become mommies:
- Your mother does not know everything, nor does your mother-in-law. They know how they did things, and both can offer useful advice. But that is all it is, advice based on their experience, which may not necessarily be your experience.
- There is no tell-all book with the answers. Think of them more as reference guides rather than directions. Even textbooks cannot cover every possible scenario.
- Everyone has an opinion. From the moment you become noticeably pregnant and for the rest of your life as a mother you will get unsolicited advice. I don’t know about it taking a whole village to raise a child, but they sure do try.
- Doctors are not psychics. They do not automatically know what you are concerned about regarding your pregnancy or your child. Open your mouth, ask questions, explain what you notice and how you feel.
- Mommies are women. This one seems obvious, but is the easiest to lose sight of. It is important to do things for yourself, and for others to acknowledge the fact that you are a woman. Mommy is not the only role you fill, it is merely one aspect of your being.
- There will come a time when you have done all that you can do. This is one of the toughest to accept. It does not make you a failure. It simply means that you need to trust in what you have done, and allow your children to grow on their own.
It is most important to commune with other women on this journey. Friendship is the greatest source of support and validation, both of which are vital for maintaining sanity. Mistakes will be made, tears will be shed, but there will also be laughter. Some of those tears will be joyful tears. Mommies are not perfect, but they do love perfectly.
What Mommy Mysticism would you offer to those who seek it?