With Mother’s Day being tomorrow, I felt compelled to write about the life altering, personality changing, ever-teaching, extraordinary experience it is to be a mother. We as a society celebrate Mother’s Day by thanking our caregivers, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, or special women in our lives who have made a difference or have shaped us in one way or another. I’m taking a bit of a different approach today, feeling immense gratitude toward my two sons and celebrating the many gifts and wisdom they bring to me daily as their mom.
Before diving into the wonder of momming, I want to first say that I realize there are many women out there who have tried, craved, and hoped for children, but whose bodies had other plans. While motherhood ended up not being their path biologically, something tells me their nurturing ways and calling to be a caregiver will lead them to that in one way or another, even if not in the way they had anticipated. In my experience, I’ve found the universe has ways of bringing what we crave into existence, even if not in the way we exactly envisioned. In the end, no matter how it manifests in our lives, it’s part of each of our unique human experience.
Some women are born nurturing, motherly, caring, loving, and then some. We all know women like this, they are all the things it means to be a mother. When I had my first son, impostor syndrome crept in for a little while. I wondered, like many other first-time moms do, if I was going to be capable of giving this tiny human everything I had hoped to give him. I made a promise to myself that I would do everything in my power to try to be the best mom for him and my future children. Both the exhilaration and terror of this new responsibility felt overwhelming. I consider the amount of gray hair that sprouted in that first year of motherhood to be my body’s way of validating all that excitement and stress , almost like silver exclamation marks that erupted from my brain and out through my scalp.
The first year with my baby boy was filled with snuggles, coos, a new-found kind of love I’d never known, an overwhelming feeling of wanting to protect, co-sleeping, breast-feeding, diaper changes, and ten months of sleeplessness. It was a jumbled mess of zombified work days met with gleeful kisses at home. Juggling a rare breastfeeding condition called Dysphoric Milk…