Thinking back to when I was a kid, I had no idea what a mom did. I remember rocking my baby dolls and pretending to change their diapers, cooking pretend food with my kitchen set, and playing “house” with my best friends Courtney and Preston. Other than taking care of a child and maybe going to work, I had no idea what it meant to be a mother. Honestly, even as I got older I had no idea what all being a mother entailed.
Now that I am older and have children, I know that being a mother means soooooo many different things.
What does being a mom mean to me?
To me, being a mom means that I have the most important job in the world. I have to take care of the little people I created. I must make sure they grow up to be good human beings filled with empathy, respect for others, kindness in their hearts, the belief in equality and equity for all, the desire to make a difference in this world, and the strength to stand up for what they believe in.
It means I have to try to protect and shelter my children from the hard and bad things in this world but also ensure they become strong, resilient, and can face anything head-on.
Being a mom means that I have to be the best me I can be, to lead by example, and sometimes to fail gracefully because they are always watching.
It means I have to take care of the whole family, even when I need to be taken care of.
It also sometimes means that I have a solid excuse to leave a party early (yes! I am an introvert…)
I don’t always have to answer the phone, sorry, I just put the kids down for a nap.
It means that I worry about them constantly. Are they eating enough? Getting enough exercise? Do we read books enough? Do they have too much screen time? What if they get hurt? On and on.
I have the responsibility of shaping the future.
It means that I love my two little people more than I ever imagined ever loving anyone or anything… and it only increases each day.
Being a mom means that I make mistakes, but I get the benefit of learning from them and trying to help my children not repeat them.
I don’t have to threaten to run off with the circus, they’d follow me.
Being a mom means I put on a brave face, even when I don’t feel it, and make them feel safe, secure, and loved.
I know what it feels like to be a zookeeper.
I get a pass on shaving my legs, I mean who has time for that each day? Not me.
It means always having an audience in the bathroom.
Being a mother means I worry about my kids with every breath.
It means that I get to guide my children along a path, but not clear it for them.
Sometimes it means feeling so many conflicting feelings at once: incredible love and irritation, sadness and happiness, being surrounded but feeling lonely…
So what does being a mother mean to you?
I asked this question on Twitter and received a wonderful variety of answers.
Being a mom is… Relearning everything you thought you knew about life. – Maggie K, Lean In Live Engaged
Everything… never thought I could love such a small human as much as I do. -Mummy Overload Lifestyle Blogger, Mummy Overload
To me being a mom means trying to be better every day, and knowing what it means to put someone else’s needs above my own 100% of the time. It’s late-night feeds, early morning wake-ups, snuggles, and tears, and diapers, and loving every minute of it. -AJ, Mini Minimalist Mama
Never having privacy again. Never sleeping in. Loving every laugh and smile my kids give me. -ItyReadsBooks, Ity Reads Books & Blogs ’em
To me, it means having someone else on my mind all the time, even when we’re apart I’m thinking of her smile, and that helps me put up with this crazy world. -@wanderingpram, The Wandering Pram
Always thinking of someone else before myself. That mu child’s needs are taken into consideration in all my life choices. -Megan, Life Gingerly
To me, being a mom means staying strong and sober for my son because he saved my life. It means he is my reason to live & is what keeps me going every day. Nothing in this world makes me as happy as he does. -J.Christine
It means going from being crazy and frustrated, losing my shit and questioning why I bothered procreating, to being so in love with my amazing boys, all in the space of 5 minutes, just by getting a cuddle from one of them. -Mairead Rawal
Your parenting duties don’t end when your child turns 18. You never stop being concerned for your child’s well being and being a guiding light. -Finding the Fearless Life, Finding the Fearless Life
A mom means loving your child unconditionally but giving them the tough love needed to keep them safe and preparing them to make mostly good sound decisions when they are on their own. I say “mostly ” because we have to remember that they make mistakes. -4 you I will, 4 you I will
Being brave. -chocoviv, Chocoviv’s Lifestyle Blog
Being a mother to me means protecting my children from anything – even if that thing is me. -mommyhood untold, mommyhood untold
Being a mom is all about having grit, giving grace, and raising these babies to be good human beings. -Danielle W., all boy mom
It means being strong when things are hard, and never forgetting to say I Love You. -Jen, Diffusing the Tension
Having your heart in the hands of little people who can make or break your day depending on their mood. -Snatched Words, Snatched Words
The responsibility to turn them into decent human beings is immensely humbling and terrifying, and the way you know if you did a good job is that they leave you to go live their own good lives. The most selfless job of all. -MomOfTwoLittleGirls – A Family Travel Blog, Mom Of Two Little Girls
I think being a mom means being the best version of yourself to embolden your kids to be their best! I never would have put so much passion, hard work, and energy into starting my business if I wasn’t a model for my baby girl! -The Restless Creative Co, The Restless Creative Co
Not a blogger but a mom. For me, it means making all my plans and decisions while taking a bath because once I’m out they have a way of keeping my brain occupied. -Mpumza, Maids & Minders
Being a parent means sacrificing your time, $$$, and simple life joys in exchange for unconditional love and unforgettable experiences. Is it a worthy deal? I have no regrets now when my daughter lets me sleep enough. -marvelmama, Marvel Mama
Watching these little people grow up, being so proud of them and wanting to say “that’s my kid”, helping them get through the toughest times of life so they can make it through the world as adults. -Hurricane37
The love train just keeps on rolling! -theMINDBERG
Protecting and molding souls so they can be the best humans they possibly can, and develop into optimal adults. and then be a support for them until you die. -Michelle Mead, The Science Witch
Being a mum means being very aware that I’ll never have enough snacks to cover all their snack needs…… -ourfavoritejar, Our Favorite Jar
Being a mom is to be flexible with your kids need. There are times Mom need to be tough in order to discipline their kids. But there are times when their kids need a friend the Mom will be there to hug them and be their number 1 friend! Is a superwoman! -Rodes On The Road, Rodes On The Road
Growing stronger (mentally) every single day, caring for a kid wholeheartedly casting aside your fears & making sacrifices without second thoughts. It also means “hope for the best & prepared for the unexpected !!” Being a mom means experiencing something like never before! -KFKF_Storyteller, Kabhi Fact Kabhi Fiction
Reading Ladies, Reading Ladies Book Club
I’d like to give a special thank you to all the wonderful moms of Twitter; thank you for all of your wonderful responses. Please, take the time to check out all of their fabulous blogs and websites.
What does being a mother mean to you?
Have you ever considered it before? I would love to hear from you!