Simple Definition of mother (moth-er): to give birth to (a child); to be or act as mother to (someone); to care for or protect (someone) like a mother.
To be a mother, you do not need to have given birth to a child. Mothers are those who care for and protect others. Yes, to be one’s biological mother you need to have given birth. But to act as a mother you certainly do not need to give birth.
Motherhood is more than bearing children, though it is certainly that. It is the essence of who we are as women. It defines our very identity, our divine stature and nature, and the unique traits our Father gave us… our Father has entrusted us as women with His children, and He has asked us to love them and help lead them safely past the dangers of mortality back home… we are all mothers and we have always been mothers. And we each have the responsibility to love and help lead the rising generation.” (Sheri L. Dew)
My mother has always been a great example to me. She has encouraged me to become my best self, has helped me to feel my best, and has always supported me (even when she does not agree ;)). Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to look like my mom, be fun like my mom, have a sense of humor like my mom, be strong like my mom, and have as many friends as my mom does. I have wanted to be beautiful like my mom. I have wanted to be beautiful like the other women who have acted as mothers to me. This last week I decided to talk to my biological mother and a few other mothers I look up to and find out how they became the most beautiful version of themselves; I also asked how they find beauty in motherhood every day.
First and foremost, each one of them explained that beauty is NOT just outer appearance. People may be attractive to look at, but I was told time and time again that what is on the inside matters far more than what is on the outside. These mothers do not care if one has the “perfect” body, clothes, hair, and eyebrows according to Hollywood standards. If one does not have a beautiful soul then they are not someone these mothers would consider “beautiful”. They are not saying to stop taking care of yourself and stop doing the things that make you feel beautiful. Rather, they were saying that outer beauty is not the only thing that matters. It is okay to drop your kids off at school before showering, putting on makeup, and brushing your teeth. It is okay to go to the grocery store with cranky children and messy hair. Their point is that inner beauty should be focused on far more than outer beauty.
Sometimes it is difficult to find beauty in motherhood. Mothers experience a lot of stress, heartache, pressure, and worry. Often, mothers do not get enough sleep and have zero time for themselves. They have days when they smell like spit up, clean up vomit multiple times, and get boogers wiped on them. They have days where there is no peace and quiet, constant fighting between children, and exhaustion is felt to its fullest. However, these mothers taught me that motherhood teaches one to be selfless and brave. Motherhood teaches one to look at the bigger picture in life and push through tough times. Motherhood teaches one to look beyond stretch marks, spit-up stains, and dirty dishes and focus on things that truly matter.
“For me the beauty in motherhood is that we have the most important job in the world, and one that only we can do. The miracle of bringing a baby into this world is the absolute most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed or done. I find beauty in the little moments of snuggling my babies on the couch as they drift off to sleep, teaching them the important things in life, and watching them learn… Watching a mother with her child and the unconditional love that is between them. That is beautiful.”
“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” (Jill Churchill)
These mothers have taught me many things over the years. The most important thing I have been taught is that beauty is strength. Beauty is kindness. Beauty is building one another up, not tearing each other down. Beauty is courage. Beauty is forgiveness. Beauty is holding on to values even when it is hard to. These beautiful qualities can be taught through motherhood and can be found in mothers all over the world.
As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, let us celebrate those who have helped us become who we are today. Let us celebrate those who have mentored us, loved us, and helped us up when we fall down. Let us celebrate those who have cared for us, protected us, and inspired us. Let us take the time to show appreciation to our mothers who have put up with spit up, vomit, and boogers. Let us show them our appreciation for all the time they have taken, money they have spent, and love they have shown over the years.
Even the most difficult things in life can be the most rewarding and beautiful things to experience. Motherhood is living proof that there is beauty in the world.