Friday, May 12, 2017

Five minute Friday with Kate Motaung

//If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother

So many things I could say about having a mom and being a mom. The joys, the responsibilities, the frustrations, the grief, the fights, the fears, the headstrong will of holding tight and the tearful surrender of letting go. All of it because a child is a tender offshoot of a mother. There is a physical bond shared with no one else.

“Don't girls believe in birth control”? She looked at me with pity and disdain mixed with a touch of arrogance.

“Birth control makes you gain weight”, she said.

 I just stared in amazement.

“And pregnancy doesn't”?

“Well, yes, but you lose it afterwards”.

I couldn't contain myself. I tried. We were out in a public place having this conversation. I got up slowly from my chair. I slapped my hip and responded,  calmly, quietly, but deliberately.

“No, you carry the weight of that child as long as you live. Extra weight, I said, and it is heavier than anything you will ever carry physically”.

You don't know anything until you are right smack in it. I recall some conversations with my mother when growing up where we were of two extreme opinions. Sometimes I spend my energy and words saying “mom, I'm sorry. I didn't know. I didn't see. I didn't listen”. I'm saying it to a mom who isn't here any more, although I can hear everything she ever said.//

How much I would love to talk with her again. But if she were here, would I get frustrated? We were two different people. We shared some of the same values, but generation gaps will never completely close. I would hope I would have more patience and respect for those spaces and instead of trying to color them in with my adamant certainty, perhaps I could find nuances that could blend from both sides. Shading softens, creates peaceful tones and defines.

And this week as I hear people talk about what to get their mothers? Well, what I want is really what I already have, why I can celebrate this day at all, my children. No matter what the gaps, what the issues, they are my children. Is my mom still my mom? I know I carry some of her genes. Genetics is a wondrous science. You carry your children for as long as they live and then God determines the rest.

Children are life and to give or take away life is a grave responsibility.  If you are a mom, you are everything.


  1. Hi Mary! My mom and I are also very different. I've recently moved back in with my parents, and have been learning ways to appreciate our differences. Thanks for being honest and sharing from your heart! #fmf #6

  2. "You carry the weight of the child as long as you live."

    Wow, Mary. That set me back on my heels. So true, and it would never have occurred to me.