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4 Women Share Their Motherhood Experience


It does take a lot to parent a child in ways that can be hard to explain. It's full of slogs and surprises. We asked four women to share what motherhood has been like for them this past year, starting with Aurore Michel of Landover, Md., who gave birth last December to her first child.


AURORE MICHEL: So being at home with my daughter during the pandemic was a blessing - was a blessing because I was able to have at least six weeks uninterrupted with her where I could hold her, play with her, give her a bath, you know, look at all these milestones - you know, her smile, her giggle. So being with her during the pandemic was great.

Motherhood is like climbing a mountain. You know, you have - you go up the mountain, and everything seems really, really good, and then you may slip a little bit. Like, yesterday, I went and I pumped five and a half ounces for work for a baby girl, so I could go to work today. And then I dropped it on the floor. That was my downhill moment yesterday. There are a lot of moments that are - that have the ups and the downs. A lot of moments.


EDWINA LUCERO: I think my experience with mothering during the pandemic has been pretty typical to a lot of working moms. My name is Edwina Lucero, and I live in Denver, Colo. It's really overwhelming, and I definitely felt like I've lost kind of a sense of myself. I don't have downtime. I don't have time away to do my own thing and to kind of be my own person. That's been difficult. It's been sort of like a reassessment of my identity and figuring out, like, what are things that I can incorporate into my life that can help me sort of feel like I'm reclaiming myself and not just 24/7 caring for this other person? It's, like, such a bittersweet thing.


FELICIA PERRY: I don't think society kind of recognizes all the input that women put into raising children. My full name is Felicia Perry, and I live in Riverdale, Ga. I have been helping out with my grandkids during the pandemic. I have been doing home schooling. I love being around them. They're funny. They have you laughing. They do stuff that - you know, they're a bundle of joy, literally.

I was 18 years old when I had my first child. I had plenty of help, thank God. I had my grandmother, my aunts, my mother, and I had a lot of female help. Being a mom the first time around, you're kind of learning. I think I do a little better job at being a grandmother than I may have done as being a mom because I think I got, like, a trial pack with my children and then got to do it again and kind of got to perfect it this time.


EMMA CABILES: My name is Emma Cabiles, and I live in Haiku, Hawaii.


CABILES: I appreciate my mom so much. I'm sorry. She passed away, so - I appreciate my mom just because of how much she did for us.


CABILES: And now that I'm a mother, I just see how much effort and time that takes and how much she did it without even looking like she was tired. She always seemed so present. I appreciate that because I know how it can be hard to be so effortless or look - oh, I'm just here for you all the time. And she was definitely that for us.

Motherhood is a special bond that you have with someone that no one can take away from you. The bond I feel towards my daughter - I know that, no matter what happens, she will always be the most important thing in my life.


GARCIA-NAVARRO: I talked with a lot of moms this past year, sharing concerns about what the pandemic has done to our families, to our kids' well-being, to their education. And there's one thing I've heard many times - that how, despite the circumstances, mothers did appreciate having more time with their kids, how some families really came together without the daily grind of competing schedules and activities, how they came to appreciate each other even more. And that's true for me, too. My daughter Cassie is dyslexic. And while I never, ever want to tutor second-grade math again, being at home with her remote learning taught me so much about the way she understands and sees the world. And it was a reminder that we not only teach our children, but they teach us every day if we have the time to see it.

(SOUNDBITE OF NO. 9'S "INSIDE OUTSIDE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.