StephRenea

JOURNAL

Sarah Odum // Motherhood

Meet Sarah, she is a stay at home with her 2 year old daughter Ambrose. She is also a  Spanish tutor a couple days a week outside of the home. She also does film photography. 

What does the role of "mother" mean to you?

I’m still very much learning what the role of “mother” can mean, and I think I probably will be finding new facets of it for the rest of my life! Being a mother means being a nurturing caregiver. It starts out as such a practical, tangible thing: you’re doing the basic things to keep this child alive and nourished. But it’s so much more than that at the same time, because you’ve got this crazy, mysterious, maternal love that is so hard to describe. It just kicks in. You are the protecter, the instructor, the friend…You have the chance to introduce so many things into their world, and that’s an incredible role to play. There’s so much responsibility that comes with having a child. It feels like an honor and challenge simultaneously. Being a mother is an extremely hard job! To me, being a mother is a balance of, on the one hand, taking on the hard work of caring for this child, of teaching and discipline, of letting them explore and grow, and, on the other hand, stepping back and believing that this child’s outcome does not rest wholly on me and my care for them. My role is an extremely important part of my child’s life, but I am also trusting that this child is part of a bigger story. It feels like it’s all about living in that balance. Motherhood has been a huge exercise in trust so far for me. 

What is the best advice you have ever received when it comes to motherhood?

The advice that sticks with me the most in my days are words that came from a friend in the very first few weeks of having a kid. She told me to go easy on myself! She reminded me that my daughter was brand new to this whole thing, just like I was, so we could learn how to do it together. She wasn’t telling me not to work hard at it, or not to take it seriously, but was reminding me that there is so much grace in parenting. There’s so much space to try things and figure out what does or doesn’t work for you, without worrying that you’ll be messing it all up. It was so helpful. 

How do you like to spend days with your little one?

We tend to start our mornings slowly, so that mama can get some coffee in her system! But really, morning usually looks like a lot of relaxed playtime. Rosie loves being outside and probably would live outdoors if she could, so I try to make sure she gets out for a significant amount of time every day to play. We also like to hit up the library or the neighborhood playground, so she can get out some more energy and interact with other kids. If we are somewhere that allows, I love to do bigger adventures with her (hikes, exploring cities, museums, etc.). But a normal day looks like a mix of errands, visiting our favorite local spots, and playtime out or at home. We also love to read books together!

What do you find most important in your role as a mother?

Other than the “exercising trust” thing I mentioned earlier, one of the things that seems most important in my role as a mother is being an example. Whether I like it or not, my daughter is watching me! Even at her young age, she is noticing my behaviors and emotions, and often repeats them. I am one of her first examples of how to live life, and that is tremendous role. I certainly won’t be perfect, but I hope to be even a tiny glimpse to her of so many things: perseverance, brokenness, bravery, kindness, patience, strength, love in its many forms…to name a few things. It’s a huge and exciting role to take on. 

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