I capture their every movement, their every shadow, in the endless crevices of my heart.
Because I am a mother – and I can do nothing less than love my children with my entire being.
I am that mom behind the wheel, in front of the stove, under a mountain of laundry, and on top of the world when her child says, “I wuv you, mama.”
I am also that mom facing other issues, the ones deep down that outsiders – and especially the children in her care – will most likely never see.
I am the mom who fretted over how long to nurse, stayed up wondering if those extra hours of TV while I was sick would affect my child’s development, and decided to “stay at home” even though the world does not value my labor.
I am that mom who bled over days that seemed to never end, saying goodbye to a baby I would never hold in my arms, and still felt guilty wondering if I would ever have a daughter after raising two sons.
All mothers face challenges.
Are you the mom who watched a child fight the battle with health, who held her own life in the balance, or struggled to accept her body?
Are you the mom holding life’s camera focusing so intensely on your subject… while you, the photographer, are completely forgotten, unidentified, and somehow lost amongst the busy-ness of life?
Don’t forget yourself. Honor yourself and your experiences… for these are what will ultimately shape who you are.
There are many questions in motherhood that I have faced, ones that have made me feel alone, isolated, sad, and unsure. But I am opening my heart because all mothers have a unique experience of the role of motherhood, and by sharing together we can be assured that we are not alone. You may have a unique situation – one no one else is facing just like you… but there is someone out there who wants to understand.
Even if we do not have the shared experience, we can always listen.
I truly believe that to connect with your family and to become your best self, you must accept yourself and find inner strength to keep going despite your circumstances. Questions in life do not always have “answers” but there are many lessons to be learned, and cherished.
These are the challenges of motherhood, the situations that are not black and white, the tests that we grow from every day.
Growing from Motherhood is a series of articles published over the past year, made up of stories that will inspire moms to grow through their experiences – accept their challenges and find ways to deal positively with them. Thank you to all the contributing authors who shared their hearts for this project.
The issues we have addressed are as follows:
- Being a Stay-At-Home Mom
- Eating Disorders
- Gender Disappointment
- Adoption (written by Becky of Kid World Citizen)
- Facing a Child’s Health Challenges (from guest writer)
- Raising a Multicultural Family (from All Done Monkey)
- Living Abroad (from European Mama)
- Isolation in Modern Day Parenting (from guest writer)
And here are some articles on other blogs, which address a few more challenges:
- Depression while Parenting (guest post on Mama Smiles), during Pregnancy (from Clarks Condensed), and the Social Stigma attached to it (from Racheous)
- Dealing with “Morning Sickness” posted on HuffPost Parents
- Infertility a guest post on A Mother Far From Home
- “Your Baby May Not Survive” Ultrasound from Crayon Box Chronicles
- Parenting an Angry Child from Lemon Lime Adventures
- Unexpected Birthing Experience from The Good Long Road
- New Parent Mania from The Jenny Evolution
- Healthy Body Image in a World with Chronic Dysmorphia from Not Just Cute
- How Every Other Week Almost Breaks Me (shared custody experience) from The (Reformed) Idealist Mom
- I’m Not the Mom You Think I Am (yelling and anger) from Me Plus 3
- Dealing with the Unexpected from In the Playroom
You will notice that this list of articles is also limited… there are so, so many more challenges faced by mothers around the world. Let us always be compassionate to our fellow mothers and never judge despite what we think we may know about them or their lives.
I hope you find some hope and inspiration in these articles. No matter what you are facing, you are not alone – and there is always a rainbow at the end of the storm.
It is not easy… but I sincerely wish you all the strength and support you deserve on your journey.
What challenge are you facing? If you have a favourite article, feel free to link to it the comments or on my Facebook Page so I can share more stories with the community.
Thanks for including the infertility guest post from my site. It has spoken to many readers. I am going to check out these posts, Chelsea, thanks for this!
Chelsea Lee Smith
It was such a lovely piece. Thanks for the sweet comment Rachel 🙂
Beautiful words I can so identify with x
Sara @ Happiness is here
This is so touching xx
Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky
This is such an amazing collection, so much power in these stories.
I think sometimes, just knowing you’re not alone can really hope. We’re all on this journey. We all have different paths and experiences but there are moments that we can all relate to. Thanks 🙂
Chelsea Lee Smith
So true Debs. We are not alone even though it’s so easy to feel that way. Thank goodness for the internet! Makes it so easy to connect x