Friday, 12 May 2017

About motherhood...


Today I spoke a reflection and celebration of motherhood, baring my heart and soul, allowing myself to be oh-so vulnerable in front of my children's school community. Trusting and hoping my words would resonate. They did, and for that I'm incredibly grateful. This post is the words I spoke. Elisa x

Motherhood is by far the best thing to happen to me. It’s also, by far, the most challenging.  
When I was asked to speak on motherhood here today, I started doing a stack of research. And by research I mean talking. So lots of talking. Talking about motherhood - what makes it amazing, what makes it tough. I’ve spoken to mums at school, friends and family, women here at weekend mass, a lot of random mums at the supermarket… I’ve chatted to whoever stops to comment on our spunky miss two and I get stopped often. And all that talking - sorry, research - has only backed up my observations and speculations after 7.5 years of on the job training as a mum. My conclusion is motherhood is amazing, breathtaking, heart-expanding, wondrous, joyous, funny and incredibly precious. It’s also challenging, exhausting, tough and an endless learning curve. In short, my research has found that motherhood is as beautiful as it is messy.

Motherhood is a beautiful mess.
A beautiful mess. I really do think this sums it up.
So much beauty, so much love, so many little moments that feel oh so big to your heart.
But the mess.  Yes, there’s the physical mess, but it’s mostly the emotional mess that stands out over time.
The fierce protectiveness that comes with wanting the best and only good to come the way of your child.
That deep immobilising guilt that comes with wondering if you’ve done enough, given enough, shared enough. The guilt that comes with striving for balance, and feeling like you’re falling short.
Then there’s fear and worry - of what you don’t know, and of what you do.

There’s always some sort of mess going on. But I’m putting it out there that underneath the mess, there’s beauty to be found. At the end of the messiest days, I think we can all sit back and find a little beauty, a little gratitude.

The beauty and the mess balance each other. And I think we need both to grow.
It’s the beauty that helps us see past the fear, to flip it.
As mothers, we can choose to love harder when fear and protectiveness present.
We can choose self-kindness - to see what we are doing well, to praise our efforts in motherhood - when guilt rears it’s ugly head.
And when worry, fear and uncertainty boil to the surface, we can calm them with faith. Faith in God. Faith in family. Faith in ourselves, our hearts. Faith in our kids, their hearts. And faith in the community here to which we all belong.

Motherhood is to love, and be loved.
I woke up the other day to find my miss seven asleep tucked under one arm, miss five tucked under the other and my baby {now two years old} asleep on my chest. It was bliss, but I was reminded in this moment that people often say to me, say to mothers, “You have your hands full”. I certainly did at this time; I certainly do. But what I don’t say back, and often want to is, “Yes, my hands are full, but you should see my heart.” Love, I think, is the best gift of motherhood. I had no idea I could love so much or be so loved until I became a mother.  

One thing I know for sure is Motherhood means learning.
And the learning never stops.
Because motherhood isn’t for mastering. It’s for growing, learning and evolving with our kids.
I know I’m kinder to myself, because I’m a mother.
Healthier, because I’m a mother.
Have felt more love than I knew existed in this world, because I’m a mother.
And I’m a better version of me, because I’m a mother.

And just as our sense of self and motherhood evolves as our children grow, I feel my relationship with my own mother has too.
And I suppose what I mean by that is that I fell in love with my mum all over again, got to know her at a new level, once I became a mother. I understood her better, the decisions she made, and how she would have felt making them. And perhaps, most of all, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Grateful to be blessed by a mother who loves unconditionally, epitomises kindness and gentleness and gives with her whole heart to everything she does.  

And about mothering... I wanted to share something important to me. I believe some of us are born to be mothers, but having children isn't the only way to mother. We can mother our sisters, our friends, our own mothers, someone else's children. Mothering isn't defined by gender or our ability to bear a child. It's something we can all do. For each other. It's nurture, it's kindness, it's love. I believe that sometimes all we really need is to be a mother to ourselves. But what I know is when you hold this space as a mother - for your children, for someone else's children, for your sister, your friend, for your partner ... when you mother, you are someone's whole world. 

xxxx


Wishing the happiest day to all mums, to everyone who mothers and to those who support us in mothering. With love, Elisa x {In Australia, this Sunday marks our celebration of Mother's Day.}

***I have a new Instagram account! Find me at @ohhelloheart + I will be launching free breathe prints + meditation/mindfulness resources at the end of the month via here xx

8 comments:

  1. A heart-warming post in time for Mother's Day. Thank you for such beautiful and engaging words. I have been a mother for 46 years this year and it never gets 'easier'. The fact that my 'kids' are adults and parents themselves means I cannot 'mother' anyone any more but I AM their mum!! Happy Mother's Day. Denyse

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    1. Thank you Denyse! 46 years of being Mum sounds amazing to me! Wishing you a beautiful Mother's Day! X

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  2. Beautiful post Elisa! Happy Mother's Day weekend. ❤️

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    1. Thank you so much Melinda! I'm glad you liked it ❤ Wishing you a lovely weekend. X

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  3. Perfect, Elisa: a beautiful mess. x

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  4. What beautiful words! Hope you enjoyed some mummy magic this weekend!

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  5. What a beautiful words. .. they have resonated with me in my heart to the point of feeling emotional.
    Thanks for sharing <3
    Luisa x

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Thank you for your words and support. I'm so glad you stopped by xx