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Mother U Asks: How Has Motherhood Changed You?

May 9th, 2011 by Melinda Blau

“…giving birth to or raising another precious human being changes you as nothing else can.”

In her beautiful Mother’s Day offering,  What Becoming a Mother Can Mean to a Woman, published on Fox News online magazine, psychologist Phyllis Chesler, a distinguished professor of women’s studies and author of thirteen books, recalls the changes in her own life:

Female motherhood is both a sacred undertaking and a sacred experience.  Becoming a mother—giving birth to or raising another precious human being—changes you as nothing else can. You are pitched, head-long and feet-first into a parallel universe, a new way of life, a craft, a passion which tempers and deepens all those who engage in it.

For example, before I became a mother, my ego knew no bounds. I thought I could overcome all obstacles through force of will, not by bending to circumstance, or trusting in forces larger than myself. Becoming a newborn mother changed my life. It humbled me, slowed me down, made me kinder, and infinitely more vulnerable to cruelty.

Mothering a child is an incomparable rite of passage.

So, now that the pancakes have been served in bed, the car washed for you, the garage cleaned out (with your help of course), and it’s back to everyday motherhood, ask yourself, how has motherhood changed you?  Please state your age, so we can see if there’s a difference in the generations.  Of course, we older mothers-turned-grandmas have to dig deeper into our psyches to remember what it was like before children!

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9 Responses to “Mother U Asks: How Has Motherhood Changed You?”

  1. I love Phyllis Chesler’s beautiful essay and urge everyone to read it in full. It has the author’s combination of sensitivity, courageous openness, insight, and strength.

  2. Melinda Blau says:

    Not fair of me to ask how motherhood has changed you if I don’t answer! Motherhood certainly made me less self-centered, and grandmotherhood melted my heart

  3. AnneV. says:

    Motherhood has opened up my heart in a way I never could have imagined before I had children. I feel I am more patient, and wiser after weathering the storms of teenage years. And yes, it is extremely humbling. I am in my mid 50’s and have a 21 and 18 year old sons.

  4. Jolie Marcus says:

    Becoming a mother to twins girls, 19 years ago, has allowed to become a much better person….caring, sharing, laughing & giving in ways that I never thought possible. I ache when they ache and want to make it better. I laugh when they laugh. I am happy when they are happy. It’s a bond unlike any other! Now I am learning how to adjust & readjust as they come & go and come & go… college and internships! As I watch them grow into independent young women, I know that we have done our “job” well!

  5. Melinda Blau says:

    Thanks Jolie and Anne. As it happens something I’m now writing involves describing “the maternal bond.” You both sum it up perfectly!

  6. Ivana Delas, Croatia says:

    Not only that I finally believe the experience of motherhood is beyond words, but it changed my perspective of Life.
    Now I look at all of the people (both that I like and dislike) as someone else` s child. Someone else` s baby… and it gives me a sense of freedom from judging them.
    I am much more vulnerable to the violence and cruelty in the world, I have much more compassion and feel the need to make this world a better place for my child and all the children of the world. Have we managed to forget this was our main goal during our short stay on the Earth?
    My precious one gave me the sense of the best that life can give you, as well as the most frightful. Being so streched into extremes is the hardest emotional status I have ever experienced. However, I am grateful of being able to experience the bond to the little human being that gave me the indescribable privilege to be her mother.

  7. Melinda Blau says:

    Ivana, thanks for your long, thoughtful reply. If everyone looked around and realized that each person they encounter is “someone else’s child” the world might be a more civil, loving, considerate place!

  8. Ivana Delas, Croatia says:

    I forgot to state I am 37 and have my first, a 4mo baby.

  9. Melinda Blau says:

    Congratulations, Ivana. It just keeps getting better!

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