The Faces of Motherhood

Mother, Mommie, Moma, Mom, Mamie, Madea. Whatever the choice, this time the dictionary just cannot do justice to the role. For most of us, from the day we find out that inside of us a seed, a life has been planted and given to our care, a bond begins that is simply indescribable.

As we run the course and watch our bellies grow, without an actual awareness our heart strings become more and more taunt for that little kick, or the flutter of movement that we can now claim as ours. Throwing up, swollen feet, backaches, wow, what a way to start a race. Oh too soon comes the pain which in that moment you feel is as worst as pain can be, then out comes our rite to be called a mother, aka "our little bundle of joy"...we'll see!

For the next months, and into years motherhood brings a salad of emotions. Fear acting as croutons, instinct as the cream de la cream of lettuces, with the contents of our salad of motherhood being fatigue, confusion, experiments, and tears. Now since most salads are just not as good without dressing, we dress ourselves in love. Not the love you have for your man, or your moma. This one is much different, much deeper, so much more attached to your soul. At times it is actually scary because you feel as if there is nothing that can come to change what is between you and your baby.

Giving time, time. We move through the days of teething, diarrhea, fevers, falling, walking, and talking until our little one begins to grow into their own. They suddenly have a way of doing "them." What "they" want, and being who they are, your warnings and your "no" is tested to the limits and we begin to blame it on their fathers side of the family or the kids at daycare, anything, anyone but our babies.

Years begin to fly by and on the first day of kindergarten your heart breaks as they go walking inside, just so independent, waving and smiling; tears begin to fall from your eyes that you can't really explain, the first time of many more to come, but its love.

As life would have it time passes, and days and nights come and go and you begin to see your baby growing like a weed. The next thing you know high school is kicking down the door and boys or girls are ringing the phone off the hook, hormones are raging and necks roll with attitude. Suddenly your advice sounds like a foreign language to them and all of a sudden they seem to think you appeared on the scene just recently and with absolutely no experience or knowledge of what, when or how things work in life.

Your days and nights begin to be filled with wondering if you have said the right things, done the right things. Do they really know how much you love them?

Sooner or later they become young women and young men that make choices, some good, and some bad. Some days you lend your opinion and they take it, others they seem to turn a deaf ear. You find yourself back in the days of when they first started to try to walk and you would let them go, your hands and arms posed around their little world of uncertainty, and they would wobble back and forth and you wobbled back and forth with them to try to keep them from falling. Even back then sometimes they fell, and if they did it hurt you and them, sometimes they took steps with great success and you cheered them on proudly.

Mistakes are made, incidents happen, lies are told (and yes, your child has lied to you too). Motherhood brings such a gambit of emotion that it's hard to define them all. Love for a child that creates hopes and dreams that are sometimes dashed and discounted as if you are a total stranger, yet love forges on.

Nights when they stay out longer than they are suppose to without calling and your mind takes you on a trip through hell, your stomach in knots you walk the floor and pray Gods protection, and its love that drives you. In they come finally and they just can't seem to understand why you're so upset, "I'm fine, moma, stop worrying so much" and off to bed they go, or at least that's what they try to do, in my house things went down a little different. Voices came from the dark asking where in the hell you've been, or just when you thought you made it safely in without her hearing you, if you were lucky, the thrown shoe would miss you, yet it's love that drives her.

Young adulthood and adulthood are real special places where you begin to find out who your children really are. Your lives bring changes in your conversations and you realize that they are not just your children; they are people with their own minds and lives. Motherhood now means loving them enough to let them go, let them be who they are, what they are, right where they are whether you like it or not. You do it out of love.

I would just like to take a moment and acknowledge the mothers who may have lost a child, you are warriors! Despite your hurt you march on, living, and loving. You epitomize motherhood; your love can not be stopped not even in loss. The faces of motherhood are many; they give, give, and give out of love, out of need, out of want. They take, take, take when they think they can give no more, they take love to the next level, and the next level.

Motherhood is a gift, a privilege given by God, a task that requires what no book can teach, Dr. Spock can give all the advice he wants and nothing, nothing can or will prepare you for the journey of motherhood. As sistas walk out motherhood we all need, and require a word of support, encouragement and advice to make it through, your road may help another mother make a decision or see things a little different. Share your words, your failures, and your triumphs at Sista's Common Sense Corner,

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