Motherhood for me was a re-birthing into a self and a world that I couldn’t have predicted.
It is a world where everything has added significance, an importance beyond the immediate. I feel the weight of my mistakes heavier but the joys lift me higher than ever before. Even my skillset; that that in which I am strong I become stronger and that that in which I am weak becomes blaringly obvious.
Which is why I am so glad that Motherhood is more and less than what I do; most of the time Motherhood is who I am. Who I am to God, who I am to the young humans entrusted in my care, who I am to my husband, who I am to other Mothers, who I am to my extended tribe, who I am to my community and the world.
Who I am ends up permeating all that I do with my children, for my children and apart from my children. So I make it my practice to regularly reflect; how I am being experienced and whether my actions are lining up with my values. I mean, I am someone who really values respectful language with children and yet; even this morning I outwardly groaned and every hair on my children’s hair would have felt my exasperation, when I snapped at them for playing, when we were supposed to be walking out the door to school, for not having all their school things together or their wheels ready to move.
I instantly regretted it, so I made an extra effort to speak with respect and kindness the rest of the day. I made sure I chose my words carefully and got down to their height to speak. I didn’t apologise straight away for the way that I spoke, but because I believe that it is never too late to say sorry, I did in the evening. I asked if they remembered the way I spoke, I said sorry, I let them know that I felt it wasn’t okay, I told them I would try not to do it again and then I asked them to pray with me. We prayed for forgiveness but also for self-control, patience and kindness. Also for a tongue that is slow to speak and slow to get angry. My children, as always, are forgiving; they accept me always.
This is what Motherhood looks like for me. Motherhood means to me that I am in relationship with three tiny humans, who I am responsible for shaping, growing, nurturing and loving. It is keeping a focus on who and what is important and letting our values shape our relationships. It is sharing and growing together in this unfolding story of our family. It is being a part of a greater community of humans; following on from those who’ve lived before and shaping a part of the humanity that is to come. It is being a part of God’s human creation.
Gabriela Antonini chronicles snapshots of her moments on her Instagram @g_and_tribe, in between racing one of her three lively children, sharing chocolate with her theologian husband, feeding her ever-hungry progeny or singing lyrics wrong with the hubs. She is often found with her nose in a book, at the beach, up a tree or carrying around a teapot. Born in Slovakia, a childhood spent in Melbourne, she now lives in Perth heartily appreciating its exquisitely mild weather.