Motherhood is one the most sacred roles women can play in life. Its sacredness exists in its potential to teach us unconditional love.
From the moment of conception, a mother’s thoughts can turn from her own personal interests to the best interests of her child.
What she eats and drinks, as well as her lifestyle choices, will ultimately define just how sacred this role is for her.
With her thoughts and aspirations for her future now imbued with considerations for another human being, a woman is challenged to act with greater love. Through this greater love, fulfilment, expansion and contentment can be experienced and understood.
Motherhood challenges and empowers women
Once embraced, motherhood offers challenges like no other relationship we experience — it’s one of very few where we hold complete power (our relationship with our pets is another). How we use this power decides whether we help or harm those in our care.
And where animals very quickly learn to walk, feed and toilet themselves, children are entirely dependent on their mothers, in particular, for all their basic needs.
Following their arrival in the world, a baby’s reliance on his or her mother’s ability to love past exhaustion, pain, and in some instances depression, leaves potential for the experience to feel anything but sacred.
Yet, it’s in this space, where a greater kind of love is required, that the sacred experience of motherhood is found.
It’s not always easy to meet the needs of others when we’re happy, whole and well, let alone when we’ve been through the immensity of childbirth!
But it is here, that the seat of a woman’s power rests.
Only women know this place.
And this is very sacred.
Offering ourselves in this way is such a great act of love, especially when we could use a little love and caring ourselves.
Extending ourselves out of love for our children is the natural imperative of motherhood. Why else do we choose to have children?
Learning a deeper kind of love
Whilst there are many books, websites and articles targeting how to manage the stresses of motherhood, very few reflect on the wonderful opportunity it offers women to learn a deeper kind of love.
And as a mother’s love is automatically assumed, there’s very little assistance available at that level.
But not everyone comprehends that there’s a profound difference between loving our children, and behaving lovingly towards them.
Understanding this difference is essential if we’re to grasp why so many young people today are so unhappy that they need to be medicated.
Offering a loving environment for our children is very important, indeed. But it’s not as important as actually demonstrating our love to them through active listening, kindness and affection.
Patience, tolerance, love and acceptance are essential for the emotional wellbeing of our children.
And learning to develop these qualities invites grace into our relationships with them. If we’re able to master the use of these qualities in the most challenging of relationships, all of our other relationships will benefit.
It’s through being emotionally available to our children that we find enrichment and create sacredness within.
Is motherhood too challenging for some women?
The skill, discipline and, dare I say, sacrifices required by mothers to raise healthy and balanced people are being lost. With so many choices available to women, motherhood, as a woman’s primary focus, is considered an antiquated and unchallenging option.
So is the need to conform with what’s considered current the only consideration driving their decision?
Or is there some, much deeper issue lying at the heart of their choices?
It seems to me that motherhood can be so challenging at times, that some mothers are looking for a legitimate and justifiable distraction, to avoid its innate intensity.
Because, if we’re to be truthful, motherhood is a full-time (for at least 18 years), lifelong role.
Women now openly acknowledge that having both family and a full-time career rests heavily on their happiness and health.
And whilst many argue that they can’t afford not to work, they don’t seem prepared to go without the things the extra money buys, in order to be a more available and honest mother.
As a result, motherhood is no longer afforded the time and energy it requires to be performed lovingly and well.
Yet, as women, we’re the mothers of the world!
We populate the Earth!
What greater fulfilment could there be than contributing to the world, not just by having children, but by raising them well.
By giving them our time and full attention.
By truly loving them.
Our satisfaction can then be found in our excellence as a mother. In being someone who lovingly influences her children and thereby adds love to the world.
But still, women the world over choose not to see this as a realistic option. They continue to attempt to have two full-time jobs in their pursuit to find fulfilment.
And burn-out is their reward.
Parents can choose a different, less-popular approach
With the demands our modern world places on mothers and fathers, the emotional needs of children can be overridden by their more obvious physical needs.
Society’s pressure for us to conform is transferred to children very early on. Parents’ eagerness to fit into what’s considered current and popular, plays a defining role in how they raise their children.
And sadly, many wonderful, older-styled approaches — which produced happy, strong people — have been thrown aside for more modern views.
The physical needs of our children, whilst important, aren’t their only needs. They need quality time with their parents, where they’re the absolute centre of attention. But how often does this actually happen anymore?
When life was slower, and shops were closed on Saturday afternoon and Sundays, families had few choices but to spend more time together. What else was there to do before the advent of home computers, DVDs, and personal technology in general. Not to mention a car for each member of the family.
As our family culture has changed to adapt to the modern world, the sacredness of motherhood and family life has been the price.
Young people are given more and more, at younger and younger ages. The consequence is that their expectations have become so inflated that we’ve ended up in the place we are now. Everyone wants everything right now.
Things have replaced love.
Fitting in has replaced uniqueness and individuality.
Instead of loving our children exactly as they are and nourishing their strengths with our love, we try to change them to conform. We squeeze them tightly into the boxes we’ve placed around ourselves, and then we wonder why no-one is happy.
We need to learn to extend ourselves and love unconditionally.
We’re their mothers.
They grow inside us. They change us. They need us.
They love and trust us.
And because of this, we owe them.
How we treat them teaches them how to treat others.
We set the example for what’s acceptable.
You teach your children through your actions
Setting an example for our children can be a difficult and challenging responsibility.
It requires that we understand, as mothers, we’re being watched by our children — day in and day out. So ideally, we must always act consistently, lovingly and with integrity. By doing so, we move into the sacred space within and become more honest mothers.
Becoming a better person is the sacred gift motherhood offers women. It can sometimes feel like we sacrifice a lot for this role. But we don’t, really.
If being fully available for our children, today, makes everyone happier and better people tomorrow, it isn’t a sacrifice at all.
It’s an investment!
So if you’re a mother who wants to learn to love more deeply, this blessing is for you:
May you experience the unconditional nature of love,
May it shape you and temper you,
Until you become the best version of yourself.
With all my love
Image credit: DigitumDei