“I knew becoming a mother would be a life-changing experience, but I didn’t fully know all the different ways it would affect me. It has opened my heart and eyes to the world in a new way. When I look at Lillie, the love I feel is so powerful and overwhelming it feels as if my heart might burst.
I didn’t know that I would be excited for those late night feedings early on, because it meant that I got to be with her. Now that she sleeps through the night I miss her, and cherish those moments nursing her in the quiet. She is such a pure joy. I want to spend every minuted of every day with her. I want to hold her and breathe her in.
Through motherhood I feel like I’ve come into my own, and become the person I was meant to be. I feel more free, grounded, and comfortable in my skin that I ever have. It has given me a greater sense of confidence that I can do anything. But no matter what I do, or what new role or title I take on, the greatest will always be Lillie’s mom.”
~Catherine, mother to Lillie
“I was not certain if I would have the opportunity to become a mother, and to have Emily Grace has been the most amazing blessing. I have learned so much, not only about the unconditional love I have for our baby girl, but also appreciate new fears and worry for her as she grows in this world. As I learn how to care for her in my exhausted state, I get a glimpse of her smiling, giggling, playing quietly, eating, sleeping, and even crying, and know that it’s all worth it. She brings so much joy, laughter, and happiness to my life.
Before becoming a mother I had certain priorities, and while they might have been noble, now that she is here and I’m her mom those priorities are different. I want to show and teach her what a blessed life looks like. I know I am living one, and I thank God every day for her and the opportunity given to me to be her mother.”
~Allison, mother to Emily Grace
“I had no idea what to expect when Brody came crashing into my life. I spent a majority of my pregnancy collecting little tidbits of advice from other moms who had already lived to tell about the transformation – sleep when the baby sleeps, make sure you plan a date night with your husband, make sure you breastfeed, back is best,trust your instincts, etc…I filed all of that away honestly believing that I was prepared for what was about to happen. I was mistaken. I had no frame of reference for what motherhood was going to do to me – how it would change my perspective, my focus, my life. How one sweet little boy could make me feel super-hero strong and completely powerless all that the same time. Mommy love does that too you – I’ve since asked around and found my experience was not a unique one.
I am, by society’s standards an “older first time mom” – a blessing and a curse all that the same time. I have had years of watching my sister and closest friends have babies -witnessing, celebrating, and sharing the arrival of their little people. I thought I was being supportive simply by being happy for them, but the truth is, I had no idea what they really needed from me until I had Brody. These beautiful and amazing women all huddled around me in the first few weeks after I became a mom- almost instinctively knowing I was going to need them, without me even asking. They filled my fridge with yummy food when we got home from the hospital, responded to every text/phone call almost immediately when I was scared something was wrong, showed up at our door with a pumpkin spice latte unannounced to give me 30 minutes of unsolicited help, told me over and over again that I wasn’t crazy for being overwhelmed by how much I loved my son – they made me feel “normal”.
Shortly after Brody was born, my sister gave me one of those little signs that said “So, there’s this boy…he kind of stole my heart, he calls me Mom”…I still cry every time I see it because every time I look at my sweet boy – that is exactly how it feels. I never would have believed that the sensation of having your heart ripped out of your chest could possibly be a pleasant one, but in this case it is. …I love being Brody’s mom. I love that his arrival brought an awareness of the responsibility I have, not only to my family, but to the families of all of my beautiful friends – whether they have chosen the same path or not. Outside of the obvious, I think that is one of the most beautiful things that I have learned from this experience is that the motherhood lens makes everything more colorful, brighter, clearer, and softer than it ever was before, and we are all doing the best we can to make the world go round.“
~Krista, mother to Brody
Sometimes you make a plan, and things fall through. Sometimes Plans B, C, and D don’t work out so well either.
When these things happen, grab someone you love and embrace everything that is imperfectly perfect about this wild and crazy life.
The Motherhood Collective is a collaborative blog series I’m undertaking this year with some very special friends. Please click around the entire blog circle to see everyone’s posts this month, starting with the very talented Amy Smith of Sweet Caroline Photography.