May 10, 2014

What It Means to Be a (New) Mother.


A Letter to My Pregnant Self (and all the first-time expectant moms out there).

Being a mom means you’ve joined a club—you can now directly relate to everyone else who is a mom and everyone else who is a parent. This club has no rules, but, as in most clubs, the members tend to compare themselves to one another and often judge harshly, especially because innocent, deserving little children are involved.

Happiness is the absence of judgment, a wise woman once said.

Some people say you’re already a mother when you’re pregnant, which is technically true, but it’s okay to embrace the fact that you cannot truly fathom the immensity of having a child until the very moment when he or she is born. And that will be a truly awe-inspiring, life-changing moment indeed.

Being a new mother, for you and for all, will mean much sacrifice. It will mean giving up a certain level of personal freedom and becoming a sometimes-joyful, sometimes-exhausted-and-overwhelmed slave to your baby’s needs.

But being a new mother also means becoming a master of change, and not just the diaper change. To accept the bare truth of impermanence, the constant flux in the universe, it’s necessary to let go. (This goes for all people, mothers and nonmothers alike.)

Let go of trying to control outcomes.
Let go of needing to know what will happen next.
Let go of yearning to just get it over with already.
Let go of expecting a particular plan to work.
Let go of grasping after a certain person or feeling.
Let go of trying to be a perfect mother. There’s no such thing.

Nobody knows what the hell we’re doing; let’s just try our best each day to be present, kind and compassionate.

Being a mother will expand your heart’s capacity. Because you love your child so—beyond language’s ability to express—you are potentially capable of loving all beings more, of loving life itself even more than you did before.

Being a mother will bring great happiness and great sorrow. Being a mother will teach you in a new, different way how to live in this moment, how to experience the staggering miracle of this precious human life.

Being a mother is a big transition from not being a mother. Give yourself space to evolve. Keep up your own passions and practices in whatever way works.

It gets easier. The first three months or so with an infant are inevitably challenging in all ways. It does get easier; they get even cuter and soak everything up like sponges and soon will start moving and laughing and babbling. Appreciate each stage. You will remember how to play. You will become more playful.

Her laughter will be infectious, the most gorgeous sound in the world. Her eyes will light up when she sees you. She will press her tiny life force into your arms and you will feel the completion, the connection, the yoga of mama.

It will be hard but so totally and completely worth the effort. Happy Mother’s Day! (Every day.)



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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Pixoto

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