Motherhood: How to Define the Role of a Lifetime

By Cheryl Saban, Intent

Were you raised with visions of Betty Crocker, the iconic perfect woman? The 1950s notion of what girls and women should and shouldn’t do was easily embedded. School curriculum paid almost no attention to the contributions and accomplishments of women, who for the most part were missing from our textbooks … unless, of course, they were helping famous men.

Even today, marriage and motherhood provide the subtext within which girls are encouraged to organize their place in life. The basic conceptualization of mothering is a theme that reaches across cultures; it is a common language women everywhere can speak.

That’s not to say, however, that all of us are fluent in it. Contrary to well-worn stereotypes, our domestic roles aren’t necessarily ordained by human nature, biology, or men’s and women’s psychology; they’re the result of overlapping factors including historical circumstances, race, religion, time period, and social practices. And it’s not a foregone conclusion that all women will become (or even desire to become) mothers, nor does it assure that once we become mothers, we’ll be able to do the job well.

With that said, motherhood continues to be a defining role that many of us crave. Are you a mother? If so, you’re among friends. There are an estimated 82 million moms in the U.S. alone. If you think that your relevance as a woman is wrapped around your ability as a mother–if it gives you a sense of self-worth, value and validation–accept major kudos. Women know that it’s not enough to create a satisfying life just for ourselves. We have always been concerned with the greater good of our children, families, communities, and the world.

Take responsibility for the value you add to your kids’ lives, for, as they say, children are our future. Always keep in mind that your strength, ability and input as a mother/teacher/nurturer to your offspring are valid and necessary components in the way the future of society unfolds.

But many women also know that when they devote every asset of themselves to others–be it to a partner, parent, friend or child–they can get lost along the way. You can avoid this fate by developing yourself in parallel to your little ones. Your ability and desire to start new activities and to grow as an individual will help you keep your unwieldy emotions in check when your kids individuate away from you. Continue to grow and redefine who you are. provides content and community for who you aspire to be–personally, socially and globally.


Winn Adams
Winn A4 years ago


Jilly D.
Gilly D4 years ago

but fun...

Jilly D.
Gilly D4 years ago

I have one word for it... crazy :)

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago

Another way of enslaving women...

Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

That's why we've got to respect our mum

Maresa Marangoni
Maresa Marangoni6 years ago

Indeed... But I still define myself 'a person', wheter I am mother or not.

Ian B.
Ian B.8 years ago

I am a single father. I just got back from a Ziggy Marley and 311 combo concert. My 10 year old son, 6 year old daughter and I danced all night. I love being a mom like person and a dad like person. It is an intense experience. I have my children half the week and also run 3 businesses (work about 70 hours a week). Love is the answer for me. Follow the path of love and we will find prosperity. It requires massive work and sacrifice but is completely worth all of it. Our world needs us to teach our children to be loving, helpful to society, and respectful to mother earth. Thank you for the inspiring message from Jennifer M.

Carla Sinclair
Carla Sinclair8 years ago

We are doing our best to live the realizations we are experiencing!

Jennifer M.
ayla -8 years ago

I made a conscious decision not to have children but I ended up having a beautiful girl anyways. I have no regrets that I had her, she's my ray of sunshine BUT it took me a long long time to define what my purpose for her was.. Simply, raise her to love herself and her planet. Too much pressure is bad for kids. I know that first hand!