Motherhood is a symphony of many. It is not a role with one task or purpose nor a simple definition but an intricacy of experiences, experiences of sacrifice. I am a mother of three beautiful children and my experience of motherhood has taken me around the world and back.
It’s been filled with such joy and immense sorrow, great assurances, and states of confusion, so much love and heartache.
When a child is born, a mother is born. From the beginning, there is such beauty in creation as we are the architects of life, the sculptors of who the child becomes. We become the teachers of songs, harmonies moving through the wistful island breezes and the strings that steadily strum the c[h]ords of your heart.
The first time we hold our newborn, we made a promise to love and care about everything he/she does, all of it, all the time, and every day. The good and bad things, the delights, and the distresses and even the mundane.
As the child gets older, we become storytellers as we know every story, wound and memory. We ensure that our child’s journey does not go unnoticed.
Such beauty and bliss in motherhood, songs and commitments must be mustered by great strength and courage because there are huge waves of frustration, exhaustion and loneliness that also accompany such beauty.
Motherhood is also a tug-of-waves. There is a constant pull and push in many directions by the deep currents and thrashing waves, gasping to catch our breath through the rough seas of wants, needs and obligations of others but our own. Suddenly, motherhood has to function through sleep deprivation, sickness, hunger pains and migraines; through work tasks, deadlines and challenging work environments; through school and extracurricular pick-ups/drop offs, projects and homework; through the ever-increasing expenses of bills, groceries and school fees; through the heavy maintenance of relationships with our spouses and ageing parents; through the loneliness and exhaustions of going unnoticed; through the physical, hormonal and emotional changes; and through the confusion of a once carefree, stress-free, freeing self that we yearn to feel an ounce of.
Huge waves. Huge. But it’s not strength when it’s easy, it’s strength when we come through it.
Now that I am mother, I appreciate so much more now, the mothers of my past, present and future. I also appreciate my husband, who always calms those rushing breezes of the ocean’s surface; supporting, guiding, and listening to my every cry and laugh.
There are these moments I experience, such as when I walk towards the school’s entrance for pick-up or when I begin to hear the sounds of pitter patter coming from around the corner, the first thing I see are my children’s smiles and their sparkling eyes as they quickly run to me for our warm embrace; this makes me feel like a little bit of heaven in my arms.
That’s my everyday moment, reminding me of God’s love and purpose just for me. Those huge waves often subside in these special moments.
To all mothers, may we never go unnoticed. We know all of the leaps and strides of each other’s story, so let’s acknowledge our magnificence and celebrate our journey of motherhood.
To our loved ones, I hope you take a moment to really see all of who we are, all that we do and embrace the gift you’ve been given, a mother – symphony of many parts.
Crystal Johnson is a Mental Health Clinician with 13 years of experience, working with adolescents, young adults, adults, and families. She is currently the Mental Health Therapist with the Archdiocese of Port of Spain and a part-time School Counsellor in a private girl’s secondary school.