Mother, the noun, is defined as a female who bears an offspring. To mother, the verb, is defined as someone who tends to the necessary needs of the offspring she bore or has willingly accepted the responsibility for the offspring she has vowed to raise to adulthood.
Becoming a mother barring any medical problems is relatively simple. Engage in intercourse with a male of that species who supplies the sperm that unites with the female's egg, wait out the appropriate gestation period and deliver the baby or babies on a certain date.
(From this point on, my comments pertain specifically to humans.) But, to mother a child from birth to adulthood is an entirely different experience that requires a woman to be patient, selfless, involved, and committed.
From the get-go, while in labor, the mother-to-be exhibits extraordinary patience while suffering the extreme pain connected with delivery. Nature demands that she begins to mother even before she's ever laid eyes on her child. What she is enduring, how she looks and acts throughout her excruciating experience doesn't even enter into her mind at the time. Her selflessness has already taken hold of her being even without conscious awareness on her part.
As soon as her baby is placed in her arms, she begins to mother immediately. She inspects every inch of the tiny infant, pours every ounce of love into it that she can emote, and keeps careful watch on the baby as well as anyone who comes near.
And from the moment she returns home, she begins to mother her baby. Her patience grows with every wail no matter the day or the hour. She becomes less and less concerned about her self as her focus on her child intensifies. She is completely involved in every aspect of her baby's life. And most importantly she is committed to mother her infant for the rest of his or her life with patience, selflessness, involvement and commitment.
Indeed, every child has a mother, but not every child is mothered the way he or she deserves to be. In fact, unfortunately in our world today, more and more mothers don't mother at all. They have no patience with their children; screaming and smacking is their chosen method of training. They are only absorbed in their needs and wants whether it be drugs, alcohol, material things, or advancing a career. They have absolutely no involvement in the life of their child; interest in school work, extracurricular activities, the company they keep, and what they watch and read isn't on their radar at all, they simply can't be bothered.
And they aren't committed to their children, the can't be because they have no idea of what it takes to be committed to another person other than themselves.
If I were to rate myself as on my mothering skills during my children's early years, sadly from one to ten, I was probably around a six. But as I matured, I realized that I owed them so much more than I had managed to give. I did develop more patience, and I did put aside my needs in order to satisfy theirs, and I did become more involved in every aspect of their lives, and my commitment grew stronger with my awareness that it had been somewhat lacking. I thank God that I woke up to what it meant to be not only a mother, but what it meant to mother.
I pray that the young mothers of today begin mothering their precious children in time; the influence they wield now is the essential element needed to ensure that the lives of their babies will be healthy and productive leading them to become responsible adults.
Becoming a mother is relatively simple; but mothering your children is the hardest thing you will ever be asked to do. But doing it is the greatest gift you can possibly give them. And whether or not you realize it, it is the greatest gift you can give yourself as well!