What makes you feel ‘Motherly’?
Maternal love manifests itself in so many different ways. It's not necessarily just about giving birth to a child. Each day, we speak to many different mothers who have adopted or fostered, have grandchildren, bring up step-children, visit god-children or care for pet-children. Some mothers are going it alone. Others are Earth mothers, many are hot mothers, lots are menopausal mothers and we will all know a missing mother who is still very much in our thoughts. But one thing brings them all together and that is a feeling of maternal love that is so unique and powerful.
What it means to be a mother is a diverse and beautiful thing. We’ve been lucky enough to find a few amazing mothers to share their stories with us...
Adoptive Mother by Julia
I never really felt that huge maternal urge that people constantly imply you are meant to feel as a woman. Don't get me wrong, I loved friends’ kids, but was always happy to hand them back. When I met my partner (both in our late 30s at the time), we decided to try, and try we did, through all sorts of different routes, each one more traumatising and painful than the last with every failure. At 45, I fell miraculously pregnant (having been told all along it would never happen naturally – plus, I must have been peri-menopausal by then and in my last throes of fertility!). I couldn’t believe it and told the doctor there must have been some other medical explanation for my positive tests! Unfortunately, our elation was short-lived, at 12 weeks, we lost our longed-for baby. We moped around for a while and had some counselling before going back to our original plan of adopting (even if we had conceived naturally, we always hoped to be able to take another child or two via this route).
Finally, we were matched and blessed with our gorgeous little girl – she came to us at 15 months as a fully formed little character. We haven't looked back! It was hard to adjust, certainly in the beginning, but boy it’s been worth it. She has brought out a love in me I never thought possible. I don't believe I would love a natural child any more than I do her, she melts my heart every single day and has made me a better human.
I’m a huge believer in fate/serendipity/the universe – or whatever your version of that is – and I believe this little soul was meant to come into my life. If anyone out there is considering adoption – do it.
Single Mother by Emma
I’m a proud mum to my gorgeous 10-year-old girl and 12-year-old boy. They are my everything and bring me so much joy. It’s a pleasure to watch them develop and grow and I enjoy each stage – it just goes by too quickly!
The responsibility of wearing two hats is sometimes overwhelming – without much childcare or support. I’m slightly nervous of the looming teenage years but will face them with a warrior spirit!
Being a mum has taught me so much about myself and the strength that doing it alone requires. But the commitment and love is unconditional – as well as that true mumma-bear instinct that gets me through.
Cat Mother by Lisa
I am a mum to five beautiful, crazy cats. I was never able to have children and I see my cats not as a substitute but just different kind of children – and ones that can be just as much of a handful as human ones, believe me!
Before Dolly turned up on our doorstep 11 years ago (stray and pregnant with four kittens – Molly, Sophie, Tommy and Betsy), I guess I’d never considered myself very maternal, but soon realised that the unconditional love I feel for them (yes, we kept the four babies!), how fiercely protective I am of them and how hard I work to ensure I can give them the very best, makes me their mum. They are the most important thing in my life and I put them before everything. The love, affection, loyalty and friendship I receive in return is priceless.
Earth Mother by Gail
I always wanted to bring my children up in a ‘natural’ way. I breastfed my children until they were toddlers, used reusable cotton nappies and made all my baby food from scratch. Some of the other mums thought I was mad! Now that they’re older, we have a family allotment and take the kids, now teenagers, on camping holidays.
For me, it's not just about the consumerism that's scarily rife today, but also about learning to love fellow people, to be respectful of the environment and appreciate the ‘Great Outdoors’ – we do, after all, need to save the planet for our children’s children to grow up in. Along with love, I've always tried to instil in my brood a sense of confidence and the freedom to go out and do great things in the world. To spread the love and the values that I have hopefully given them. And if people view me as an ‘Earth Mother’ – I’m happy with that!
Step Mother by Lorna
I raised three stepsons. Not an easy job – stepmother is hardly a career choice. There were (so many) times when it seemed that trouble had just welded itself to their pubescent bodies.
But there were rare, better moments too – a grunt of genuine thanks, a shared joke, sometimes a hint that they actually cared. These tiny, precious, gold nuggets replaced my absent Mother’s Day cards (‘Stepmother’s Day’ anyone?).
I watched them grow from awkward, argumentative, occasionally smelly, teenagers into responsible, sensible (mostly) and caring young men. I think I’ve been a good influence. I love and am very proud of them.
What makes you feel ‘motherly’? Have you got a story you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.
So, here’s to all the strong, intelligent, wonderful brave mothers out there – whatever your version of that may be and let’s not forget those wonderful women who are no longer with us but who will always be in our hearts.
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