I’ve been pondering this question lately as I make the transition from stay-at-home, work-at-home mom to full time employee under someone else’s watchful eye. I know the birth of my son made me a mom, but what is motherhood? What is that larger idea? It’s not just the MomButt and that apathetic wad of skin left over from when your belly shrank after the kid was born. It’s not the PB&J’s and playdates and crayons wiped off the walls with a Mr. Clean Eraser.
I doubt I’ll fully understand what it is until I’m a grandmother. I watch my own mother with my son and I marvel at their easy relationship, his unadulterated adoration of her, the shorthand talk of their two, kindred spirits. I’m trapped between the roles I play with each of them: daughter to one, mother to another. Elizabeth over at Gen Between has thrown an interesting light over that awkward time in our lives when we straddle the continuum, become our mother’s mothers, taking care of our parents as they once took care of us, even while we raise families of our own, persue dreams, worry about what will become of us when it is our turn to age.
Motherhood is so fluid, more like mercury than water: gravid, shining and distinct, sometimes skittering off in small spheres, sometimes merging into a more cohesive whole. Motherhood is about giving our best to those around us, while always trying to reserve a bit of love for ourselves. At least, this is what I think it is, sitting at the edge of my son’s bed, watching him sleep.