Recently I had an interaction with a mom friend of mine that left me feeling sad. We hadn’t seen each other in awhile, so when we finally got our kids together for a play date we had a lot of catching up to do. We had light conversation, catching up on the recent weeks, and then she started sharing some of her struggles. She paused for a moment as she watched out kids play together and then turned and looked at me and said;
“Do you ever feel like being a mom just isn’t enough? Like it doesn’t complete you and still leaves you feeling unfulfilled?”
The honesty in her words really struck me and I’ve been thinking about them ever since. Actually, I’ve been thinking about them long before she asked me that question, but it wasn’t until that moment that I feel like I had to face my fears head on;
Is Motherhood ENOUGH?
And the answer is no, it’s not.
Motherhood was never meant to be an end in itself; it’s not who I am, it’s currently just what I do.
It’s a vast all encompassing title that consumes every part of my being for 24 hours a day 365 days a year. I don’t get a break, I don’t get sick days, I don’t get paid vacation, or maternity leave; this is life. So it makes sense that what consumes my life would become my life, but understand friends, that motherhood is not me; or not all of me anyways.
Before I was a mother I was a friend, a lover, a girlfriend. I was a wife, a daughter, a teacher. I was a career girl, a student, an entrepreneur. I was a singer, musician, and dreamer. I was an artist, health nut, and avid reader. I was all these things and I still am.
Just because I may have to put aside one aspect of my life right now, does not mean that it still is not a part of me.
Just like some day, in the far, far, future, I will put motherhood aside. Not completely, never fully, but I will not be a mother to the capacity that I am right now. Someday I will know what it is like to sleep through the night again, to sleep in on Saturday mornings. I will know what it is like to have free time, and to be able to pursue my own hobbies. I will know what it’s like to be able to make an adult meal that I want to eat and not have to force feed it to anyone. But just because motherhood will not consume as much of my time does not mean that I stop being a mom.
In the same way, just because you have had to put aside parts of who you are right now, does not mean that they are not still a part of you.
Motherhood will not fulfill you my friend; becasue it is not all of who you were created to be.
I know many a mommy who says that they found themselves in motherhood, and I am not trying to negate that in a way, I think that is beautiful and right, but, there is more to life than motherhood.
There. I said. Let’s just let that one breath for a second.
Does it bother you that I said that? Do you agree whole heartedly? Is there a part of you that wants to have it out with me?
That’s good. All of it. Every feeling.
Whether or not you agree with me is not the point, my point in writing this is to give words to those who have felt secluded, alone, bogged down by a feeling that they can’t put their finger on. If you have secretly chided yourself for not embracing motherhood completely, or not feeling fully satisfied by it; don’t. It is okay to be fulfilled by motherhood; you’re not supposed to. You are your own person and you have your own dreams, desires, like, dislikes, etc, that’s what makes you who you are! So instead of feeling frustrated if you want more, know that it’s okay; you’re not just a mother.
PS) I truly believe motherhood (or parenthood for that matter) is one of the highest callings we have as human beings. I do not take for granted my role as a mother or the amazing gift I have in being able to stay home with my children. I am so profoundly grateful to be a mother and yes, I have those amazing days that I get “lost” in motherhood and can’t imagine a day that isn’t consumed by my children. So please do not feel like I’m picking on you if motherhood is completely fulfilling to you, I think that is amazing, and I have been there too! My point in the post was to hopefully help bring freedom to some of the mommies like me and my friend who are too afraid to voice their desire to have a little more in their life than just motherhood.