Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The bond of motherhood

What is it about motherhood that makes us babble on and on about our pregnancies, parenting challenges and victories, and our sweet babies to anyone mom or mom-to-be we meet? We brag, we vent, and we share advice that we should really take ourselves. Oh, you don't? Well, maybe it's just me. But I feel like the bond of motherhood is so much stronger than any other bond of similarities.

To share in the news of a new pregnancy or birth, to know someone else has faced the same challenges with their child, this bond can be exciting and comforting. The advice of someone who has been there, the stress relief of talking to someone who understands, it can be helpful and therapeutic.

But this bond can also be frustrating, annoying and overwhelming if we're not careful. We have to remember, myself included, to be sensitive to one another, that none of us are perfect. We have to remember that every Mom, Dad, child and family situation is different. What worked for us, might not work for someone else. 

We need to support each other and offer encouragement. But we need to remind ourselves to only give advice when asked, and to listen as much as, if not more than, we speak. This is tough. As mothers, most of us are strongly emotionally connected to our children and our journey through motherhood. Our instinct is to share our experience on the subject at hand. But sometimes we need to take a step back. Sometimes, letting someone else talk or figure out the answer on their own, and simply listening and lending support along the way is the best. We all need to walk our own path.

Still, it's easy to ramble on, letting our words get ahead of us. Our experiences with our children bring out the strongest of our emotions - pure joy, sorrow, unconditional love, frustration, self-doubt, and pride. Strong emotions evoke passion and we speak passionately about what we know. And while that is helpful and does create this strong bond between us, it is also important to practice restraint at times.

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