Crows Nest Uniting Church
Easter 6 • 10 May 2015

Acts 10:44-48
1 John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

Susan Cochrane

Thank you to Chris & the congregation for inviting me to speak on this very special day. This is my first mother’s day as a mother to our daughter Isla, who born on March 10, exactly two moths ago today.
When Chris asked me to speak today my first reaction was that I was not qualified to speak about motherhood since it has only been eight weeks
. Although I am still not entirely sure about my expertise level on the topic I can give you my impressions of a new mother.

Firstly, I must start with talking about God’s blessings on me of my daughter. My husband and I were not entirely sure that we would be blessed with the experience of parenthood. We met when we were both in our 30s, were married when our mid 30s and started considering parenthood as we approached 40. I had come to terms long ago that the choices that I had made in my life to build a career, continue higher education, and develop my independence and self-confidence could have prevented me from having children. When I met Dave almost six years ago I knew God has a plan for me and I placed my faith in God to determine our path whatever that might be.
It was Gods will to bless us with Isla, and we are very thankful for this experience and for her.

Isla has been the easiest part of motherhood. God has blessed us with the most perfect person to join our family and we thank Him every day.
When we look at her we just think she is the most beautiful person (we have started a picture share website for our families that live abroad and have posted over 400 pictures and videos in the past 8 weeks: a bit obsessed with her). She is a good communicator and we are confident in understanding what her needs are (identified her ‘pay attention to me whine/cry’, I need you to change/feed me/put me to bed, and I’m very upset/angry cry). It has been delightful to watch her little personality unfolds over the past two months. She is very social and likes to see the world (likes to sit at the table when out to dinner to watch others). Along with she is bubbly and happy (full of smiles every morning when she wakes up, all smiles when having her nappy changed).

However what I have found is that motherhood is much more than just the child that has join our family but it is a self discovery for myself of the shift in roles and understanding of my place in this world. I am still trying to understand how this new role of motherhood fits within my life and coming to terms with the changes that it has brought. The past two months have brought great positives and unexpected challenges.

One of the greatest positives is the love that overwhelms me when I look & am with Isla.
My friends who have children told me that the love you have for your child is different than any other love you have experienced.
It was not until I met Isla that I understood what everyone had been telling me. My first understanding of this overwhelming love consisted of two defining moments for me in the delivery room. First was when I heard her first cries as she was being born, which brought tears of joy to my eyes. Second, was the moment when I realised that she knew I was her mother. That was when they placed her up on my chest and when I started to speak to her she instantly stopped crying, at that moment I knew she knew who I was.
I feel very blessed by God to have been granted the opportunity to experience this love of a child.

On the other hand, one of the most unexpected challenges that I have experienced is the humility and simplicity of motherhood.
I have had led an accomplished life personally and professionally. I have worked hard to build a successful career and have earned numerous degrees from the top institutions in the world, however this little person has taught me a lesson in humility that biology & human nature is stronger than any accomplishments I have gained. My role like every other mother around the world is basic Maslow skills of survival: provide food, safety & comfort for these little ones to survive. My role in her life these first few weeks is basic (I am a food source: milk making machine) and the number of degrees or level of accomplishment does not make any difference in this role.
I am appreciative that I have had this lesson in humility to realise that life can be basic and that we all have the same struggles regardless of life experience. (& I have a new appreciation for cows)

One aspect that I am still navigating is the understanding of how being a mother is one of many roles that I have in my life & how to balance each of those roles.

I have many hats to wear; in addition to mother I am a wife, an individual, a friend, a colleague, and a contributor to my community. As I go through life some roles will be more significant at times and play a leading role and that will constantly shift.

Wife: My role as wife to my loving husband of two year is an important role that cannot be forgotten or neglected with the addition of our third member. My parents have just celebrated their 46
th wedding anniversary and one lesson that I have learned over the years of watching them as an adult is that my relationship with Dave is as important and sometimes more important than my role as mother therefore work and attention needs to be made constantly and consistently.

Individual: One role that I have witnessed friends who have children neglect is themselves. They give so much to children, spouses, family that they forget themselves and their health. It is important to me that I am honest with myself about my health, mental & physical. Health is important to be able to support others. To be a good mother I need to be good to myself.

Friendship & Work: My contribution to my community occurs through my support of others through friendships and the work I do. It is imperative for me to make a contribution to my community and world by keeping positive relationships with the important people in my life such as my lifelong friends, my siblings and parents, and new friendships in my local community. Their influence on my life and my influence on theirs is part of the work that God has put me here to do.
My professional career has been dedicated to the support of families and educators in our community. I trained as an early childhood special education teacher 15 years ago and have been blessed to have worked with amazing families and colleagues throughout the years. I value my role as a trainer, mentor, and teacher to other teachers in our community, and know that this impact on families is valuable.

As I navigate these new waters of motherhood I need to continuously reflect on my place in this world and how the many different roles I have play into my life, my daughters, my husbands and others.

I know that there will be many more highs and lows as I continue on this journey of motherhood. Two months down many more to come.