Competition: Motherhood – what does it mean to you?

This week, I have five copies of the new Uma Thurman film – ‘Motherhood’ – to give away. The film is a day in a life of a New York mother, writer, blogger and all round juggler of life. At the same time as planning a birthday party and constantly trying to prevent her car from being towed away, Thurman is trying to write 500 words about what being a mother means to her. So to win a copy of the film, just tell me what motherhood means to you. Winners will be picked at random by an apathetic fourteen year old. (See below for some blurb about the film).

So I’m going to start the ball rolling with my random and in-no-particular-order thoughts on motherhood. If you have read any of my other posts you will have an idea of the kind of issues that I struggle with on a day to day basis. I manage a seven year age gap between two feisty daughters, hide crumbs behind the sofa and every day lose the battle to get my teenager to wear a coat.

But that’s the daily grind stuff, the practical side of being a parent. What about Motherhood? Is that the same thing? ‘Motherhood’ as a concept, in capital letters, must be something more than that – a feeling, an ethos, a way of living. It’s hard for me, having given birth at 17, to separate the ideas of parenthood and adulthood. I have never been a grown up without children. I don’t know what it feels like to have independence without responsibility, so I can’t make a distinction – to me, being a mother is just something that has always been, and something that always will be.

Maybe if I had had children later, I would have had time to get to know a different me first, and would be able to say now with conviction that yes, motherhood for me means X, Y and Z, but I just can’t say for sure what that X, Y and Z might be.

Perhaps that’s normal though. Perhaps that IS the definition of motherhood, that it creeps into every aspect of who you are, grows as you grow, soaks into your very core. Once you have children, it is impossible to detach yourself from what that means. You can’t cut your life into neat chunks and define each slice individually and separately from the others.

So what does motherhood mean to me? I don’t know. And that’s not me just chickening out of an answer, I really don’t know. Motherhood IS me, I can’t remember a time Before Children, I don’t know how my life would be different.

And now I have to go and pick up Belle from a birthday party, hang out some washing and think about packed lunches for tomorrow. We can talk in broad terms, think about concepts, but basically that’s what motherhood is all about…

Win one of five Motherhood DVDs – out on DVD 8th March

Shot entirely on location in New York’s West Village, this bittersweet comedy distils the dilemmas of the maternal state (marriage, work, self, and not necessarily in that order) into the trials and tribulations of one pivotal day. MOTHERHOOD forms a genre of one – no other movie has dedicated itself in quite this way to probing exactly what it takes to be a mother, with both wry humour and an acute sense of authenticity.

Eliza Welch (Thurman) is a former fiction writer-turned-mom-blogger with her own site, “The Bjorn Identity.” Putting her deeper creative ambitions on hold to raise her two children, Eliza lives and works in two rent-stabilized apartments in a walk-up tenement building smack in the middle of an otherwise upscale Greenwich Village. Eliza’s good-natured but absent-minded husband (Edwards) seems tuned out to his wife’s conflicts, not to mention basic domestic reality, while her best friend Sheila (Minnie Driver) understands this – and Eliza — all too well.

MOTHERHOOD is a hymn to the joys and sorrows of raising children, and the necessity of not losing yourself in the process. Log onto for more competitions to be won and details about the film.



  1. 7 March, 2010 / 3:30 pm

    It means nothing to me, being a male :) Uma Thurman is looking nice though !

    • 7 March, 2010 / 4:02 pm

      I thought she looked pretty foxy :-)

  2. 7 March, 2010 / 4:48 pm

    I always say the same! – people say things like it must be hard being a mum sometimes, but I don’t remember what its like not to be one, having been one since I was 17!
    I don’t know how I’m going to cope when my son leaves home and for the first time ever I’ll be an adult without anyone to look after!

  3. 8 March, 2010 / 2:26 am

    The Dark side of Motherhood.
    This competition led me to thinking about what mother’s actually do for their children and what lengths they will go to for them… yes, we all joke about being pooped on, and vomited on by our ‘adorable’ babies, about losing sleep in those early years, but we all go a lot further than that for them without saying a word.
    My grandmother literally put herself physically between her husband’s fists and my mother’s face. When I struggled in school, my mother tried her best to change the mind set of my headmaster with no positive results, but with a great deal of humiliation to her, in the end I went to a private school… I have 3 children which means I would step in front a bus without hesitation for 3 people, if it would save them….and I am just a normal mom like you, nothing special. (Except I would have kicked my husband to the curb if I had been my grandmother).
    Now my children are facing a dramatic loss in the quality of their education and it’s time for me to step in front of that bus. With all the cuts facing their school both financially and in personnel, I feel the need to step into the void and help the remaining faculty maintain the high standards they have set. So maybe kindergarten teachers will be asking for a volunteer every morning in their classrooms, maybe we need to photocopy even more for each grade. Maybe more of us come into the school and listen to emerging readers and help others figure out fractions (not me, I haven’t got a clue). Part of me wants to turn my back on the school system as it seems they have turned their back on our children, but how can I when it is our children that will take that punch to the face? This is what motherhood is to me, nothing special, nothing different from other mother’s who step into the firing line when times are tough.

  4. 8 March, 2010 / 12:52 pm

    I entered this comp on another blog site and won!! I’m looking forward to receiving my copy.

    CJ xx

  5. 8 March, 2010 / 9:42 pm

    To me it means …
    – never being alone (that’s good and bad)
    – being seen as a proper super wonder woman who can do anything
    – being part of a really big club. Not that exclusive but a cool club none the less
    – knowing that I would (if pushed) kill, die and eat jungle bugs for my two little girls
    Oh and just thinking about ‘it’, about being a mum, makes me feel all bubbly and just very lucky. And happy. :)

  6. 11 March, 2010 / 11:52 am

    I recently wrote a post about what being a mother means to me ( Here it is:

    “When a child is born, a mother is born! – I like that and I truly believe that not only we raise our children, but also our kids help us learning to be mothers.

    I will tell you how my precious little girl makes every day Mother’s day for me.

    She makes me smile, even when I am angry

    She makes me feel proud of her – even if she hasn’t climbed a mountain

    She says “I love you, mummy” and I am trying to hide my tears of joy

    She makes a mess every day during mealtimes

    She likes to have all my attention, 24/7

    Sometimes she is feeling poorly and feeling safety when feeling me around her only

    Sometimes she falls down and wants mummy to kiss her and take off her pain

    Sometimes she may have a temper tantrum and I need to be there for her

    One day she might get in trouble and I will be still there for her – to help, to talk, to listen

    One day she will become a young lady and my sleepless nights will come back again – this time not due to baby cry but worrying if she is alright

    One day she will have a boyfriend and I will start feeling scared and experiencing the “empty nest” syndrome. I will know she would soon leave home and will have a family on her own. I will feel lonely and also happy for her at the same time…

    One day I will be spending my Sunday evening with her little ones, reading them stories and feeling like heaven of being their granny. My daughter will be smiling at us, remembering the times she’s been sitting on my knees and holding my hand.

    Always I’ll be giving her all my love, expecting nothing in return. And she will always make my day feel like being Mother’s day!

    Whatever she does, I love her! And on Mother’s day I want to thank her for being my little girl and for making me the happiest mum in the world!

    • 12 March, 2010 / 5:33 pm

      “When a child is born, a mother is born” – I like that!

      Thanks for the inspiring comment x

  7. RachelM
    11 March, 2010 / 1:06 pm

    It might be a cliche to say it but Motherhood is a whole new chapter in life. In some ways for me, it feels like the beginning of the book, but perhaps that is because I can’t really remember the life of lie-ins and hours with the Sunday papers that I had before.
    Whichever way I look at it, and really whether I like it or not, my children (two girls age 3 and 1) have now defined who I am. Whenever I make a choice now it is with them at the forefront of my mind. I can’t just skip off for drinks with friends or a girly weekend without thinking of their needs first. Some days, when I’m dealing with tantrums and vomit and endless washing I wonder at what point life changed so dramatically and then I remember that it was all my choice. And that for me is the real kernel of motherhood; choice. We choose to parent our children in a particular way, we choose to nuture and cuddle them and ultimately we choose to be parents in the first place. Motherhood may have meant starting a new book but so far, it is the best one I’ve ever read.

    • 12 March, 2010 / 5:34 pm

      That’s a lovely way to look at it Rachel and you’re so right – it is about choice. We choose to be the best parents we can, in the way that works best for us.

  8. VickyH
    11 March, 2010 / 9:32 pm

    To me, motherhood simply means that I am complete. How corny does that sound?! Being a Mummy to my gorgeous son is who I am, it is what I do and I wouldn’t swap it for anything else in the world – not even a lifetime supply of tea and cake (and that really is saying something!!).

    • 12 March, 2010 / 5:35 pm

      Wow! Not even for tea and cake? Knowing how much you like tea and cake I am very impressed :-)

  9. kat pope
    14 March, 2010 / 12:12 am

    motherhood saved my life. i was running headlong towards death through booze before i got accidentally pregnant. so my son saved my life!

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