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What Makes a Mother?

September 3, 2010

What makes a mother, a mother?  For now, we’ll leave out the pregnancy/delivery part.  Any woman (most women) can conceive, carry and deliver a child, so that doesn’t necessarily determine WHO is a Mother.

I look to my own example of a mother to help with this analogy.  Granted, no one mother is perfect, we are women, we have flaws.

When I was younger, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my mother would be there for me. To the world, we were a united front, (if I needed punishment, she’d wait til we got home to met it out!).  She always has a hug for me, a shoulder to cry on.  She always tried to tell me the truth, even when it’s not something I wanted to hear, but rather, something I needed to hear.  She was there, present in my life. Even if she went to work 40 hrs a week, I remember her being there, because she made me a priority,  (For all those Mommies out there who work, yes your child will know you’re still mom, and you care, when the effort is made :D).   I know my Mom would stand with me now, helping me when I needed it, (Thank you Mom for everything through these last few months).  She still makes our relationship a priority, so that even when she might be mad at me, or hurt by me, she holds her tongue, bites her words, so that our relationship is persevered, and nothing hurtful/harmful is said to ruin it.  How thankful I am, to have her example to follow. I readily admit, I have a lot of learning left to do. I also have a lot of my Father in me as well, (Love you Dad!).  By that I mean, sometimes I let my mouth to the thinking, and not my brain. I’m a work in progress, people! 🙂

I know that my Mother’s love is unconditional, that even through her angry, her disappointment, her hurt, she still loves me a whole lot.  I know that that love is strong enough, that should it have needed it, she would have used tough love on me, for my own good/growth.

As a mother myself, I learned that the love of a mother, is almost indescribable to someone who isn’t a mother themselves.  Your protective instincts are so very high, that even a perceived wrong look, or sound can set you off, running to your child’s side, to take them away from the threat or danger, regardless if there’d been danger!

So to me, a mother is someone who takes the time, the effort, the patience to be there for their child. Who holds their tongue to preserve the relationship.  Who makes their child a priority, and truly listens to the child’s wants, needs and desires,  (all of this is age related, so certain levels of ‘listening’ are needed, but I’m pretty confident ya’ll know what levels are needed!).

I’ve known my share of mothers, who aren’t all of these things to their children. That doesn’t make them a bad mother, just a different mother than my own. I know that different children need different mothers.  But I think the most basic needs of everyone are: unconditional love (tough love, too), a real presence in their child’s life, listening to the needs/wants, acknowledging them as a person, encouraging growth/learning and having a desire to preserve the relationship throughout their lifetime (no matter how difficult it might be).

I can’t imagine, knowing now the depth and richness of a mother’s love, the women out there who choose to walk away from that.  Who choose to abandon the awesome relationship that could be had.   I just do not understand it, as it goes against who I am as a mother. NOTHING should be more important to a mother, than her child, (God is more important, and Wayne is more important, but I hope you know what I mean!).  For some mother’s, it’s a balancing act.  For some mother’s who are also the ‘father’ figure, it’s a rough road.  But I know many single mother’s who are ferocious Mom’s to their children.  Heaven help anyone who dares to harm their child. I also know many single mother’s who don’t seem to care about the children they have, and place any number of things in front of said child.

Motherhood, it’s as variable, wide, different as the next mother who walks by.

What makes a mother? It isn’t just DNA, it’s a choice she makes everyday, for the rest of her life, to actively love her child.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2010 8:11 am

    Also, for those women out there who have not given birth to their children, you are still mother’s. You have a mother’s heart, which is a precious thing. I know many of you who cannot have children, yet are mother’s to those around you. I’m blessed to know you, and call you friend, and family.

  2. carolyn permalink
    September 3, 2010 8:13 am

    wow. This made me cry. So deep beautiful and truthful peggy. Love it and love you. You are an awesome mother.

    • September 3, 2010 8:16 am

      Thank you.

      People seem to forget that a mother who has lost her child, is still a mother. Only now, instead of focusing on her child with all that love and instinct, it’s focused on those around her. Heaven help them! 🙂

      Once a mother/Mom, always a mother/Mom.

  3. Crystal permalink
    September 5, 2010 9:00 am

    I couldn’t have said that any better. I don’t know if you’ve read about my struggles with my biological mother, but in a nutshell… She was absent from my life for about 18 years bc she chose drugs over her children. Recently, she’d been trying to start a relationship with me, but I can’t do it until she admits to everything she put my siblings and I through. (Doing drugs in front of us, cheating on my dad in front of us, physical abuse, etc.). She’s created a whole new world in her head to help her live with herself for what she did to us. She seems to think that we were one big happy family before her and my dad got divorced, and that things were so happy for us. Even if she ever does acknowledge the horrible things she put us through, I don’t know if I can ever really have a relationship with her. She flat out denies all those things she did, even though myself and my siblings distinctly remember what happened. She thinks that just bc she gave birth to me that we automatically have this super close bond. I told her that there’s more to being a mother than just giving birth to a baby, but she doesn’t seem to understand.
    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for posting this, bc it really makes me feel like someone actually understands where I’m coming from, and knows that there’s more to being a mother than flesh alone.

    • September 5, 2010 9:03 am

      Oh, Crystal. I’m so sorry you’ve had that experience to live through. *hugs* I’m glad that this post helped you.

  4. Crystal permalink
    September 5, 2010 9:16 am

    Thank you, Peggy. 🙂 I haven’t heard from her in about a month bc I asked her to leave me alone. I had been so used to not having her in my life that now that she wants to be, it REALLY screws me up emotionally. So this might be bad, but since she’s left me alone again, I’ve been a lot less stressed. Sorry, I didn’t mean to hijack your blog. I saw on your facebook that you’re writing a blog book… Is that correct? Is it gonna be published and sold? I keep up with your blogs, and I would LOVE to have a copy of your blog book.

    • September 5, 2010 9:20 am

      Yup, you saw rightly. I’m in the process of making it a book. It’ll probably be published in volumes, that way I can keep putting them out there. It’s a slow process, slower that I like. It takes so much out of me to go back, and read those first months. I relive everything! But yes, once it’s done, and I’m happy with it, I’ll be getting it out there for those who wish, to purchase it. 🙂

      I understand more than I can explain, about the less stress when people are out of our lives. I struggle with feeling guilty about cutting people out, but sometimes, it’s for the best when it halts the healing process.

  5. Crystal permalink
    September 5, 2010 9:45 am

    I think that’s awesome that you’re making your blogs into volumes. I know it’s necessary for you to have to relive what happened in order to write your book, but I really wish you didn’t have to. I think though, that your books will change MANY people’s lives; I know that reading your blogs has definitely changed mine and how much more I appreciate things. I’m telling you the truth when I say that everytime I kiss Ryder goodbye or goodnight, I give him a hug and kiss in honor of Michael. Your baby boy has taught me to really cherish every moment, every smile. I wish it didn’t have to mean tearing your world apart so others could really recognize what they have. Michael, I want to thank you for bringing so many parents closer to their children. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Peggy, thank you for setting the example of a mother’s undying love. I only wish my own mother had loved me as much.

    • September 5, 2010 9:49 am

      Oh, that made me cry. Thank you Crystal. I’m glad that somehow, my grief and loss has helped you. I too, wish that it didn’t have to be my son’s death to change the way I look at life, and how I am living it. Only God knows why that was necessary. Only He can carry me and get me through this. Sending love to you, Crystal!

  6. Crystal permalink
    September 5, 2010 9:57 am

    Sending it right back at you, Peggy. 🙂

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