A job like none other; at once thankless but magnificently rewarding–there is nothing like motherhood when it comes to the blessing of life. Apropos actually since mothers are the source of life that bring all of us into this world. Grant it, I’m not necessarily qualified to speak on the struggles of motherhood nor do I even pretend to know the pains associated with pregnancy and the stresses of raising that same child. After all, I’m the same man who screams out like Rambo when he was taking the arrow out of his side when I am tending to a hangnail so I can’t even imagine the unimaginable pains that women go through when giving birth to a child.
Thus I’m not writing this article as some type of expert but more as an observer giving homage to the one profession that is the most vital in the world. It’s ironic actually, I posted a question earlier this morning on my personal Facebook page about what the hardest yet most rewarding job is in the world. Almost to a tee, everyone said motherhood and I concur absolutely. I know from first hand experience how vital mothers are to the family dynamic. True enough fathers occupy a vital role too, but to my mind nothing influences the lives of children as profoundly as the presence of absence of mothers.
It is said that fathers bring the bacon home–a quaint notion that is becoming irrelevant as more and more women are actually the breadwinners in the family these days–but even if it’s the father who brings the bacon home, it is the mother who turns that bacon into a meal and nurtures the entire family. The hardship of being a mother continues to magnify; being a mom is a full time job unto itself, but now mothers are expected to work full time only to come home and start the harder job of being a provider to the household.
Mothers wear more hats than we can ever imagine. Of course this is just based on my own experiences, but in most households mothers are the accountants, the advisors, the nurturers, and most importantly the emotional backbone of the family. It is this last trait, that of being an emotional rock for others, that awes me the most. To take on the burdens of the entire family and then some is something that seems superhuman but yet mothers don this role on a daily basis as they give of themselves to raise their children. Let me say that again, the very act of being a mother is that of giving a piece of themselves to their children. The toll that birthing a child takes on the body is inconceivably tasking–motherhood is the very essence of sacrificing self in order to give life to another.
This notion of sacrifice and the burdens of being a mother was first inspired as I was talking to Sue, a mother of four and a wife of a Vietnam war veteran, who I met to at my gym a few days ago. A random conversation led to a journey of discovery as Sue and her husband Bill were telling me about the hardship that they both went through as Bill had to readjust to life after war. I realized at that moment how we always thank veterans for their service, and rightly so I add, but we rarely say thank you to the equal sacrifices that the wives of soldiers go through as they have to be the rock that keeps the family together while worrying about their spouses who are serving on battlefields.
Motherhood is a battle on it’s own and when you add to that the anxiety and stress that the wives of soldiers deployed overseas go through, the hardships that mothers and wives face is equal to the burdens that are borne by their spouses who are sent overseas. But one does not have to be a wife of a soldier to go through the taxing effort of being a mother. All mothers face this tribulation; I don’t write this to in anyway diminish the role of fathers or lessen their importance, but for the most part I know that mothers go through more of a mental strain raising children than fathers do. Most of us men have a live and let live demeanor, the level of stress when a child does not come home on time or when a teenager goes out is not as onerous to the man as it is to the mother. The level of emotional connection is the most profound between mother and child.
A couple of days after talking to Sue and her husband at my gym, I ran into Jessica Bondurant at Dazbog Coffee shop in Fort Collins. She was setting up for an event she was hosting and I asked her what the event was about. She told me about her business selling natural oils and upon further conversation she told me that she was also a birthing assistant to a midwife. I’ve witnessed a childbirth once, I shudder each time a discussion takes place about giving birth. But with the insight of once being present during a delivery, I started to ask Jessica about being involved in the midwiving industry because I was truly fascinated by the subject.
Jessica went on to explain how midwiving has tremendous benefits for copious reasons and she also explained how there is a spiritual aspect of giving birth at home. She added:
Having your baby at home is a kind and gentle way to bring your baby into the world. For some women who have a healthy low-risk pregnancy, birthing their baby at home is as safe or safer than a hospital birth. It was one of the best decisions I made for my births and I felt honored and respected by the talented professional women that attended my births. I was fearless because I had developed a strong relationship with my midwife throughout my pregnancies. I feel blessed to have experienced the beauty of birth without fear.
This is not in anyway meant to be a knock against women who choose to have their babies at hospitals or make it seem like those who let doctors instead of midwives deliver their babies are somehow lesser than those who give birth at home. There are many routes to motherhood and I’m just highlighting one of the many options that women take in order to bring life into this universe. One of the reasons why “natural birth” is considered safer than the hospital option is because women who choose to be midwived forgo epidurals and most pain pills.
Again keep in mind that I am the same person who declares a national emergency when I get a paper cut, so I’m not in any way preaching against those who choose to go the way of injections to lessen the pains of birthing a baby. But a lot of women have expressed that they would never take an epidural again for the temporary relief is outweighed by the cost as the after effects of an injection into the spinal cord can last up to a year after child birth. This is the toll that women go through to give life to us.
A few days go, I had a conversation with Weyni Shalka about child birth and she mentioned that as hard and painful as the birthing process was, the nine months of difficulty is nothing compared to the joys that she felt when she first looked into the eyes of her child. “I carried a stranger inside me for more than nine months followed up by five hours of grueling labor. I experienced the most pain I’ve ever felt,” said Weyni.” I didn’t sleep a single full night and sometimes didn’t finish meals in one sitting. But ever since I met my baby, that sacrifice seemed insignificant–the greatest reward are his huge eyes and smiley face looking at me each day.”
Amina Nicole, a mother in New York who knows of the trails and joys associated with bearing and raising a child reiterated the same message that Sue, Jessica and Weyni relayed to me. She actually said something profound that I did not think of.
“Motherhood starts the day you actually dream of having children, and once you do it will warm your soul forever”
Although I don’t want to paint with a broad brush, and I hope that women forgive me if I sound a bit too general in stating this, but women have dreams of having a child while most men are out trying to sow our wild oats. That is the blessing of women for they strive to give life by default while too many of us men are concerned about conquest. This is why women should run the world–those who give life are better leaders than those of us who too often lead with our egos.
This is a thank you to all mothers in the world; your work is often neglected and seldom thanked but without you there would be none of us here on earth. Whether you are a stay at home mom or a mom that has a career and all in between, your job never ends for being a mother is a career until the last breath. Thank you as well to Weyni, Jessica, Sue and Amina (Weyni, Jessica and Amina are pictured above clockwise) for blessing me with the inspiration to write this article and giving birth to this write up. Par for the course really; this is what women do, they give birth to ideas and children alike. We don’t need a random day in May to say thank you to mothers, 365 days a year is mother’s day for each breath that we take would not be possible if it was not for the womb that gave birth to men. #BlessedWombman
“With what price we pay for the glory of motherhood.” ~ Isadora Duncan
If you love this write-up and agree that motherhood is a blessing like none other, share this article on social media and let the world know that mothers are the rocks that sustain families and humanity alike. Use #BlessedWombman when sharing the article.
Did you know that woman comes from the word wombman, Ghion Journal emulates mothers and gives birth to knowledge. Say hello to Weyni (link) Jessica (link) and Amina (link) and check out Jessica’s business “Oil Blessed Mama” by clicking on the picture below the videos and email Jessica if you want to know more about natural births and natural oils as well at Oilblessedmama@gmail.com
Since motherhood is the perfection of love, this Ghion Cast below is an homage to love itself and how we can find within us.
Check out this video, a reflection by mothers as they pass on wisdom to future moms.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.