Mother's Day: What I get out of it.

We talk a lot about sacrifice as it relates to motherhood. Mamas sacrifice their independence, their careers, their bodies, their personal goals, their marriages, their hairstyles... Pretty much anything you can think of to sacrifice, sometime, somewhere, a mama's done that for the sake of her child. I think we talk about this a lot because, a) mothers do make these sacrifices, and it's kind of amazing in an absurdist sort of way, and b) we're feeling a bit guilty because we don't really appreciate our moms, or motherhood, on a daily basis. So we have to idealize it and talk about its extremes.

But today, on Mother's Day, that most brunchy of holidays that doesn't rank high enough for a day off work, I'm going to write about what I love about being a mother. Not what I give it (that's for the other 364 days a year), but what it gives me.

Brunchy brunch-brunch brunch.
Women Laughing Alone With Salads (stockphotos at their worst best)

Meaning ~ 
I've always thought that children are the most precious things in the world. Precious and vulnerable. Raising children with love and respect is the most important thing. So, whammo! have a baby and never a day is wasted. Every day that passes in which I haven't maimed or traumatized our child, I'm helping him grow into a full-fledged person. Even on days that I can't get started, days when I'm *ahem* still sitting in my pyjamas and a milk-stained tank-top with a damp, milk-stained cloth diaper shoved down its front at 12pm. Life has meaning. This hang-nail, a direct result of not having time to maintain my appearance due to being a full-time mama? It has meaning, too.

Our new cloth-diaper-nursing-pad look, direct from Milan.

Company ~
It's hard to feel lonely with Sweet Baby James around. Sometimes I manage it anyway, but usually he's my pal who knows me (and my bathroom habits) like no one else (if you just clicked on that link, you are a disgusting, disgusting person. Just kidding!). The day before I found out I was pregnant I had just come back from a road trip. My new fiancé(!)* was still on the road. I spent the day alone, eating food from the freezer, unpacking, and soaking in the bath. I took a long walk up Mount Royal to see the season change into summer. I didn't talk to anyone. It was kind of blissful, but it was the end of an era. I haven't spent a day alone since. Spending them with someone who can't insult you and who wants nothing more than to entice you into a game of 'white plastic coat hangers look funny as a hat' is pretty darn nice.

*Ha ha ha, remember when Z was still my fiancé? No - you blinked? You missed it? Lolz.

Caretaking ~
I've always loved looking after people. This is not usually very healthy from a psychological point of view. I know, because my other job is therapist (which is kind of like being paid to look after other people). But anyway, having SBJ has been wonderful in this regard because I finally have someone into whom it's healthy and expected that I put almost all my energy. My friendships have suffered because mothering was pretty much the only way I related to people before (bossy, strict, nosey). But those dress rehearsals prepared me well for my onstage debut.

This is what never happens.

Movement ~
Becoming a mom has really changed my perception of my body. Yes, I would still like to be 10  (or 15, or 25...) pounds lighter, except that not really -- because then I couldn't carry my 30 lb. baby and I couldn't nurse him without body fat. As soon as I conceived, my body wasn't just something to be looked at and/or worked to the bone, it had a purpose. And it still does. Being a mother requires wrestling your son away from his self-appointed position as kitchen garbage inspector. Being a mother requires muscle.

For all these reasons and more, I feel blessed to be a mother. Happy mother's day!

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