How do you describe motherhood? Or do you?
How do you translate all the emotions, joys, fears, hopes, and wonder into a neatly organized collection of words that convey some sense of the vast and intimate reality that is being a mom?
It’s nearly impossible.
Though we may walk in each other’s footsteps and even side-by-side, each of us travels her own path and experiences her own journey as a mom. No two motherhoods are exactly alike. We are like the proverbial snowflake – sparkling en masse, but each one of us a unique creation made up of her own glittering facets, sharp edges, and inner fire.
Robert Frost wrote that a poem “begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is never a thought to begin with.”
That’s what motherhood is like.
It is not something that can be defined, measured, or contained. It is a feeling that transforms us at the molecular level, like alchemy or metamorphosis. It is a deeply felt, almost tangible sense of the interconnectedness of all life.
Motherhood is not a thought or a word. It is a way of being. We do not define motherhood. Motherhood defines us. Even the most non-traditional, independent mothers will not deny that being someone’s mom influences every other aspect of your life. Once you are a mother, every choice you make is filtered through that part of your identity. Motherhood is the ultimate perspective shift.
Though we cannot define or quantify motherhood, we can share motherhood through moments and stories. There are many things that no mother needs to explain to another mother. We just know. We get it. We have been there, too, and we understand that there are no words. There doesn’t need to be. That lump in the throat, that lovesickness, that feeling of having your heart burst wide open so it can give and take more – those things are best expressed without words.