I often have people ask me, “So, how does it feel to be a mom?” and I never really know how to answer that question. The first response that pops into my brain is usually: “busy but loving every minute of it!”. I have such a hard time trying to describe to someone how incredible it feels to have a baby but also how challenging it can be without talking their ear off. Motherhood is not an experience that can be described in one simple statement and it is not an experience that is the exact same for every woman. However, there are many aspects and moments in my motherhood journey so far that I believe other mommas might be able to relate to. So, for me, motherhood is:
Packing a diaper bag that is so well stocked, you could last a couple of weeks in the wilderness with it but forgetting your wallet and phone.
Worrying about your child having an identity crisis because you have at least 17 different nick names for them already.
Feeling your heart swell every single time your little one smiles that sweet toothless smile at you.
Turning on your favorite house-cleaning playlist only to realize it is comprised of songs that really aren’t appropriate for your 6-month-old daughter.
Thinking extensively about how amazing it is that you grew this tiny human inside of you.
Having arguments with your husband about the correct lyrics to a Moana song.
Realizing your own mother has been and probably always will be right about almost everything.
Learning to advocate for yourself and what you know is best for your child.
Being excited to put the baby down for the night but then missing them fiercely the instant they are out of your arms.
Covering up the original hardwood flooring in your home with soft carpet because you don’t want your baby learning to crawl and walk on hard floors.
Wondering if the rest of the world knows how freaking adorable your baby is.
Literally milking yourself like a cow so that your baby has breastmilk if you leave the house without them. Ahhh, the rhythmic sound of a breast pump.
Finding that the days may seem long, but the weeks fly by.
Realizing your daughter has your fiery Irish temper and your husband’s stubbornness and that – yikes- you have your work cut out for you.
Thinking that you are totally prepared for the whole parenting thing and then quickly realizing you’re not and nothing can prepare you but the real thing.
Connecting with other moms and making new friends, because there is nothing like bonding over diaper blowout horror stories.
Crying every time your baby outgrows a size of clothing or diapers.
Watching your husband fast asleep and wondering how he doesn’t wake to the baby’s cries the way you do.
Taking turns walking with the inconsolable baby up and down the hallway during the hours of 8-10 pm every night for a month.
Wanting nothing more than to slow time down.
Learning terms like 4-month sleep regression, let-down, and colostrum.
Calling your mom to ask questions like, “how do I know if the baby has a fever?” and “is it normal for the poop to be this color?”.
Pushing a little human out of your body and realizing in an instant that you would give and do anything for the baby you only met moments ago.
Realizing that you are suffering from PPD/A and being strong and brave enough to get help.
Googling things that a person should never have to google and then being pleasantly surprised to see that others have googled it as well.
Gaining a new best friend - someone to listen to you babble on as you fold the laundry, have dance parties with, and teach all of your favorite things to.
Looking into your child’s eyes and wondering if your heart might actually explode from the love you feel towards them.
Spending as much time at Target as humanly possible but having an even better excuse for it than before.
Making eye contact with another mom at the grocery store with a screaming baby and nodding because, solidarity sister!
Reminding yourself over and over that you are the adult and you are in charge but still questioning it to yourself.
Spending an extra 5 minutes in your already short shower to pick the hair off yourself that you have been shedding since 3 months post-partum.
Smelling like partially digested breastmilk all day and being totally fine with it.
Feeling both inadequate and frightened for what is to come.
Knowing that you are going to do your absolute best as a momma while loving your baby unconditionally and that will be enough.
Wearing adorable jewelry that not only compliments your outfit but gives your little one something to keep their hands busy.
Maybe I will print some of these out on business cards and give them out when people ask what its like to be a new mom! If I had to narrow it down to one sentence, I think it would be this: Motherhood is a
whirlwind of the purest joy, selflessness, transformation and beauty that has altered the way I look at myself and the world around me. What is motherhood to you