The Sacred Art of Motherhood

A child is a sacred gift.  So it is only fitting that Motherhood is a life-changing event.   Along with the incredible joy that children bring, comes an overwhelming sense of responsibility.  After all, what can be of greater importance than the raising of another human being?

From the moment our precious little bundles are conceived, our priorities change.  Their safety and well-being prevail over all else – and continue to do so for as long as we draw breath.

And yet, we live in a consumerist Society that expects mothers to rejoin the workforce as early as possible.  There is an unspoken stigma associated with being a “Stay-at-Home Mum”.  Even if you wanted to buck the trend, it is becoming increasingly difficult to afford to do so.  In Auckland, the situation is at its worst.  House prices continue to sky rocket and rent robs renters of the lion’s share of their hard earned income.

We’ve got it so very wrong.  Raising happy, well-adjusted little humans is the most important career anyone can ever have the privilege to undertake.  In the spirit of honouring Motherhood, I have compiled my favourite quotes about the trials and tribulations of this most sacred duty.

“Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood – finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”

— Jodi Picoult (Perfect Match)

“Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”

— Donna Ball (At Home on Ladybug Farm (Ladybug Farm #2))

“This is motherhood for you,’ said my own mother. ‘Going through life with your heart outside your body.”

— Jennifer Weiner

“Motherhood is near to divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind.”

— Howard W. Hunter

“If only we lived in a culture in which internal measures of satisfaction and success — a capacity for joy and caring, an ability to laugh, a sense of connection to others, a belief in social justice — were as highly valued as external measures. If only we lived in a culture that made ambition compatible with motherhood and family life, that presented models of women who were integrated and whole: strong, sexual, ambitious, cued into their own varied appetites and demands, and equipped with the freedom and resources to explore all of them. If only women felt less isolated in their frustration and fatigue, less torn between competing hungers, less compelled to keep nine balls in the air at once, and less prone to blame themselves when those balls come crashing to the floor. If only we exercised our own power, which is considerable but woefully underused; if only we defined desire on our own terms. And — painfully, truly — if only we didn’t care so much about how we looked, how much we weighed, what we wore.”

— Caroline Knapp (Appetites: Why Women Want)

“In the 1950s at least less was expected of women. Now we’re supposed to build a career, build a home, be the supermum that every child deserves, the perfect wife, meet the demands of elderly parents, and still stay sane.”

— Sara Sheridan

“I have stretch marks on my heart.”

— Bella Bloom

“Prioritise self-care & incorporate a MINIMUM of 60 mins ‘ME TIME’ into your daily routine.
YES THERE ARE enough hours in the day.
NO EXCUSES.”
— Miya Yamanouchi (Embrace Your Sexual Self: A Practical Guide for Women)

“Despite the ever-increasing responsibilities, there are no promotions in motherhood. You’ll never get an annual review followed by a fat bonus and a healthy raise.”
— Lela Davidson (Blacklisted from the PTA)

“Children are mirrors; they will always show you exactly what is going on inside of you.  Each phase of their growth is an opportunity to heal your own pain, to go deeper inside yourself and become more truly human.”

— Vimala McClure (The Tao of Motherhood)