She is called Mother.
She is the one who, for 9 months, becomes two people in one as her belly stretches tight around the growing baby within her. Sometimes those first days of pregnancy are spent hovering over a porcelain toilet, napping under a fuzzy blanket, or — with little ones at her side — wiping noses, changing diapers, and doing her best to not inhale the detestable aroma of first trimester chicken nuggets as she makes dinner.
The days may be joyful or tearful or tiring, but at night when the still moon gazes in through the window blinds to check on her, there may be a moment when she realizes with great awe that she is being nudged in the rib by a person who has never existed before — a person who will one day soon look up with adoring eyes and a tug of her skirt and tenderly call her, “Mother.”
She may be afraid. She may not feel ready. She may be a first-time mother or a mother to many — but still, she is Mother: the person so essential to life, that even the Earth is affectionately called Mother Earth as it holds us close to its warm surface with the promise of life and safety.
And soon, before too long — though some days may seem to last forever — that heavy body that has multiplied into two will contract and bend and miraculously push forth a tiny person with delicate, soft skin and squinting eyes and miniature fingers that fit perfectly into the palm of her hand. Intoxicating, exhilarating, and unnerving those first few nights may be as she lay awake to watch him, make sure he’s breathing, be sure he’s real.
She has learned better than anyone over the last 9 months that her body is now meant for greater things — and will continue to be as she feeds and holds and rocks and comforts this tiny baby with the very body she grew him with. She had multiplied into two — and now may wish she could multiply herself as two hands can often feel inadequate with other children at her feet, a toddler at her side and an infant on her breast.
And even with only one child in her lap, there may be moments when the greatness of her vocation seems more than she can handle, but may she be comforted — for these children are only on loan from a greater creator who promises to help her every step of the way. And she will need help.
From family. From friends. From neighbors and community. For there are few people more heroic and brave than a Mother — but she can only give what she has. She who is called Mother needs others to call on, to ask advice, to give a baby to hold, or to simply sit with. For though she is never alone, some days may feel lonely. And a Mother knows how important it is that we care for each other.
Mothers are a compass to show us our way and a lighthouse to bring us home.
Their work often goes unsung, unpraised, and unnoticed and yet it is a work more important than anything else in this world. She may not build a great business, but Lord knows that a great home produces more life-changing work. She may not be famous to many, but she will be unforgettable to those who matter most. She is the living example of the great truths of life that are so often forgotten, for a mother knows that in giving, we receive.
She is called Mother. A name she will never outgrow, just as her children will never outgrow their need for her. For she was there when they began. She is a part of them, just as they are so much a part of her.
And in the moments when her life may seem small, may she know her incredible worth. That every wiped nose, kissed boo boo, changed sheet, gentle reprimand, sleepless worry, pound gained, laundry pile folded, floor scrubbed, scrapbook scribbled in, tear shed, fear overcome, mistake made, forgiveness asked, and lesson learned matters. They are the little things that mean everything to the ones she holds dear.
She is called Mother.