Motherhood - continuous adventure

Marta Bilonowicz-Hutna

Being a mother is not easy. Motherhood means huge responsibility and active dedication of your life to another person. It also means watching, organising, setting principles, controlling and always being on the alert. But motherhood is also a source of joy, emotions and extraordinary experiences...

Being a mother - a woman accepts this unique role for all the days of her life. Since motherhood is irreversible. You cannot give it up for some time and you cannot cancel it. You cannot have any breaks; even if someone else cares for your child you are still spiritually present. ’In spite of the cut umbilical cord I still feel as we were one’, says Agnieszka, a fourth year student of Polish studies and mother of almost two year old Dawid. She said that she had not been prepared for motherhood. But today she cannot imagine her life without her little son. ‘He is with my husband now; he took him for a walk but I cannot stop thinking about him’, she confesses with great excitement. Dorota, a pharmacist, reacts in a similar way when her four and a half year old Krzys is not with her. ‘Without him my home seems empty. I hate leaving him although, unfortunately, I have to because of my job. When he is in the nursery or with his grandmother I count the hours till I see him again. I try to settle all matters taking Krzys with me.’

New dimension of love

Many women wonder whether they will be good mothers, especially when they had very few contacts with babies in the past. It happens that a woman, being alone with a baby (e.g. her friend’s child) does not know how to play with the baby and when it begins to cry she gets into panic and feels helpless. But motherly love breaks all barriers. Regardless of the age and experiences, whether a women is prepared to be a mother or not, whether she is in a difficult situation and terrified by the vision of her baby being born, the baby changes her world in an unpredictable way. From now on she has different priorities and all her thoughts and concerns focus on her child. And she suddenly discovers that most of her dreadful thoughts disappear and certain solutions come intuitively. ‘I wonderfully remember the moments when my husband carried Zosia to be breastfed’, says Ewa (32). I was a second year student of pedagogy then. My colleagues were astonished that I could find time to study for a colloquium or read a book between feeding, changing and making Zosia sleep. While I was writing my Master’s thesis my second kid Kubus was born. I do not claim that that all things were rosy; I felt worn out, had moments of crisis since it is not easy to combine studying and family duties. Sometimes I fell asleep with children because I was so tired. But thanks to the inner strength, which motherhood gives, and thanks to my husband’s help I managed to overcome all difficulties. It has strengthened the relationship between my husband and me.’ ‘Kinga was born when I was 20’, says Aneta, a single mother bringing up her six year old daughter. ‘At first it was hard. I could not accept that Kinga’s father did not bring her up. I often cried and was terrified by visions of the future. Fortunately, I could count on my parents’ help. They supported me very much. I might not have appreciated my child as a real treasure. Now little Kinga is the whole world for me. I see her looking at me and trusting me limitlessly. This is an extraordinary feeling. We are experiencing all things together. When she cries getting an injection I cry with her. If I could I would bear all her pains and sufferings.’

Being on the alert

Naturally, motherhood means effort that changes gradually when a child grows. At first, it is physical effort (feeding, changing, bathing, waking during the night). With time it is more psychological effort since some phase of care ends and the process of upbringing begins. But even then a mother cannot stop watching and being on the alert. ‘I can see that at night before I go to bed. I do hundreds of jobs’, smiles Marzena, mother of nine year old Rafal and thirteen year old Patryk. ‘I check whether their schoolbags have been packed, whether there are no ‘surprises’ in the schedule’ of the next day, I select their clothes quickly; sometimes the clothes ‘cannot find their places’ on the shelves. I take the school uniforms out; I take some mug or plate to the kitchen; I turn off music in the boys’ room and think what to serve for breakfast and what to do next day.’ You cannot stop being a mother. At first, every mother wants her child to be healthy. With time she has more desires: that her child gets used to the nursery, that it does well at school, that it has successes in a given field, has a good profession, etc. This process is endless. The efforts concerning upbringing and then making your children mature accompany mothers till their deaths. Since mothers will always want to give their children what is best and teach them what is most important. But most of all, they desire good for their children.

In school of motherhood

Motherhood is a perfect school of life: it teaches patience, organisation, and self-reliance. Motherhood makes you resistant to hardships and releases energy that you are not aware of. It helps you leave your pedestal of adulthood and see the world through child’s eyes. Motherhood makes you younger, gives vitality and makes you spread your wings. Thanks to motherhood a woman charges her inner ‘batteries’ every day. ‘In my opinion motherhood is a certain process and I will surely learn from my children all my life’, Beata confesses. She is mother of one and a half year old Anielka and now she is in advanced pregnancy. ‘So far motherhood has taught me that it is worth enjoying every moment; it has taught me patience and empathy. Motherhood changes priorities, treats egoism, forces to organise your day carefully but also teaches you to be flexible since a child can be unpredictable. Motherhood has taught me not to judge others; it has taught me tolerance and humility. Being a mother has a positive influence on your relationships with your husband and makes you work on your character’, Beata says. ‘Every day I learn something about my motherhood. I have learnt since I heard the first beat of my little son’s heart’, claims Ania, mother of two and half year old Bartek. ‘Motherhood teaches me to devote myself to others, to provide constant care, attention, time, tenderness, attentiveness. It teaches me to forget about myself, about my lack of sleep, tiredness and weakness. And to rely on the One who is the Best Mother, to ask her for protection over my son from his conception and to bring him up so that he will be pleasing to God. Being a mother is an experience that changes irreversibly the whole woman’s life. But it does not change her personality. Woman remains herself; she likes the same things and gets involved in the same fields of life. Of course, a mother has to change some aspects of her life on certain stages of her child’s growth but she need not give up anything. Since motherhood is not any limiting factor. It is the most precious gift and at the same time a wonderful adventure, without any end...

"Niedziela" 21/2008

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: