Being a mom is wonderful. It’s the most beautiful part of my life. It has completed me in words I cannot express. It’s a blessing that I get every day…to be a mom. My children are little pieces of me and big pieces of them. They are miracles from God, and they are mine.
Whether pink or blue, you prepare for these little ones. You imagine what they’ll look like and one day what they’ll sound like (not the screaming part). You’ll enjoy pregnancy, or maybe you won’t. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy your first one a little too much and by trimester three you’ll be eating an ice cream cone a day! But either way, the first time you hear your child’s heartbeat or feel that first kick, it changes you. In some ways, it’s a reality check…this is really happening…you’re having a baby. You’ll plan, you’ll read, you’ll nest and you will do everything you can to prepare for your little one, except nothing can really prepare you. You truly don’t understand the love your heart can feel until you hold your baby for the first time.
But what they don’t tell you is how difficult it is. Not just the labor, which if you’re a mom reading this, whoa, the labor. In an instance, you’re a parent. You have to figure out how to take care of this tiny human with a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants mentality (something a type A person like me cannot do easily if at all!). You also have to co-parent. And that is no easy task. If you thought your marriage was tested your first year (we did not live together prior to marriage so ours definitely was!), then times that by 100, and that’s your first year as parents. Your marriage is different. You’re a family now and that inevitably changes things. You’re trying to manage your new roles separately and together. As a new mom, you might feel a little resentful for how much your life changes versus your spouse. You will feel a lot of things. Your emotions may get a little out of whack for a while. You might get postpartum immediately (like I did), later on or not at all. As a couple, you’ll fumble through the first year. You’ll argue. You’ll question your decisions. You’ll struggle. But you’ll get through it together. And by the time you’re ready for a second child (or not), now you’ll know what to expect.
No one can prepare you for breastfeeding. It will either be easy or difficult. Mine was difficult. I cried. My daughter cried. I never made enough milk. I had a ton of mom guilt so I didn’t want to give it up but I had to. I hated it. It gave me so much anxiety and I felt like a failure because it wasn’t working. No one can prepare you for all the failures you’ll feel. And they hurt. They hurt deep. Because the expectations of mothers are insane. They are flat out unattainable. Breastfeed until your child is one, throw the perfect first birthday party, always look put together, get the best family photos, perfectly balance work being a mom and wife, figure out your stance of vaccinations, food and a million other decisions you have to make on a daily basis and of course, don’t screw any of them up, keep up with social media and posting how ‘amazing’ your life is and that’s just the beginning. Then as the kids get older you get to deal with school drama, homework, bullying, sports and extracurricular activities, your child’s clear independence from you, who your kids friends are, will they have cell phones and social media accounts and another slew of decisions you don’t know how to make because again, no one can prepare you for them.
Motherhood is not easy. It’s tested me in ways I never thought possible. It’s challenged me, questioned me, frustrated me, enraged me, on some days defeated me and on most days, taken all of me. But it also has encouraged me, bettered me, enlightened me, strengthened me and shown me what unconditional love really is. And that’s something no one can prepare you for either. That’s the joy of motherhood. There will be ups and there will be downs. There will be little joys and big disappointments. There will tears, lots and lots of tears (kids and you!). But there will be so much love. And that love is what will fuel you. It’s what makes you a compassionate, protective mama bear. That love will never stop. It will never end. And that is the blessing of motherhood no one can prepare you for. A love like no other. The love only given as a mother.