Some days, I think about becoming a mother with a smile. Most days, I don’t.
The idea of one day bringing another person into this world scares me in ways I didn’t know possible. I’m coming up on four years of marriage this month and if I’m honest, I just can’t imagine sharing my life with my husband with anyone else right now. Especially not with a child that I’ll have to care for and raise. I mean, I’m still learning how to be a wife. I feel like I just barely got through the daughter and older sister stages.
So, not quite ready for the whole motherhood role.
Half of my trepidation comes from the horror stories the mothers around me like to tell then follow up with a tense, “But I love my kids.” Please, convince me a bit more about how this will be the most wonderful, life-changing experience ever. Sickness, tantrums, never sleeping, general insanity—it gets better with each story I hear.
Don’t let my fear fool you, though. I do want to be a mother, even if it isn’t this year or next year or even the year after. All the stories I get told are stories my own mother can probably tell about any of her four children, and I know that that these things are just the realities of parenthood. I’m just not ready for them to be my reality, not quite yet.
Still, as I look at the mothers around me, I think, “What can I learn? What can I bring into my own journey of motherhood when that day comes?”
First, my own mother. From her, I have learned the pure love of Christ and the fierce determination of standing by what is right. If ever there was a warrior of God, I believe she is that warrior. We have an ongoing joke that you don’t want Mom to pray for you when you’re doing something you’re not supposed to because guaranteed her prayers will be answered, and you will learn your lesson! But, you know, it works the same way when Mom prays for blessings. Not only does she demonstrate the power of prayer daily, she is a living example of what it means to stand by your faith. I have never seen my mother waver in what she believes. She doesn’t let the words of the world convince her that the words of God have become “outdated.” She is not ashamed, and through her I have learned and am still learning to cast aside my moments of shame in standing up for what is right.
What better traits to take into my own journey? I want to be the mother who prays, believes, and shares her unwavering love for Christ with her children. The mother who loves as He does—unconditionally, no matter what we do.
Next, my grandmother, Mama. I cannot begin to count the things my grandmother has done for me with a sweet, selfless spirit. She would give everything for any of her children or grandchildren, and I only hope that I can take that selflessness and show it to my children. As I mentioned before, that’s not who I am right now. I’m not afraid to admit it; I’m selfish to my core, but Mama has shown me time and time again what it means to give the last of what you have for your family.
I strive every day to be more like her. I want to take all the selfless love that she has poured into me and pour it into my children so they can one day do the same.
Lastly, my aunt, Titi. She never had children of her own, so we reaped the benefits of a third mother figure in our lives. With Titi, I have experienced what it is to have someone behind you 1,000%, someone who believes you have the strength and smarts to take on the whole world, and even if you fail along the way, she’ll be right there to help you up and encourage you to try again. And the best part is that if you fail in the end, as long as you did your best, she’s proud of the effort you put in. That’s the kind of encouragement that pushes a person to go beyond what they thought was possible.
I want my children to experience the joy that comes from knowing someone always has their back in all of their successes and failures, and I want to be the person who does that for them.
The women in my life have been shining examples of who I can become for my children someday. There are so many things that I want to share—my love for books, anime, and cultures. There are so many things I want to teach—how to respect others, cook, and play volleyball. But before I do any of these things, I want to impart, by my own example, the essence of the women who have put time and effort into seeing me grow into the woman I am today.
I am full to the point of bursting, full of a legacy of love that will not stop with me.