Tuesday, January 10, 2012

meta for motherhood

the other day, one of my pregnant friends was feeling frustrated with all the conflicting advice and truisms adamant moms (and non-moms!) thrust on pregnant women.

her commiserating friends assured her: nothing can prepare you for motherhood.

i thought about all the books i have:  what to expect (and be terrified about ...).  girlfriend's guide to pregnancy (less applicable in my case, to be sure).  babywise (SO helpful.  but not able to prepare any expectant mom for motherhood.)

all the books i've read, borrowed, heard about have one thing in common.  they talk about events that might occur in pregnancy and parenting, like eclampsia and measles.  they talk about strategies for organizing, planning, sorting.

but no book tells you what motherhood is like.

i imagine that's because motherhood is impossible to pin down.  who could write an entire book that prepares someone for everything?

but i think that all these books i read miss something awesome.

the metaphor.

my favourite of all literary devices.  a little treasure that is, and is not, and is more than it is. 

my heart is a speeding train.  it is not actually a speeding train.  but in another feel-it-in-your-bones true sense, it is a speeding train, and saying it like that helps you understand what i mean more than any number of facts about beats-per-minute.

so: why this post?

i want parents to share their metaphors!  tell me what motherhood, fatherhood, is like. 

create metaphors, post them in the comments, share with me.

(and i'm not splitting hairs here.  similes are okay too.)

and as for me?  today i think that motherhood is like being sneezed on by someone you love.  very much.  who just ate oatmeal.



  1. I think motherhood is like mountain climbing. It's hard work, can be really scary, but those glimpses of the beauty are so worth the climb!

  2. Motherhood is like gardening. You deal with pests, weeds and bad weeks in order to be able to savour fresh vegetables that you raised yourself.

  3. Motherhood is a song. You don't know the words until you start singing. Some days you are off-key, but the ones you are singing for don't mind at all. The beat is your heart, which is now running around outside your body. The tune is yours to find - sometimes it is beautiful and takes your breath away - sometimes it is sad, but must be sung to get to the next verse. The song is taught in the very singing of it, and enjoyed by those who stop to listen.

    1. I agree with all these descriptions. After 36 years of motherhood, I say that motherhood is a round -the -world trip. Some days are harder than you think you can handle and some days are so beautiful that you don't want it to ever end. Some days you just want to let the storms wash you away but then you remember the kiss of a tiny face and you are willing to climb barefoot over Mount Everest to keep close to that precious child. You sail peacefully for a day or two and then you slog through alligator infested swamps or crawl, dazed by the relentless sun over seemingly unending desert. You think that nothing can ever be worth all this , then a little voice says, "Mommy, I love you." and off you go again, ready to tackle The Alps.
      Oh, I know I am too old now to begin again, but I think of all the accomplishments any woman can ever boast, being a loved Mom is the ultimate!