The Value of Motherhood

Guest Post by Jenn Haskew

The road to motherhood is a messy, painful, vulnerable, and beautiful road. Even as I write this, I wonder what the road to motherhood has been like for you. I wonder if you feel like you are a good mom, a valuable mom, or even a mom at all.

I remember the day I became a mom for the first time. There I was, walking into the Los Angeles hospital, holding an infant car seat in one hand and a diaper bag in the other. I took slow steps and deep breaths. I sat in the lobby looking around for the social worker I was supposed to meet there.

Once I found her, I remember walking into the little nursery off to the side of the nurses' station. I sat down in the plastic recliner and waited for my new baby. A few minutes later, in rolled a plastic bin on wheels with a beautiful, quiet baby boy named Sim.

I scooped him up into my arms and whispered, "Hi, buddy, my name is Jenn. I get to take care of you for a while. I am so excited to get to know you."

Next came the labor of paperwork that needed to be filled out. I saw written at the top "Mother: Melissa. Father: ______" Melissa. I stopped writing and thought about her. Melissa. My heart ached, and I wished I could walk two rooms over to look her in the eyes and give her a hug. I couldn't then, but I hoped some day I would.

Then it was time to leave. And there I was. I walked into the hospital with an empty uterus and yet, I walked out with arms filled with a baby only 4 days old. I thought about Melissa. Melissa, who came in with a uterus bursting with life and would leave with empty arms.

As we watched Sim grow, he acquired another sister, similar in age, and many months went by. But I kept thinking about Melissa. It was not until after Sim went to live with his forever family that I finally got to meet Melissa. And it has been such a gift.

I asked her about his birth. I got to hear about her side of the story in that hospital long ago. I learned that not a day goes by she doesn't think about him. The next year we got to celebrate Sim's 2nd birthday together during his birth month.

When we would call Sim, Melissa would refer to me as his mama. The first time she did that, I remember my eyes filling with tears. His REAL mom called me his mama.

I realized that somewhere along the line, I had started to believe I wasn't a REAL mom. I was on the B team of moms. Yet, through the relationship with my first son's mommy, I realized that my value as a {foster} mom is not discounted or decreased just because my kiddos have a {biological} mom too.

If you are a mama reading this today and you sit wondering at night if your motherhood is real/valuable or worthy, it is.

It is.

Not only is it freeing to know that our motherhood doesn't define us, it is also freeing to know that no other mama can take away, diminish, or discount our own mothering. In fact, Melissa has taught me that the more we rejoice in the motherhood of others, and marry it with celebrating our own motherhood, the richer the both of us can become.


 

Jenn and her husband, Patrick, live in Los Angeles and are currently raising their 4th, 5th, and 6th foster kiddos. In addition to fostering, Jenn is a fitness enthusiast and co-founder of Sleepy Cues, a service helping mamas help formulate healthy sleep rhythms to fit their specific family. Jenn loves Jesus and writes about seeing magnificence amidst the mundane things of life.