Sixteen-and-a-half very short months ago, I became a mother. Before I found out I was expecting and during my pregnancy, everyone always told me what it would be like. They warned me of the tears and the heartache; of the long nights and the early mornings.
They talked about the exhausting newborn days, the frustrating toddler years, and what it would be like to have teenagers around (The verdict? Not good). However, nobody filled me in quite like my mother, and after becoming one myself, I’ve been reflecting on the things she never told me—and couldn’t have told me—until I experienced motherhood myself.
1. Motherhood will make you laugh as much as you cry—and vice-versa.
When your child gets hurt, you usually wind up crying as much as they do…and oftentimes, more. But when they do something silly? Well, there’s nothing quite like laughing along with those big-bellied baby giggles.
2. There’s no fear like the fear you fear you experience when you have a child.
This occurs from the moment you were conceived, and it never really goes away. With every step, every experience, and certainly every stumble, she wanted to reach out to you and make sure you were okay. Of all the things she has and loves, you have been her greatest gift, and she would never want to lose you.
3. Every time you cried, she cried too.
It may not have always been visible, but with every skinned knee or broken heart, she internalized your tears and felt the pain you felt. Nothing broke her heart like seeing you hurting.
4. She carried you for your whole life—not just nine months.
For nine months, you were carried in her womb, but it didn’t stop there. You were carried as a newborn when she rocked you to sleep, as a toddler when you were tired of walking, as a child when you fell asleep on the couch, and for the rest of your life when you needed support.
5. You were—and always will be—first in her life.
The love a mother feels for her child is like nothing else, and there is no one else she would rather have by her side than you.
6. She was tired.
After long, sleepless night and especially difficult days, she was so tired—often too tired to feel up to movie nights, bath time, and early mornings, but she did it anyway. No matter how exhausted she was, she was never too tired to be your mother.
7. She was terrified for you to grow up.
With every passing stage of life, she grew anxious and afraid for the next. She was worried about all that there was to learn, but mostly, she wanted you to be her little baby forever.
8. She also couldn’t wait for you to grow up.
She couldn’t wait for newborn nights to develop into toddler snuggles on the couch, and for t-ball games and getting ready for middle and high school dances. She couldn’t wait to watch you grow.
9. She knows she wasn’t the perfect mother.
Though she often wishes she could have been, she knows this wouldn’t have been possible. She always saw her biggest faults, her mistakes, and the lessons she forgot to teach you. She hopes, however, that you’ll focus on all her wonderful attributes, the things she got right, and the amazing lessons she taught you that changed your life.
10. She would do it again and again, all for you.
She would go through agonizing labor and delivery, stay up for sleepless nights to settle you from your nightmares, and hold your hand while you faced your fears. In fact, there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for you, because being your mother has been her greatest job and the best part of her life.
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