Does the physicality of giving birth make you a mother or is it something more?
I've had many woman in my life that have left and indelible mark on my spririt. I have so much gratitude for how much all these women helped shape who I am and influenced my own mothering.
So what makes you a mother? Giving Birth? Raising your brother-in-law's child? Accepting legal responsibility for a family of five orphaned girls? Having your young teen daughter get pregnant and in love give the girl-child to another family to raise? What about the women who discovers she is unable to give life herself, and chooses to foster children, and never be able to call a child her own? Would medical intervention for those who are fertility challenged be any less of a mother? What about after the heartbreak of unsuccessful treatments, miscarriages, you suddenly becoming pregnant, and come to a full term birth of a bright and shiny baby girl? What about the devastating tragedy of those mothers whose child has passed away through tragedy? Are they any less mothers? And those, newly faced with infertility come to the grim realization they will never physically know the pain and joy of giving birth? What about these 'would be' mothers who show up in life and take care of us out of pure and genuine love?
For me, what it boils down to is this. Ask yourself this question. Have you ever loved a child that broke your heart? If the answer is yes, then you are a mother. My friend Sherry says, "When they're little, they step on your feet. When they grow up, they step on y our heart."
Blessings to all my women friends, mothers or not. Chances are, you've loved a child who has broken your heart and you ARE a mother. For all of us have been broken hearted, have surely broken our own mother's hearts.