A reflection on motherhood

Motherhood is probably the most enduring state of all that exists in life because, once you are a mother, it becomes an indelible part of your being.

Throughout my life, I´ve often heard that motherhood begins the moment you know you are pregnant and that it never ends because, even in the case of those mothers who by the cruelty of fate lose their children, the imprint that the experience of being a mother leaves on your body and mind is indelible. However, amongst the things I heard throughout my youth, there is something that I never fully agreed with and that always bothered me a lot: “When you are a mother, you will understand” or “You don’t know that because you are not a mother”. Those tremendously misguided phrases that many people utter and that unintentionally lead to disapproval and contempt for the maternal feeling that many women experience without ever having given birth. Whenever I heard one of these phrases, I felt that perhaps there was a reality beyond what I knew and that, in an exercise of humility (humbleness?), I should believe in its existence without having experienced it.

Salud Materna

I had the feeling that those people who uttered such phrases were implying a dimension of reality accessible only to women who become mothers, as if there’s a transformative moment when a woman transitions into something she wasn’t before. But what did it truly mean to become a mother?

According to the literal and intentional meaning of those phrases, motherhood began when you knew about the existence of a pregnancy. However, I strongly disagree with the idea that a woman becomes a mother only when she has given birth.

That was not my experience because to all those women who told me that there was a kind of love that I did not know (before I had my daughter), I always replied in my mind: “I do know that love, I know it so much that I have been thinking about my children before they even existed”.

In my concept of motherhood, a woman becomes a mother when she is capable of loving with maternal love.


Indeed, I want to delve even deeper… love for one’s children starts with love for oneself

In my journey, my daughter encapsulated and humanized that love, containing it within her perfect little body brimming with life. However, this love was already present within me and I had been nurturing over many years. Each time I cared for myself, I loved her. Each time I stumbled and rose again, I loved her. Each time I evolved as an individual, I loved her. And when she arrived, I loved her even more.

The way I see it, there may be many forms of motherhood but only one way into its fullness.

That Way is Love

Helena García