Motherhood to Me

June 7, 2023

In my last blog post, I shared about how this was a crazy time of year and all the things are happening. Now school’s out and it’s a whole other story. I thought I would talk about what motherhood is for me. I shared recently about the season of life and motherhood I’m in. You can read about that here if you haven’t yet.

As of earlier this week, I’ve been a mom now for 9 years – almost 10 if you count pregnancy. This time 9 years ago, I was starting life as a parent with my three-day-old newborn son, with no idea what was ahead in my motherhood journey. If you had told me all that my future as a mom entailed, I would not have believed you.

People talk about the love that you have for your children when they are born. My heart doubled in size and the love that I experienced when my son was born, I could not have easily described back. The feeling of unconditional love for a little person that I just met and knowing that I would do anything for them. The moments of being overwhelmed when you try to figure out the new normal of caring for the newborn baby that has just been entrusted to you. That sweet smell of your baby.

The strain it can have on a relationship as you care for your baby or growing child and squeeze in one-on-one time with your partner. The moments of pure exhaustion when you haven’t had nearly enough sleep for an extended period, surviving on caffeine and sheer will. The moments of exhilarating joy when your baby reaches a new milestone. When you feel like your heart will explode when your baby first smiles or laughs. The excitement and a teeny bit of heartbreak you feel as your baby becomes mobile and interact more with the world. Weren’t they just born? Seeing more of their personality develop with the likes and dislikes as they try new foods and new things.

Potty training.😅 Your children grow up into independent human beings. The embarrassment and “walk of shame” you do when your child misbehaves or throw a fit in public. When they begin to care for themselves and need you less for physical things – dressing, getting their snacks, or washing in the bathtub, and more for emotional things – like support and advice. Moving on to preschool and elementary school as they build their own lives outside of you. Catching on to technology faster than you and teaching you things. Navigating issues with friends, school, or their general emotions. Watching your child grow into themselves and the gifts that God has given them.

The growth I have seen in myself over the last nine years is next level. To be brief, I have learned to stretch myself and be flexible as I’ve juggled taking care of all three of my children. There are some things I do my best to let go of (whether feelings or activities) because I know they will not serve myself or my family in the best way. Watching my children grow into themselves has inspired me to not only encourage them to be who they are but to be my most authentic self. Although it comes more naturally now, there were also times that I started to neglect my own care in those early years. It’s okay to put on the tv to take a shower or make time to eat something or schedule time for yourself (which is much easier now that they are older).

Motherhood is genuinely ALL the things. Rejoicing for them when they achieve their goals and heartbroken with them over their disappointments. My pre-mom self could not even fathom all the changes within me from three kids in the last nine years. My life is so much fuller than it was before. It’s beyond my wildest dreams. Even though it’s not always perfect by any means, I know this will continue with pre-teens, teenagers, and eventually adult children.