Sisterhood Blog

Motherhood? Easy!

By Elissa Strauss

  • Print
  • Share Share
Can motherhood be easier?

Motherhood is easy.

Okay, it isn’t really, but doesn’t it feel so good to hear that it might be? That it could be? That, maybe, it should be? Those words, together, motherhood and easy — just writing them allows me to breath deeper. It gets me thinking that, maybe, things really are all right.

Like many new mothers, before I had my first child I was kind of terrified about becoming a parent. This is partially because taking care of children is legitimately quite hard and partially because most of the discussion surrounding motherhood these days is about how difficult it is and how much sacrifice it requires.

Now, there is a lot to talk about in terms of easing life for mothers from an institutional standpoint. Mothers are still at a great disadvantage in our society and lack support in all directions. We don’t get help from our government in maternity childcare, and we are still doing most of the work at home. But we tend to add to the stress caused by this lack of support by focusing on all the things we aren’t doing well or can’t get around to at all, instead of the ways in which we are actually succeeding.

There is an overwhelming sea of messages out there about the ways in which having kids will make you lose your mind, career, body, friends and chance to watch R-rated movies. And then there are the contradictory and dizzying messages on the best way to raise your kids to ensure their ability to be happy and thrive in this loosening-at-the-seams world we are living in. But it is so rare to hear from anyone, especially us mothers, that things are okay.

So what if, just for a moment, in honor of Mother’s Day, we cast aside all our worries and guilt surrounding motherhood and just focused on the many, many parts of it that are actually easy. Enough with the sacrifice, enough with the work/life balance, enough with the competitive pre-school and college applications and getting your kids to eat broccoli or be nice to their siblings.

For this Mother’s Day, let’s give ourselves and our mothers the gift of just focusing on the joy. And maybe, by spending Mother’s Day focusing on all the ways in which being a mother is easy, we will spend less energy the rest of the year paying attention to the ways in which it is hard.

Joy is the best part of being a parent, and is usually rooted in the stuff that comes most naturally to us. I am talking about the joy of feeling a true and deep unconditional love. The joy of being the hand that pushes our children during their confident moments, and being the hand that soothes during moments of distress. The joy of our lips pressed against their young, soft skin. The joy of knowing that tomorrow morning there will be somebody who (at least eventually) will be happy to see you. This joy, this love, is blissfully easy.

Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: mothers, motherhood, Jewish Women, mother's day, Sisterhood

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach!
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.