When I was a kid, all I wanted to be when I grew up was a mom … and a neonatologist because they dealt with little babies all day every day. I was THAT kid who was obsessed with all things babies and carried them everywhere with me. I went as far as to ask for a real baby stroller and carseat for Christmas because those little toy ones just wouldn’t do. So it wasn’t really a shock to me when I entered into motherhood pretty young – twenty years and three months old, in case you were curious. I was so excited to finally be a mom! This was my moment. This was what I had waited my whole life for and it was about to happen. To say those forty weeks felt like an eternity would be an understatement. My husband and I were just joking the other day that for our first baby, we were completely ready for her before the beginning of the third trimester.
I was ready for pumpkin patches in the fall, dressing her up like my baby doll, watching her figure out the world, and all those other cliché things you dream about.
Boy, was I in for a rude awakening when real life happened! I expected motherhood to be exhausting. Emotional. Hard. But I should have multiplied that by ten. Maybe a hundred on some days. My reality was a newborn who had an acid reflux episode, choked, went blue and limp. Reflux? Yeah, let’s take that up a level and diagnose it as GERD. It was exhaustion past what I ever thought possible (and worse with each new kid). It’s sleeping in bed with a sick tiny human who is stealing all your covers and breathing their germs all over you while you are also sick and taking care of them. It is worrying and double thinking yourself way more than you should. It’s thinking back on the words and ways you spoke to your child that day in frustration and wanting to cry because you feel so guilty for losing it for a minute.
The biggest thing I found wasn’t any of those moments though.
It is unconditional love. That sick baby I mentioned? Wait until they realize who is taking care of them and look up at you with the sweetest little face and say ‘thank you.’ The one you lost your cool on? Yeah, their feelings were hurt but they quickly accept your apology and tell you that you’re still their ‘best friend ever in the whole wide world.. The fear, over-worrying and double thinking? You will learn to trust your mom gut and you’ll find a community to reach out to when you need extra help. It’s still Easter Egg Hunts and Christmas mornings, game and movie nights and so many little, everyday memories too. One day these tiny humans will go out into the world and be successful adults that amaze you beyond your wildest dreams.
So motherhood may not have been what I was expecting. It may have been a time of adjusting, exhaustion, tears all around and maturing, but it was worth every single second and always will be … which is probably why I did it three more times.