It Is Me Who Makes My Motherhood

By Mary Bruno

As I passed through those first several years of infertility, glimpses of pregnancies and conversations about motherhood grew increasingly painful. As a 20-something year old, you tend to be surrounded by people growing their families and obsessing over the details. I was obsessing over surgeries, blood draws, ibuprofen and wondering about God’s will.

The focus of each day was entirely different for me. Compared to my female friends, I couldn’t help but feel less than. Motherhood was something I aspired to and grieved at the same time, unaware of the simple yet intense desire to be seen.

Now, through adoption, I am a mother in the physical sense. I have accepted my infertility, and acknowledge that joy and pain co-exist. I continue to explore the purposes for which God created me. I understand my value, but the whole experience has left me with a motherhood wound.

Right or wrong, I don’t like to put too much focus on myself as “mother.” That journey was painful. That journey was deceptive because I was always a mother. That title feels lorded over me. I love my motherhood, but it’s not my motherhood that makes me lovable or worthy of being Catholic. It’s not my motherhood that makes me worthy of contributing to my family or society. It’s not even my motherhood that makes me, me! It is me who makes my motherhood.

I am a person, first. I am a daughter of God, and a lover of cats, sweets, and sarcasm. I am someone who cares deeply for others. I am an athlete, a fertility awareness advocate, a gifted writer, a passionate rapper, a creator, a melancholic-deep feeler and thinker, and so much more. I am flawed. I am trying to be like Jesus and share Him with others.

Call me mother, yes. But do not leave out the other things. Please do not focus on my motherhood alone. It is all the other things that make me who I am. It is the other things that make me a good mother – and to whomever God has called me to mother today.

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