Differing Experiences Of Motherhood

 

As I write this I am four days overdue with baby number 5. This is not unexpected and is something of our pattern.

Our children have all been chubby, posterior presenting babies who take their time to engage. Our experiences of childbirth have been drawn out affairs, with a lot of back pain and coaxing baby to turn their head to face the right way.

Our babies have been healthy, ranging in size from 3.7-4.5kg, and have all fed and slept well. And for this we are thankful.

As I reflected on the nature of motherhood more recently, after the birth of a sweet little niece who at 6lb 15oz was, at just short of 40 weeks gestation, was considerably smaller than our baby in utero at 36 weeks who was nearing 8lb; no two women will experience the vocation of motherhood in the same way.

Sure, we may share common symptoms of pregnancy and labour, but just as no two of our own individual pregnancies or labours are the same for us, they are certainly not the same for us and another mother.

Yet, we are all united in our vocation as mothers.

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There is no universal experience of mothers. Yes, there are certainly universal aspects of raising children as they grow through particular phases and stages; terrible twos, ‘threenagers’ and so on, and some sicknesses and childhood complaints are generally felt, shared and suffered by all.

But even our day to day routines differ. Not all home schooling families construct their days in the same way. No two toddlers have exactly the same routine, no two students experience school the same way.

Despite the commonality of our call to be mothers, our experiences are many and varied and it is by sharing these experiences and the pearls of wisdom we garner from them, that enriches our relationships with other mothers, supports and inspires us in our own vocation, and benefits our families; our domestic church.

How blessed are we to experience being a mother in such individual ways?

Sure, I’m certainly not riveted at the prospect of heading into another gruelling childbirth experience, but can I wait to meet the newest child that God has blessed our family with?

You bet I can’t.

Maybe the prospect of throwing newborn feeding and sleeping schedules back into the mix with school runs and set routines is a little daunting, but would I trade it?

Not for anything.

Every vocation comes with its crosses, otherwise there’s no sanctification.

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Even our Blessed Mother suffered in her vocation. Reflecting on the seven sorrows of Our Lady can be a sobering meditation and our crosses can pale in comparison to watching your only son die on the Cross.

So when you find being a mother is tough, remember how blessed you are to be in this position and seek other like-minded mums to help you through it. At the very least, they’ll pray for you.

And if there’s anything to be learned from Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine, it’s that a mother’s prayers are very powerful!

 

Filed Under: FaithFamily LifeFeaturedParenting

About the Author: Emily is a former ACPA award winning editor and journalist turned stay at home mum and blogger. She lives on a farm in regional NSW with her husband and their five children where she spends the time she should be doing housework reading books and writing posts.

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