I’m scrolling through the gallery of pictures on my phone — all 1800 of them, the majority of which feature my kids — when a question presents itself: Have I faded into motherhood? And also: Am I so consumed with motherhood that it’s all I see?
I rarely capture a sunset or the way ice clings to branches or the rippling of water in a rain puddle. Unless my child is a part of that composition, it usually doesn’t occur to me to grab my camera. And when I look at snapshots taken from various sources over the past six-plus years, I’m only in a handful of them. This is in part because I’m usually the one behind the camera (there’s a reason why Zach calls me “Mamarazzi”), but if I am in fact fading into motherhood — if I’m to be swallowed alive by this gig — I’d at least like some documentation.
The thing is, I don’t feel that I’m a mother more than I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a writer, but I’ll admit that motherhood might be the glue that holds me together. There’s no question that we change the moment we become mothers, and motherhood is perhaps the only role we take on that requires us to change abruptly, continuously, and without hesitation.
Because of motherhood, I’ve learned to speak when I might have stayed silent. Because of motherhood, I’m more conscious of tipping my chin to the sky, open to God’s plan. Because of motherhood, I’m hyper aware of the miracle that is life — to create it, to sustain it, to keep it safe from harm and sickness — it’s all miraculous. Because of motherhood, I want to support other mothers who are advocating for their children, or beginning a new business venture to fund their adoption while also helping other families adopt, or exhibiting the raw beauty of motherhood by saying “screw you” to a diagnosis. Because of motherhood, these things matter. They matter a whole lot.
If motherhood was peeled away and all my pieces came undone, I’m not sure I could be put back together. So, am I fading? Am I already so far gone? The more I thought about this, the more I realized that motherhood is also a sisterhood when we open ourselves up to it. And I don’t mind at all being immersed in it.