To me, it means the world and more. It means forgetting the meaning of a warm meal and/drink as the moment you sit down to eat/drink, something comes up and you have to run off. It means being amused by your child's bodily functions and be oblivious to the fact others might not be. Being a parent also means sleeping on the edge of the bed because your gassy child with whom you decided to co-sleep with out of the kindness of your heart has decided to sleep in a starfish position. Who would've thought a 2 and a half week old baby girl could take up so much room?
Being a mother means that I would rather lay in bed next to my little Fairy, watching her sleep, than take advantage of her being asleep and get up to go pee/eat/drink/do whatever. It means running faster than I have run in the past 15 years the moment I hear her emit any kind of noise from the other room. Flash Gordon would be proud!
It means worrying about her immediate future, and her distant future. Knowing there will be a day where your child will tell you "I love you", and mean it - and a day where your child will tell you "I hate you," and mean it as well. Knowing there will be times where they will be proud to call you "Mum" and other times where they will be so embarrassed by you they will pretend they never even met you. Motherhood means knowing all this, and doing your best to coming to terms with it.
As I feed Morgan, I tell her about future arguments we might have, and how she will outsmart me. I fear, and look forward, to the day where student surpasses teacher in Smartassery. A couple of days ago, I was telling her how she will demand make-up, and I will insist she doesn't need it with a pretty face like hers. She will then tell me to look in a mirror and to mind my own business, and therefore shut me up.
Motherhood also means putting on a brave mask for your child's sake, no matter how heartbroken you are. You will be heartbroken, I assure you. I know I was as I watched a nurse poke Morgan's tiny hands with needles to take blood samples. Morgan's cries were so heartfelt, I wanted to steal her away and to hurt the nurse poking the needles in her and the nurse helping her. Whenever she gets gassy, and suffers pains, she lets out a wail that makes me want to hurt Gas for hurting her. Silly, I know. I just am really protective, and anyone who dares mess with my girl will find this out the hard way.
I know I cannot protect her forever and that I will have to take the back seat lest she becomes a spineless spoilt brat. She has to scrape her knees and earn her battle scars. I wish it wasn't necessary, but I know it is.
Motherhood is all this, and so much more. It is an ongoing journey, and it really does have its good times, bad times, and times that are just plain stinky - metaphorically or otherwise.
The only other people who might begin to understand what its like are other parents - and even then, you are bound to feel that "they just don't get it" purely because they can never really be in your shoes. I find that even your child's other parent will seem not to get it, from your point of view.
Having said that, I'm glad that when I will try to scare off Morgan's first boyfriend, her father will back me up (with a shotgun, if he is to have his way, I'm told). I'm a pacifist myself, however my looks are deceitful for those who don't know me - and that will be my secret weapon. *insert evil laughter here*