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The Embodiment of Motherhood

As my tired eyes squint from the harshness of a brightly lit grocery store, my gaze follows all different types of mothers: young and old, frazzled and worn, rested and carefully put together. These are your average, run-of-the-mill mothers, standing impatiently at the grocery store with newborns in baby carriers and a toddler navigating an iPad with impish delight.

As my gaze slides to the scuffed tile and lands upon my feet, I have an epiphany. It is a realization that I am not only one of these mothers, I am the embodiment of all these mothers. I never thought I would even partake in motherhood, let alone have it embody my entire life.

I am one of those mothers who stares enviously at all those beautiful mothers who have it all together while I am just trying to clench onto my sanity, so tightly that I might shatter like glass into pieces. Since I cannot break down for the sake of my daughter, I must rise like the sun; therefore, I ask myself: What type of mother would I like to become?

  • The nurturing mother.
    As a mother, one is undoubtedly a nurturer to her child. It is innate for a mother to nurture her child. I desire this quality for all it’s worth. It is about cultivation, fostering support and encouragement into a child’s life. I am rearing my child to become a nurturing individual to herself and other people.
  • An educated mama.
    I am an educated mama, but I will always keep learning and educating myself. I always say that if I didn’t have a college education that I wouldn’t be able to parent as well as I can without an educated background. I have a plethora of knowledge from my education, even if I barely use the degrees I have obtained. I acquired much more than my diplomas; I gained the abilities to read, write, research, analyze, and the capabilities to understand the complexities of motherhood.
  • The serene mother.
    I named my daughter Serenity for the reason that I hope she embodies her name. I do not exemplify serenity and I have been chasing tranquility all of my life. I exude anxiousness and nervousness, which is not the best quality to have as a mother.
  • The gracious mother.
    I have a beautiful friend named Alison who exudes grace and benevolence. While I am kind to others, I still do not uphold the term “gracious.” How does she do it? Her compassion simply comes from her heart, soul, and how she wants to serve the Lord. Alison represents herself exactly how God exemplified himself through faith, love, and hope.
  • A balanced mother.
    While I am still trying to create a sense of balance in my life, it doesn’t mean that I cannot teach my daughter how to be functional, healthy, and happy. How do you teach someone to be functional? I have to show and implement these actions and behaviors into her life. Once these become habits, she will learn to apply these core ideas of functionality to her existing life. How do you teach someone to be happy? Be happy yourself and express gratitude; be grateful for everything you are and have in this life.
  • A creative mother.
    Mothers are like artists; we create, shape, and mold ourselves and our lives to become beautiful works of art. Mothers become creative figuratively and literally with all aspects of life from cleaning, cooking, finances, play, and teaching. We pass this knowledge and creativity onto future generations in hopes our children will embody all of these characteristics.

I can never become the sum total of all these mothering types; however, I can practice and incorporate these qualities and characteristics into my lifestyle and my child’s life.

Stressed out mom photo available from Shutterstock

The Embodiment of Motherhood

JoAnn Porto

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APA Reference
Porto, J. (2018). The Embodiment of Motherhood. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 29 Jan 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.