Friday, April 13, 2012

Finding Meaning within Motherhood

As women we grow up believing that our worth is based on how good we are as daughters, and friends.  Those of us that choose to have children then see their value based on how good they are as mothers and then grandmothers.  Mothers who have aspirations outside of motherhood feel guilty because it is not their time to persue their own dreams.  Motherhood is when you are meant to live and breathe your children's every whim and if you are lucky enough to squeeze in a hour here or an afternoon there for yourself you justify it to no end.  The outside world has a set of constructs that are acceptable for women to be guided by. Successful women are criticized for not making the time to make their children number one. I'm not a religious person.  I don't believe that God has to be put in the confines of the definition I grew up as a catholic learning.  I am a spiritual person, I live from spirit and I believe in a power I call God that is greater than myself. I believe spirituality is living with an open heart.   As I move along my spiritual path I am able to see that I have reached  a phase in my life that I have begun to be guided by something greater than myself.  My inner self has been put on a shelf for a while and I am being called.  As a busy mother, most days I find it hard to hear what the calling is, but I know it is there.  I have a deep inner knowing that I am here for a greater purpose and that motherhood is one facet of who I am as a spirit.  Why do mother's feel guilt for that?  Even as I type these words there's still an inner voice of guilt.  Like because I am saying that I believe there is more to my life than being a mother I don't love my children enough.  As a mother, because I derive pleasure from things separate from my kids, I musn't be a very good mother.  Why do we quiet the voice that says within us "I am here."  She is there within all of us, we ignore her.  I have ignored her and I see many of my friends and family do the same. 

In the "morning" of all of our lives as mothers we are striving and working and hoping and crying and carpooling and cooking and cleaning and hovering.  Much much later I have seen women arrive at the "afternoon" of their lives and they look in the mirror and there looking back at them is a person they do not recognize.  For so long they have put the needs of others ahead of their own.  For years they feel guilty for wanting to be alone in quiet solitude.  I am awakening to an idea that it's possible to be a wonderful parent, who is also spiritually connected, living with an open heart and living "on purpose." I have been inspired by the idea that instead of hovering over our childs every move let them develop their own inner self awareness.  What a wonderful gift to our children in fact to see their parents living in a way where they are able to see that anything is possible.  What a blessing to our daughters, to my little girl, to see that although it is in her inherent nature to take care of all the needs of others at the tiny age of 4, it's okay if she is called to shift to "something more."  It does not make her less of a woman, less of mother if she listens to her inner voice a little more and shifts to living a life that has meaning to her.  Being present and living a life of fulfillment is valuable.  In simply living from a place of spirit her life has meaning and she is already good enough just as she is. A little voice is whispering to me that its okay to choose motherhood and to choose "me" too.

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