I saw this today on Facebook and with a wide smile on my face had to agree to it. How very true. The birth of a child changes something. You are no longer the same person you were before. You change. The same way your life and your routine changes. No longer are you responsible for only yourself. There’s someone in your life who needs you.
You will discover feelings you’ve never had before. A love so deep you’ve never encountered it prior. You will have worries you’ve never thought you would and just watching your child getting hurt will make you hurt. You will suddenly feel an urge to protect someone with your own life if necessary. Something that you would have never been able to imagine before.
The moment a child is born the mother is also born. Before she was a daughter, a woman, a girlfriend, a wife. But never ever has she been a mother.
Suddenly she is. Carrying a responsibility for someone she has never had before.
This quote is so true on so many levels. All those thoughts were in my mind when I saw it the first time. And then I’ve read a comment. A comment that said:
Sorry, but I don’t agree with that. Someone can become a mother without giving birth. Adoptive mothers are REAL mothers, foster mothers are REAL mothers, stepmothers are REAL mothers. Not every mother has given birth, that doesn’t make her love for her children any less valuable.
Suddenly I realized how this quote excludes so many real mothers out there.
I agree! A mother of an adopted child is a real mother, as much as the adopted child is no longer an orphan or an adopted child but a daughter or a son. A foster mom is a real mom for as long as the children are with her. A stepmother is a real mom to her partner’s children. And maybe they are the even better moms than some other mothers who have given birth to their children but who never took the responsibility to properly look after them, to support and love them. Just because a woman gives birth it doesn’t mean that she is the better mother than one that chooses to take in a child who has lost a mom or who was abandoned by one.
Another thought crossed my mind. Why can we not call it giving birth to a child when a child is taken in? Either through adoption, fostering or being a stepmom. Isn’t it not kind of like giving “birth” to a family when you welcome a child into your life? The quote clearly means the physical birth and as I said I can only agree with it.
I’m pretty sure though that the lives of the moms who adopt, foster and look after their partner’s kids change too. They all will encounter the ups and downs every mom has. Maybe not on a hormonal level but who really needs that? They will have their worries and fears. They will feel a love they’ve never felt before. They will feel hurt when they see the child get hurt. And I’m pretty sure they would give their lives for their kids as well.
Of course there are aspects of giving birth to a child a mother who never gave birth can only imagine. There’s the feeling of having a baby grow in your body, feeling the fist movements and then the punches and the kicks. There’s the pain while giving birth and the body that changes and heals. Only moms who give birth will ever be able to understand those feelings.
But we will never be able to grasp what it means not to be able to have a child. We will never be able to completely understand the frustration, the pain, the sorrow, the sadness of realizing that you can’t give birth to your baby no matter what. We will never be able to understand the frustration and the strength it needs to overcome the hurdles in the adoption process. The wait, the feeling of being turned down and then the joy when you finally get accepted. And still you will have to wait. Wait until the moment is right.
We will never understand what it means to a foster mom to see her foster children grow up into good adults. Maybe see them move on to a family who adopts them and having to let them go. Hoping that it’s truly a forever home for them.
We can never grasp the feeling a stepmom must have when she takes the place of a mother. The pressure she might feel.
All those hurdles and feelings make those moms the fantastic mothers they are. And it for sure makes them equal real mothers. They don’t lack anything. No feelings, no commitment. Being a real mom means being there for your child. Loving your child, taking care of your child. Listening to your kid and teaching the right values. It means being a role model and the person they want to go when they need someone. It means loving someone form the bottom of your heart. And no matter if you gave birth or you got your child through adoption or in any other way. All they missed out on is the labor and the pregnancy. If you look at it in the big picture although it’s something beautiful to go through it’s the smallest bit of being a real mom.
Yes. A mother is born too. But not by giving birth to her child. A mother is born the moment her child enters her life. No matter in which way.