“It is not about the destination; it is always about the journey.”
This is truth.
Women who have been mothers for a long time (of which I am one) know this truth. But then, we have long been taking the journey. What about new mothers and mothers-to-be? Some intrinsically know this truth but so many others may not see it this way. And what does this truth really mean? Isn’t the destination of being a mother the important thing? Wouldn’t the interruption of that destination be a great loss? Isn’t it of great importance that we reach our destinations whole, healthy and with the goal in hand? Isn’t that the point of it all?
And the quick answer is yes, of course. Being a mother is one of the most important destinations for the human race. Reaching our destinations, whether they be motherhood or anything else, is the point. But is it the whole point, the only point? And doesn’t the word “destination” imply that there has been a journey and should not the journey matter and have something to offer? And the quick answer is yes, of course.
Mothers come in every shape and size, differing backgrounds, capacities and levels of maturity. And this is where the journey comes in. For no matter what you bring to the table as a new mother, it is how you expand on that, how you learn the basics, how you deepen your capacity to love and forgive and receive as a mother--that is what will define you. This growth through experience is what will make you a true mother, the best mother, the kind of mother who has truly earned the destination.
So, to every mother, young and old, that this message is reaching today and tomorrow and the next day: Happy Mother’s Day. You have reached a lauded goal. This celebration of us as mothers is special and beautiful. But we know our vaunted position did not come easy, or quickly or without trials and tribulations, both great and small.
And to every mother-to-be— know that your time is coming. Your destination is up ahead but first there is the journey. As a doula I can tell you that this journey begins with pregnancy and labor. Not as experiences to race through, to get through or endure. Not as a means to a specific end that you are convinced must happen for the journey to have meant something or to have proven something or to have been perfect for you and your baby.
And, yes, there are times when “getting through it all” will be practical, realistic and smart. But even given “the getting through it all,” there is a journey to be had. Remain open to the journey, for it is through your journey where the learning, growing and capacity to become really lie.
Motherhood welcomes you.
It is a large beautiful, messy, exquisite tent.
Enter with an open heart.