Being a mother is the world's toughest job but also the most rewarding, says mothers in this SUN Mother's Day feature
Being a mom doesn't come with a playbook. No matter how many, or how few, preparations one makes, most mothers will tell you that come the delivery day, that sixth sense -motherly instinct- automatically kicks in.
But what is motherhood? What does it mean to be a mother? These questions are as challenging to answer as they are simple. Yes, to give birth; yes, to adopt children; yes, to have a family, but most of the mothers we spoke to revealed that it's much more than that.
For instance, the story told by one mother, who gave birth to not one, nor two, not even five, but eight children. Ms. Theresa Alexander told the Sun, that with each child came an added responsibility, and added sacrifice, but more importantly, an added joy.
"There are difficult days, but when you become a mother, you can no longer focus or stress on how hard things are, but you get up and make a way," she said. "It also means putting your problems and issues aside and guiding your children through life's adventures with a happy and positive attitude."
As a single mother, raising her children to be independent was always her top priority, which meant that oftentimes Alexander had to stay without to ensure her children had the necessities.
"Being a mother often means going without so that your children don't have to," she said.
Most parents have their hands full with just one baby, but then there are those with twins.
For these moms, everything they do is doubled, including the diapers, the feedings and the expenses, but to Mrs. Edith Abraham, it also meant a double blessing.
Being a twin mom, especially as a first-time mom, created some intense challenges for the mother of three.
"I remember in those early days I would refuse any help. It's not necessarily because I didn't want it, it was more so that I was trying to prove that I could do it. I was given two at the same time, so I should be able to handle that," Abraham said.
She added, "It took me about six months before I asked for help for the first time. I felt so incapable of having to ask for help with my kids, and I still don't like having to ask. But it is something I have come to accept as a twin mom. You need a little more help, and that is okay."
Another mother of twins, Ms. Evadney Prevost, also revealed that with the double struggle of raising twins, many others in her position also find double the strength.
Through it all, she notes that being a twin mom is a unique and wonderful experience.
The strength of a mother is like no other. During times of stress, she may struggle to find her way because she's facing her demons, but her child's welfare comes first which new mom, Jacqueline Jules, is a living testimony.
Just four months in, she says that this is by far the toughest job that she has undertaken, but certainly the most rewarding.
"Labour is hard. But then, breastfeeding, trying to return to a somewhat normal schedule, resting, sacrificing your freedom, and letting go of selfish tendencies is hard, too. However, it's a precious gift, being a mom. We are handed the opportunity to overcome the sin of selfishness when so many people never will," Jules said.
Being a mother also means more than having given birth to a child. It's loving and knowing a soul before you even see it and carrying and caring for a life completely dependent on you for survival. For one expecting mother, her views on motherhood have changed completely.
Laurel Charles jokingly stated to the SUN that daily with all of the challenges that pregnancy brings, she is forced to question, "How did Mom do it?"
No longer having control of her body, she states, "I now realized this is everything my mom went through for me. I thank God for giving me a selfless mom. Being pregnant, I view all mothers with new respect, love, and appreciation. This perspective can only be gained by becoming a parent yourself."
Many that we spoke to stated that the gift of motherhood is unimaginable to any woman who does not have a child in their life. It's a connection that is unmatched and insurmountable in any form or other relationship. It's a love that grows continually, a love that always wants more and better.
One mother who shares this agony is Nurse Norma Dalrymple professed that the greatest pain that she has suffered throughout her life is the loss of her only child.
There is also the story of Jancy Remie, who says that being a mother means making the best decision for your children and in her case, that was having someone else raise her now 18 and 16-year-old sons.
"Over the years, many people have said that I was not a good mother for handing my children to someone else, but I know that this was the best thing I could have done for them," she said. "I was in no position to raise them and give them the life that they deserved and I'm happy I found someone else who could."
To sum it up, all the mothers The Sun spoke to, unique in their own way, admitted that motherhood is hard. Very hard.