Mothers around the world: We are different, yet the same. We may not understand each other’s words, but there is one language we all understand: the language of love for our babes.

new baby new mother
A few days after my daughter’s birth, I was in awe of new life.

Something strange happened to me when I became a mother.

I put my baby to my breast and I thought about my mother putting me to her breast. I thought about her mother, my grandmother, and my grandmother’s grandmother. They were all babies once. Babies who just wanted milk and the warmth of their mother’s skin. They were all new mothers once. They all gave birth to a new life.

My mind shifted during those first days of motherhood. It wasn’t just me anymore. It wasn’t just me and my baby.

My world became connected to mothers around the world, in the past and in the future.

old baby photo
My great grandmother Annie is the baby in this picture.

I thought about the slaves that picked cotton in Tennessee and then went back to their nursing babies. Then I thought about women in France and Germany separated from their babies during horrible wars. I am no different from them. We are the same. I wept for the mothers around the world who couldn’t satisfy their overwhelming desire to hold their babies when they wanted to. I felt their pain. And I counted my blessings ,with huge sighs of confusion, fear, and relief.

As I held my baby close during those first hours, days, and weeks, my mind would wander to other mothers around the world, and what they were doing in that moment. Maybe they were giving birth. I wondered if they were helping their baby to suckle for the first time, saying, “here it is, there ya go” in their language. Maybe they were feeling nervous, excited, and hopeful about the future of this little human, just like me.

mothers around the world
My grandmother Marianne circa 1940

We are all mothers on this earth together. Like everyone, we share the world and all its resources. We live in apartments, grass huts, houses on mountainsides with snow all around, and houses with aluminium roofs sweltering under the tropical sun.

Mothers all envision a better life for our children.

We put their lives before ours. Sometimes our dreams get placed on hold in order to make way for theirs. For some, a better life means getting on a boat and traveling miles to the nearest safe country. I would get on a boat if I had to. No doubt about it. I know that kind of love. I am no different from my immigrant sisters.

Mothers around the world speak different languages and have all different shades of skin. We see the divine in different places and get chills for different reasons. Many of us eat different things and laugh at different things and wear different clothes. We are all mothers. We all know what it’s like to love someone more than we love ourselves. It’s an intense, overwhelming, full-like-you’re-gonna-cry feeling that we have in common.

Let’s not forget that we are the same. We are all mothers around the world just trying to make it better for our children.

Where are you from? What language do you speak? What kind of world do you dream of for your babies?

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Anne Kathryn Rice

Anne Kathryn Rice

Anne Kathryn Rice is an American mother of two strong willed children living on the Italian Riviera. She writes about motherhood and listening to your inner voice, even when cultural expectations, baby books, and impromptu advice seem to challenge your instincts.You can read more about her personal experiences on her blog.
Anne Kathryn Rice

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