I don’t remember how old I was when I knew all I wanted was to be a mom. I’d say I was like 6 maybe. It’s been a very long time. As I got older, I ached when I saw babies. I was the girl always hovering to hold the baby, but too painfully shy to just ask. When I found out I was finally going to have one of my own, I was numb. I didn’t feel excited about it for a long time. I heard the heartbeat on the ultrasound and it calmed my fears, but I still wasn’t excited. It’s hard to explain because I think my anxiety over her wellbeing overtook the joy of waiting for her. When she started finally kicking (which took a lot longer to feel than it does for most women because I have an inverted uterus), I felt the excitement start to build. And then, after I had her, I didn’t really comprehend the whole being a mother thing until she was three days old. I barely remember day one of her life. I was so sick and drugged because of her crazy delivery. On day 4, I was sick of being in the hospital and tired of not being able to really spend time bonding with my baby. So, I got her out of her bed myself (which I wasn’t supposed to do) and laid down with her cradled in one of my arms and we napped together. The hospital obviously wasn’t a fan of co-sleeping and Josh was unhappy, but my heart was finally full. Here was this tiny perfect little girl, and she was mine. I finally got to be a mama. I finally got to hold a baby and not have to feel awkward. She was all mine to love and kiss and hold and sing to. You know how the Grinchs heart grows three sizes in one day? Yeah, that’s motherhood.
Three years later, I luckily had a different birthing experience, and I got to snuggle my baby right after she was born. With Matilda, I feel like the moments after we were rolled into recover and I offered her my finger as a pacifier and she greedily took it was our special moment. It came more naturally since I wasn’t such a mess. And you worry, at least I did, that your heart that’s already grown three sizes with the first kid, and just bursts with love for her, won’t have anymore room to grow and love for the new one. Well, the heart is very elasticy. Cause it can just keep growing.
Now, I’m sitting here with my kids running around being loud and distracting. Motherhood is messy. It’s hard. It’s painful. It makes you want you pull your hair out or run away and never some back. It also is the greatest thing in the whole wide world.
Is it what I thought it would be?
Is it way harder than expected?
Is it better than I could have ever imagined?
Being a mom is putting yourself last and being ok with that.
It’s not enough sleep, but not enough time to play and snuggle.
It’s snot smeared on your work shirt that you don’t discover til you’re already at your desk.
It’s finding jelly smeared on the couch by sitting on it.
It’s water splashed out of the tub onto the carpet and dog and your clothes.
It’s body slams onto the bed and the belly laughs that follow.
It’s sharing your cell phone in the middle of checking your Instagram feed even though you really don’t want to.
It’s watching the same shows and movies over and over again and then singing the songs to yourself at work cause you can’t get them out of your head.
It’s running late and not being able to find that damn left shoe.
It’s little footsteps on the linoleum at 7:20 on a Saturday morning that you ignore til you hear a little voice on your side of the bed say, “I’m awake, mommy.”
It’s having a child wedge between you with a cell phone so you can try and get a few more minutes of sleep yet still answering “mhmm” and “shhh” when she keeps talking and finally getting up to go make her the pancakes she won’t stop talking about.
It’s stinker smiles when she sees your car pull in at the babysitters.
It’s shopping for myself and coming home with only stuff for them.
It’s smelling baby toes just to get a little voice to yell, “no, mah toes.”
It’s grumpy morning faces followed by sleepy snuggles on your shoulder.
It’s tip toeing in to check on them once they’re asleep because you miss them even though they were driving you crazy when you put them to bed.
It’s making silly face and sounds that you would normally be embarrassed by but you’ll do anything to make them smile.
It’s the poorly painted or drawn art that you cherish because to you it’s beautiful and you proudly display them.
It’s every single day. It’s the little joys, the little bumps in the road, the big battles, the little victories. Being a mom, to me, means loving these little people so fiercely that it hurts sometimes. It’s wanting to watch them learn and grow and soar and fearing the day they’ll leave.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful women out there. To the grandmas and mothers, the godmothers and furmoms, those longing for a baby and those missing an angel baby. All of us feel the love that only a mother’s heart is capable holding.
Thank you to Jericho Lionheart and Bellini Santino for being my first babies.
And to Ellabelle Louise and Matilda Gayle for making me a mom. You’ll never know just how much I love you until you hold your babies of your own, but know that’s it’s a lot. Everything I do is for you. I love you, my crazy demon children.