Friday, March 7, 2014
I was fiddling around on Facebook tonight out of boredom while Ella was sleeping next to me, and I made the mistake of clicking on one of those pages about a child that has passed away. I usually know better than to click on those anymore because of how incredibly emotional I get now that I am a mom. I did it anyway though, and it was only minutes before I was in tears for this child and her mother that I had never even heard of 10 minutes earlier. I read through this mother's posts about losing her child to an accident in which she almost drowned and was then in a coma for 14 months and I just couldn't stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks. I looked at the smiling pictures of this 2 year old little girl and felt that I personally had suffered a loss.
This is when the full scope of what being a mother means really hit me. The moment you weep and mourn for a child that you've never met before but immediately empathize with the grief her mother is going through. Everyone talks about how being a mom means being a maid, chauffeur, chef, booboo-kisser, etc. and all of those things are things a mom does but being a mother really means knowing a love so deep and unconditional that you know words will never describe the way you feel about your child but that that will never stop you from trying to explain it to them. Being a mother is crying tears of sadness and pain at the thought of a woman losing the most important thing she has ever accomplished. Being a mother means not having to speak words of comfort to a mom that has lost her child but simply knowing to offer her a shoulder to cry on because no words will ease the pain. Being a mother is finding joy in laying beside your sleeping child at night watching her chest rise and fall with each breath she takes and smiling at the pool of drool she is making. Being a mother is not being able to resist saying "I love you" to your child 100 times a day. Being a mother is knowing to never take for granted the time you have with your child. Being a mother is being willing to openly embrace all of the emotions that come with motherhood and never being ashamed to weep for the pain and loss that comes with living in this world nor being embarrassed to jump for joy everytime your child smiles at you.
Some people would say that I've only been a mother for 16 months so who I am to speak on what other women have done for years, but I believe that every woman that has a child (through any means) knows about all of the emotions that come with parenting. The love, joy, fear, guilt, happiness, sadness, and every other emotion you could possibly imagine are all there from the moment you set eyes on your child.
Before having Ella, I would have read that story on Facebook and been sad for the family that had to experience losing a child. Then I would have moved on. Not out of coldness, but simply because what else was I supposed to do? I didn't understand the true pain that came with losing a child. Now that I have Ella, I feel such a deep hurt for anyone that loses a child that it scares me. How can someone that has never even met this family feel such pain for them?
By being a mother.