Its been all over the blogoshere for the last week or so, talk about the Shape of a Mother blog. Of course I have been and read it. Some of it almost brought me to tears. I have thought very hard about adding my thing, then I read this post and all of the comments on it over at Tertias blog.
That of course made me think about it even more. And this is what I came away with.
Mothers are not all stretch marked and mishapen, they dont all carry exterior physical scars to show they are mothers. In fact mothers are made in all different ways. The blog is very much about women who have become mothers via pregnancy, but that is not the only way to become a mother.
To illustrate this take myself, and one of my oldest friends. We have been friends for nearly thirty years, we shared much of our growing up, we are now both married and both mothers. The difference is, I am lucky enough to be very fertile, achieving pregnancy was easy for me. I make no apologies for this, it is just the way that it was. My friend is infertile. She attempted many assisted fertility options, she tried for years to fall pregnant and it just didnt happen. She and her husband adopted a daughter the year I gave birth to my third child.
Do I think I am more of a mother because I gave birth to a daughter, where as she did not? No way. We both have four year old girls living in our houses who call us mum. After four years the fact that her daughter is adopted isnt something I think about at all. The relationship she shares with her daughter is no different to that I share with mine.
After thinking all of this through for ages last night I have decided I am not going to add an entry to the Shape of a Mother blog. I think it is a wonderful blog, and I will continue to read it but my saggy tummy is not what makes me a mother. For me the pregnancy thing was only the means to the end, for my friend the paperwork was the means to the end. Being a mother is all about your relationship with your child everyday, all about the love that it takes to shape that child into the adult it will be one day.
I have shaped my children with my heart and with my hands. Each time I do something for them, my hands are the conduit of my love, they shape the future for my child until my child can take over and contine it for themselves. All mothers have this gift, it is theirs to bestow upon their child regardless of the journey that brought that child into their lives.
The shape of me as a mother is...