The True Meaning of Motherhood

What is a mother anyway?

What does it truly mean to be a mother?

In its simplest form, I suppose a woman becomes one through the act of birthing – but even that isn’t completely accurate. There are other roads and other roles women play to become mother.

The act of caring. The act of doing. Laundering. Ferrying. Carrying. Remembering. Reminding. Feeding. Bathing. Nursing.

Yes, but littles don’t even notice when we do these things. Maybe if we don’t.

Is it the arts and crafts, then? The activities? The culturally enriching experiences?

Our tremendous aplomb at managing the tightrope of work and home life? Or the cutting-edge at-home preschool curriculum we’ve essentially created to validate our exit from the working world?

Motherhood, at its core, is this.

Jennifer Butler Basile

Jennifer Butler Basile

The gentle, yet firm embrace of a mother’s arms around her child. The child, no matter the age, wrapped in a ball to crawl into that embrace. Precious little head tucked in the hollow between mother’s chin and shoulder. The child inhaling the indescribable comfort of laundry detergent mixed with bath oil and mom’s own musk; Mother inhaling the memory of sweet baby down. A kiss planted on top of that now full head of hair.

When we think of motherhood in its purest form, we can all do this. We can all excel and revel in this most revered of roles.

If we remember what is at its core: