Do you know what a Motherhood Statement is?
Listen to me talk Motherhood Statements on ultra106five
Here is a definition of the term motherhood statement from Wiktionary:
- A vague, feel-good platitude, especially one made by a politician, that few people would disagree with. For example: “Our country must contribute to world peace.”
So, a Motherhood Statement is a sweeping declaration or generalisation, often about important things. In saying the statement, a topic’s value and importance is belittled, because it’s just assumed everyone knows all about it. (Remember Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality – when all the beauty pageant contestants were expected to say they wanted to solve “World Peace”? Those were classic motherhood statements!)
People just assume they know!
When I speak to friends and acquaintances about this blog and website, Treasuring Mothers, people often think they know exactly what I am talking about. With each interaction, I describe my objective of placing value and honour on motherhood. So often, the response is, “Ohhh – that’s so nice!” Everyone knows all about mothers don’t they?
And then they often, move very easily, onto the next thing.
It’s like they are saying, “Oh, what a lovely thing to do.” I can tell . . . they think it’s all gooey, mushy, and sentimental.
But No! Anyone who knows me well, will know I am not like that at all. I go for real issues, and hard-hitting problems. And I use a hefty combination of intellect, will, spirit and soul to problem-solve and reconcile the difficulties and issues troubling me.
As we chat further we start talking about the experiences their own mother had. And how that impacted them as a child. Suddenly it all flows out. I am discovering that everyone has a story! But you have to get past that initial motherhood statement response . . . the all aglow, riding off into the sunset, type of thinking.
For me, motherhood was really hard. I lost my own mother to breast cancer when I was a teenager. When it came time for me to have my own children, it felt like I had to pull myself up by my bootstraps to nurture my children. Without my mother in the background, it was difficult.
Actually, I soldiered on using the techniques I learnt when my mother died. It was the only thing I knew how to do: call out to God in desperation! I was so much like a little duck with feet paddling very fast underwater, while I calmly got onto it.
I know I am not the only one to have done this.
We come in all shapes and sizes
My personal experience, of having no mother around is one thing. But there are people who do motherhood under much more difficult circumstances than I ever experienced. Some mothers care for critically ill or disabled children; some have children who have passed away; and others have no family support whatsoever! (Thankfully, I did have quite a lot of family and church support.)
There are also disabled mothers; abused mothers – physically, sexually, emotionally; mothers who lost their one and only chance at motherhood; and women who so desired to be mothers, but never had the opportunity.
There are common terms we all know: single mothers, teenage mothers, foster mothers, adoptive mothers and birth mothers. As well, let’s also acknowledge there are grandmothers who mother their grandchildren, mothers in war zones, and refugee mothers. The list goes on.
Motherhood is NEVER easy!
The thing is, even if you have none of these struggles, and you are a happily married typical Aussie with 2.6 children, motherhood is a challenging and epic life journey. From pregnancy onwards, every mother is the heroine of her own story, navigating a series of personal challenges in addition to the highs and lows of parenthood.
To be a mother you have to be brave. You have to be patient. You need to draw on resources beyond your own knowledge. And you begin to realise there are so many things your mother never taught you.
I believe each of us has a God-given responsibility to take seriously the task entrusted to us: to take a tiny little baby from Day-zero, all the way through to adulthood.
So, let’s not dismiss the enormous challenges of motherhood as simply a just another motherhood statement.While lots of people seem to do that, let’s not be like them.
Let’s learn from each other. We can share our experiences, and gain so much from hearing each other’s stories.
What’s your story? Can you describe your motherhood experience in just one sentence?
Why not have a go at writing your experience in the Reply box below?