When I was pregnant with my eldest child, I came across an advert for Johnson’s Baby Lotion that read “When a woman gives birth, a mother is born” *- in my hormone riddled, loved-up frame of mind, I thought this was beautiful. When a really thought about it later, I decided it was not so great.
The reason I decided this is because I don’t, not for one minute, think that what makes someone a mother is the fact they have given birth, or that giving birth makes you a mother. Other people who might agree with me are foster mothers, adoptive mothers, surrogate mothers, the children of abusive mothers, and many others.
To me, mothering is something you do, not something you are.
Think of the words you associate with mothering – love, nurture, guide, support, hold, protect, discipline, sacrifice… I’m sure you can think of more.
Someone who has never given birth can do all these things. Someone who doesn’t have the care of children 24/7 can do all of these things.
In my life I have been blessed with many people in my life that have mothered. My own biological mother is a wonderful woman who has helped make me who I am today, but there have been many, many others whose care, love, support, and guidance have helped me along the way.
So for me, the saying should be – when someone lets another into their heart, a mother is born.
What about you?