This post has been floating around in my head for some time now, unformed and a little unfinished. Honestly, it’s more than just a post. The idea is still in my head unformed and unfinished. Growing and changing as I experience life as a mom. I guess it kind of always will be as the best parts of life are always a moving target, but it helps me to write. Motherhood is more. Plain and simple. It has changed me more completely than I knew something could.
It’s more than I ever dreamed in every possible way. More emotion. More extremes than I’ve ever experienced. More big love. More tears in joy, frustration, anguish, middle of the night “what-do-we-dos.” More pain, more guilt, more questions, more self-doubt, more growth, more to learn. More desire to be better so that my daughter knows a better version of me than exists now. Nothing has motivated me like motherhood. Nothing has isolated me like motherhood or bonded me to other women like motherhood. How can those two statements simultaneously be true? But they are. Sometimes I both need space from you to be the mom you need and cannot bear to be away from you. I put you to bed only to look at your pictures and marvel over you.
Friends told me the first year of motherhood was hard. They were right. I didn’t know how right until the fog of it all lifted and I started to see a little more clearly. Around the 14 month mark I feel like somehow things shifted. It got easier with you which meant I somehow adjusted out of survival mode and realized I had some work to do on myself. By the grace of God, I feel like myself again in ways that are hard to explain. There is just something about that first year. If you’re there, give yourself some grace.
It’s the highest highs and the lowest lows. It’s looking around to see your toys littered around our once clean floors and realizing our house never felt more like home. It’s literally slamming my pillow on the floor in frustration at 2 am because you just will not go to sleep only to set off the glass break sensor on the alarm. Yes, that really happened. It’s putting my shirt on backwards without realizing it out of pure exhaustion after finally coming home from the NICU with you. It’s forgetting to brush my teeth for the first time in my life after swearing I’d never be “that mom.” It’s looking out our back window to see a play set complete with a slide and instantly welling up with tears because we are a family and dreams do come true. It’s cleaning up your favorite drawer over and over again so I can actually get something done while you empty it. It is seeing you light up every single time your dad walks through the door from work. It’s experiencing all your firsts right alongside you as if they are ours too and maybe buying silly stuffed animals to document it when the occasion calls. It’s the realization that the best part of my day is when I slow down and read your storybook Bible to you at night. We may screw everything else up, but I think we are getting that part right. It’s losing part of myself to gain an even bigger piece. It’s humbling and exhausting and most of all, beautiful.
It is the best gift I have ever been given. The best way I have been able to experience the love of my heavenly father. The surest evidence of His goodness. I still don’t come close to understanding it, but gosh. Nothing comes in your life with such changing force as motherhood. Ready or not. I’m learning to be pliable, slowly. Painfully at times. And I am so glad, because nothing has ever felt so important. Motherhood is more than I ever dreamed.