What Makes a Woman a Mother?

What makes a woman a mother?

This is for all my women-friends: would-be-mothers, and mothers already; and for all the men out there. Just so you know …

Really, what makes a woman a mother?

Oh, you carried each of your children in your womb for nine months, that makes you a mother all right! You gave birth to all of them … normal delivery! Remember the pain when their heads “crowned”? Or via CS, and you had to be careful for months because of your operation …

Or you may be someone who did not literally nurture them in your womb, but nonetheless is a Mother to them in all other aspects …

When they were small, you bathed them every single day, until the time arrived when they could do it themselves. Then all you had to do was prepare the towels and the change of clothing … and pray that they rinsed their hair well, or that they scrubbed their elbows and knees and heels … 

You fed them every time they cry! You either had to wash your “automatic baby bottle”, if you know what i mean, or you had to make sure that the bottles were sterilized … and the water was sterile … and the milk, that it’s not too hot nor too cold … You had to hold the bottle while they sucked, which took a few minutes to an hour … and you had to sit up so they won’t choke,  and then you had to watch and wait till they’re finished so they won’t suck in air and suffer from colic pains. You did this morning, noon, till night time, even when all the rest of the household are asleep. If you breastfed them remember how it felt the first time? Can you still remember the feeling when you left home for an errand and your breast felt like it’s going to burst? And then noticing that your undergarments is wet … and the milk just flowed. Remember how thirsty you felt each and every time you nursed your baby?

Many times you find yourself alone in the house carrying the baby everywhere for you can’t just leave him or her lying in your bed alone while you try your best to do your chores at home while he sleeps – which he does so irregularly. Remember the time call of nature came, and you just had to go? You had to leave the door open so you can hear the baby …

Day in and day out you smell like sour cream or spoiled milk because you just did not have enough time nor the motivation to change your house dress into something more fashionable; Who needs to be that trendy anyway? So you tell yourself! You smell of “weweee” and of “pawis” and of “dul-ay” all mixed together.

As they grew older …

It was normally you who stayed late when the children were sick … When they started to crawl … and as they took their first steps … When they fell off the chair, or the table, or the bed, or the stairs. You cleaned wounds on knees and elbows, kissed them with your lips, whispered sweet assurances so your children will know the pain will soon be gone…

You sang to them all sorts of songs, English, Tagalog, Visayan, written or invented (hah!). When you ran out of words because you did not really know the lyrics, you hummed them to sleep.

You recited the alphabet to them; you taught them how to count from 1 to 100 – forwards and backwards. You also told them stories – true and make-believe. It was you who taught them how to fold their socks, how to tie their shoe laces, how to tuck their shirts in.

On school days (and that’s 5 times a week) you woke up very early to prepare their breakfast, iron their uniforms, shine their shoes …  simultaneously while cleaning the house and preparing yourself so you can bring them to school on time. Then you waited for them outside their classrooms when they were in Nursery, Kinder 1, Kinder 2, praying that they will participate, cooperate, and stay awake; and not quarrel with their classmates. You took time to face teachers during Parent-Teacher Conferences; took in wholeheartedly reports of them misbehaving in school; of your boy reading his favorite book during classes; or your daughter punching the class bully in his nose (and you find yourself silently saying to yourself …YES! that’s, that’s my girl!) and a million other things you did (and still do even today)… day in and day out, until the sun sets and rises again the following day.

What makes a woman a mother?

All these and so much more … The sacrifices, the heartaches, the fears, the excitements, the worries, the anxieties … the joy, the happiness …and a million other things that make you as you are … Selfless … Sacrificing … Hoping … Praying …

Who fed me from her gentle breast;

And hushed me in her arms to rest;

And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?

My Mother.”

~Anne Taylor


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