When you are a mother

By |2017-08-14T09:28:33+00:00August 14th, 2017|From Professionals, Loss After Loss, Pregnancy|0 Comments

So many times I heard this phrase: “When you are a mother.” It is always meant casually, sometimes even as a joke. “Sleep now, because when you are a mother….” Or “When you are a mother, you’ll see things differently.” Another phrase that should come with a warning. When do you become a mother? I certainly didn’t feel like a mother when I first became pregnant. I’m not even sure I was a mother when my sons were born. But, as one woman I talked to said: ”I’ve done the most difficult thing that you will ever have to do as a parent, saying goodbye to my child! You can’t have your heart broken by the loss of your child and not be a mother!” Giving birth does not make you a mother either. Any woman who has adopted a child can tell you that! So if I definitely was a mother by the end of my pregnancy, did I stop being a mother when my baby died? Did I become a mother sometime in my pregnancy, only to lose my motherhood status?

Who gets to decide who is a mother? Do I only become a mother when somebody else acknowledges my mother status? Can I be a mother if no one knows about my child except me? What does it mean to be a mother anyway?

A mother is someone who has a child. You can only be a mother in relation to someone else. When that person is gone, people forget that you are a mother. But you still know. You know you’re a mother.

My rainbows are seven and five, and no one today denies my motherhood status. I still can’t say I know everything about motherhood! I have no idea what it is like to parent a teenager, or an adult. I hope to learn these things in time. I send my heart out to everyone who is a mother with no living children. I see you and acknowledge your heartache and pain. You are definitely still a mother, if you want to be. Only you can decide if and when you are a mother.

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About the Author:

Amanda Ross-White
Amanda Ross-White’s first pregnancy ended in the stillbirth of her twins, Nathaniel and Samuel, in 2007. Since then, she has had two miscarriages, and two successful pregnancies, her daughter born safe in 2009 and her son in 2012. She is also the author of Joy at the End of the Rainbow: A Guide to Pregnancy After a Loss.

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