A mother can wear as many hats as she chooses to. It is a matter of choice. And if one chooses to really be a mother, then her hands will always be busy. Every phase of development of a child requires a mother to use different skills and knowledge. Be it one child or six, mothering is a full-time job. It is the area of focus that could differ. For example, older children require less attention for basic needs like bathing or feeding them but need to be taught responsibility, while younger ones need to be put to bed, assisted in the toilet, and taught to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
There are, however, mothers in our midst who definitely would be more burdened the more children they have -- mothers with special-needs children, mothers with physical disabilities, and single mothers for instance. These are mothers I take my hat off to.
An article I read titled “The Sacred Responsibility of Mothers” by Forever Families says: “Scholars define mothering many ways, but most include the idea that nurturing children is the central task. Nurturing includes meeting children's physical demands, such as food, clothing, and protection. And it includes loving, cherishing, educating, and training them.
Because children are so completely dependent when they're first born, this work is ‘wholly child-centered, emotionally involving, and time-consuming’. One of the most important objectives of all this work is to raise children to become upstanding, responsible members of their community.”
It also went on to tell of an article in the Wall Street Journal that described the multi-dimensional role of a mother as "the most creative job in the world" requiring knowledge in many areas, including “taste, fashion, decorating, recreation, education, transportation, psychology, romance, cuisine, designing, literature, medicine, handicraft, art, horticulture, economics, government, community relations, paediatrics, geriatrics, entertainment, maintenance, purchasing, direct mail, law, accounting, religion, energy and management.”
That is indeed a long list. So in my mind, if you are a mother, be it to one child or six, you have a fulltime job of nurturing. Honore de Balzac, a nineteenth century French novelist once said, “A mother who is really a mother is never free.”