I just watched Uma Thurman’s new movie, “Motherhood”, and was truly blown away. I expected it to be cute and full of laughs, probably just poking fun at yuppie urban full-time mothers. Which it was, and did. However, there was a whole depth to the movie, that of really looking at a woman, her huge desires, incredible strengths and gaping weaknesses; at times, it actually felt like this movie was attempting to put its finger on a certain sense of joy and meaning in a mother’s life, that can be evident despite the coffee stains and diaper changes, the moldy sippy cups and crusted old baby food on furniture. Moreover, I felt that it inherently connected womanhood to motherhood, something us post-modern, post-feminists are often scared to do.
I am going to be a mother sooner than later. I am a good Catholic, as is my fiancee, so we are both entering into marriage fully aware that fruitfulness is both a gift and a necessary aspect of those vows we will make to one another on the altar in a few short months.
However, despite the fact that I am the oldest of 6 kids and am well-aware of what a young, growing family looks and feels like, I have been experiencing occasional little jumps of fear and anxiety when it comes to motherhood.
For instance: Will I really be able to push a baby out of my body? Can I stand the pain? Will I actually wake up in the middle of the night, every night, to feed and rock my baby when necessary? Will I still be attractive to my husband when I smell like spit-up and can’t keep everything together? Will I have the patience to tend to my children 24/7? Will I have the presence of mind to keep the big picture in the forefront when all the little details bog me down? Will I be able to think like an intelligent adult when I am talking to 2 year olds all day long?
Will I be able to embrace the present moment of motherhood, the blessings as well as the pains, in such a way that I can honestly say I never took it for granted? In such a way as to enable me to count it all joy?
One of the characters in this movie asks, “What makes you want to live a life with passion?” This is a huge examination of conscience and a point of referrence.