I went to the store this week to get my wife a Mother’s Day gift and a card. I was successful with the gift, but I ran into some issues buying her a card. According to our culture, it would seem my wife is not yet a mother. You see, we are pregnant and she is due September 26th. The store carries two kinds of cards for new mothers. The first is “mother-to-be” cards and the second is “1st Mother’s Day” cards. The problem with these cards is that they only recognize motherhood occurring when the baby is out of the womb. The first says ‘mother-to-be’ as though a pregnant person is not a mom. The second recognizes motherhood when the baby is freed from the womb. But I ask, do mere inches really make that big of a difference? Is the child in my wife’s womb not our child (and we not its parents), because it has not traveled through the birth canal?
I find something strangely grotesque about our culture when it refuses to see the living being inside the womb as a child, therefore making the carrier a mother. In my opinion, motherhood (parenthood) does not start at birth, it starts before conception. Planning to bring a life into this world is no small thing and it takes a responsible, well-intentioned married couple to make that decision. There have to be thoughts of future security with a home, finances, church support, family support, and so on. You have to think of your health and the ability to conceive, and you have to trust God in a broken, sin-filled world.
If you don’t think motherhood starts before conception, fine. But I would urge you to consider that motherhood begins when life does. Motherhood does not begin with birth, it begins at conception. My wife and our child are intimately connected. This connection will never happen (with this child) again. The baby inside her womb relies on her for its very life. If she fails to breathe, so does the child. I consider my wife a mother, she feeds our child, protects our child, prays for our child, speaks to it (we find out Monday if it is a boy or girl), sings to it, she is making a home for our child. If that is not motherhood, I don’t know what is.
So for all those card companies out there that fail to realize pregnant women are mothers, shame on you. But I digress on that point.
Moms of the world. Thank you for carrying us inside of you (I can only imagine!). Thank you for caring for us. Thank you for rearing us in love. Thank you for trying to make our lives better than yours. Thank you for the encouragement, the love, the joy, and the continued security that you will always answer your children’s phone calls, always leave the door unlocked for us, always welcome us back to you.
Moms, thanks for being moms.