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Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Gift of Motherhood

For the most part the last few weeks have been pretty carefree... thanks in large part to my sister and my parents, who have spent most of their daylight hours helping me with my two babies while I try to heal and recover. But, there have still been a few brief moments when I've felt a bit overwhelmed. I think the root of those feelings have been from still feeling like I'm recovering from the c-section, not being able to do everything that I want to do. In addition there is this underlying fear of how I'll ever handle an entire day without any help. I like to call that FOTU - Fear Of The Unknown.

There was one afternoon last week when I was climbing upstairs to get something and on my way up I couldn't keep the tears from coming. I went directly to Marc who was working away in his office. He saw my tears and immediately opened his arms to welcome me. It reminded me of another similar moment, though the tears then were for far different reasons. But just like that moment almost a year ago, Marc wrapped his arms around me, comforting and reassuring me, mixing in some of his humor and making me laugh. Times like these are just a glimpse of why I feel so lucky to be married to him.

In the mix of all these new emotions of being a mother to two little boys, and with long (long) hours of nursing Hugh, I've probably had too much time to think about my new relationship with motherhood.

I've been thinking a lot about the feeling that I've heard expressed that motherhood is an achievement. As one who has experienced great difficulty in my quest to become a mother that sentiment has always felt a little off. An achievement seems to be something you work hard for and have control over the outcome - things like running a certain number of miles or losing weight or getting through an entire day without caving in to the never-ending chocolate cravings... things that most of us have at least some control over.

Becoming a mother, whether through a planned or unplanned pregnancy, adoption, or some other way, ultimately isn't something that any of us really have any control over. I firmly believe that all matters concerning birth and death lie in the hands of God. Some people can get pregnant without trying or wanting to, while others can try every way possible and go through incredibly invasive procedures to make it happen and still it doesn't happen. Is motherhood still considered an achievement when you consider the extremes of those cases?

When thinking about the ways that Benjamin and Hugh both came into my life I know for a fact that I didn't achieve motherhood in either case. Rather, motherhood was given to me. Each situation was a miracle. A gift.

But, I'm quickly learning that just because motherhood was given to me doesn't mean that I'm automatically given all the qualities of being good at motherhood, without any effort on my part.

So, this is what I've decided.

Motherhood is a gift. Not something that can ever be achieved solely by my own efforts.

However, becoming good at motherhood, or becoming a good mother, is something that can be achieved, although still an achievement that requires help from a Higher source.


Becky Rose said...

This rings true to me!

Kaija said...

Yes. Thank you. Just what a needed on the first day of yet another period :(

Heidi said...

Megan, my sister told me I needed to come read your blog and I'm so glad she did. I didn't see your email contact so sorry for the random comment from a stranger!

I loved how you expressed this, and I needed the reminder that we are blessed with divine assistance as we daily work towards becoming a good mother. I needed to hear that right now - thank you.

Congratulations on your two beautiful boys!

Patti Johansen said...

Beautiful, meaningful, and truthful thoughts - thank you!

Ashley said...

I've spent the last three weeks feeling like both Julia and Gabe need to have great big bows on their heads because they honestly feel like God's little presents to me.

"achievement" is something that happens after you work hard and gain it because of worthiness; you deserve it. Motherhood doesn't come that way.

It is a gift.

Love it.

Anonymous said...

I am haunting your site anxious to see more pics! I am scared to call you just in case you are sleeping do you have a flicker act? Email me a quick update. As always my prayers are coming your way! This is so exciting! I am so happy for you. My mantra during this time was "oh well I would rather be busy than bored". Now I am a bit opposite - I think bored sounds like a nice place to be! Love love love you guys and your little family!