Because of Motherhood

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.

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15 thoughts on “Because of Motherhood

  1. Marie says:

    There are shades of invisibility, moments when I feel lost to an experience that consumes my thoughts and emotions, energy and intentions. Still, when weighing an answer to your question, I am drawn to this quote:
    The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. -Aristotle

    Love this artfully constructed moment of reflection.

  2. Maurice A. Barry says:

    The persons we all are seem such an amalgam if firms. It is truly useful, from time to time, to look at the components and see where each fits. I like your choice of what’s most important 🙂

  3. our stroke of luck says:

    I am simultaneously honored and disappointed that you linked to my post here… Now, when I had already decided to share these incredible words with anyone and everyone I can BEFORE seeing that last paragraph, there’s no way people wouldn’t know that it was for the pure beauty in what you’ve said – and only that reason – rather than being self-serving in some way. This was stunning, Lara. Just simply stunning.

  4. crnnoel says:

    I love this line especially: “but I’ll admit that motherhood might be the glue that holds me together.” I think it’s so true. And I don’t think you’re fading into motherhood – it’s just such a huge part of what we are! And to look back on my camera roll on my phone, I do have a ton of pictures of the kids 🙂 They’re always around, and they are the moments I deeply want to remember. Clicking photos of other things… well… there will be time for that when the kids aren’t as close. Seasons for everything.
    I loved this post. I’ve been meaning to write a comment since I saw it in my reader a few days ago, thinking I’d have something brilliant to say in response to your words – but you said it all, lady!

  5. kayfroebel says:

    I adore this post. I noticed this a few days ago when going through the enormous amount of photos on my phone showing my in-laws. 95% of them were my children. 3% were my dog. And the other 2% were pictures of grocery items to send to my husband when he is shopping, because for some reason the name/brand/aisle number of the item is insufficient.

    • Lara says:

      Haha. Your comment reminded me of an incident I had with my husband the other day. I sent a text when he was at the grocery to pick up chia seeds. He thought I meant a chia pet. “They still make those?” Husbands can be so clueless sometimes. Thanks for reading, lady!

  6. Heidi says:

    I agree. Motherhood does embed itself into us in a way that cannot be undone. And once I finally stopped fighting against it, I, too, am more willing to be fully immersed and be grateful for the constant rebirth.

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