“Motherhood is an experiment in how long your body can function without adequate sleep or nourishment and fueled only on adrenaline, caffeine, and baby smiles.” — Unknown
“Being a mom is the absolutely beeeeeest!” my friend squealed as she closed her eyes and covered her heart with her hands. She began describing all the wonderfulness of her new title of Momma. I had been married for less than a year, so babies were not yet in the forecast. I did however, have a puppy name Rowdee. I knew I would be able to relate to my friend, because babies…puppies…same thing. The only difference is with a puppy you are horribly inconvenienced because you can’t take a puppy into the grocery store with you.
“When she sleeps, she smiles and coos and it’s just the cutest thing ever!”
I totally get that. My puppy is adorable when he sleeps. Especially when he dreams of chasing a squirrel and his little legs start running. Ah, that’s the best.
“She’s not sleeping the best at night though. So I’ve been up with her a lot. But once I pick her up and see that sweet little face. It makes the tiredness worth it.”
I had to wake up at 4 in the morning last week to let Rowdee out to pee. His scratching at the back door totally interrupted my REM cycle. Man, I was exhausted the next day. I can totally relate.
“I’ll look at her and our eyes will connect. It’s just…indescribable!”
Rowdee looks at me when he wants a treat. Like, right in the eyes. So cute.
“She has these blowouts though. And the noises that come from that little girl! Wow! It’s kind of funny. We go through so much laundry every day.”
Yeah, Rowdee pooped in the floor the other day. Not funny though. I don’t get that one.
“I just stare at her and think, ‘Wow! I helped make that!’ I see so many of my features in her!”
Ok, that one’s all you.
When someone tried to explain motherhood to me before I was a mom, I smiled and nodded, thinking I understood. But really, I had absolutely no idea. I couldn’t possibly understand the depth of the word “momma” until I was actually there. I couldn’t comprehend such a fierce love until I held my child for the first time and my heart felt like it was going to melt right on to the floor.
As mommas, we don’t know what we’re capable of until we’ve been stretched and pressed and pulled in every direction imaginable. And still we emerge stronger, better, braver. Not just as mommas, but as women.
You’re doing it, friend. You are a good mom.
“Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.” –Tina Fey
You wake up in the middle of the night to rub hurting tummies and to kiss sick little foreheads. Tired aching feet, make their way into dark bedrooms, so you can play the role of knight in shining armor, scaring away bad dreams and shadow monsters. You stroke sweet heads and hum soft lullabies to calm scared hearts. You bounce, you rock, you walk and sway for miles upon miles, trying to get restless babies to rest. On a daily basis, you are faced with the dilemma, take a shower or sleep for 15 more minutes? The latter usually wins.
You do without, so they can have.
Momma, you are selfless.
“A mother is a person who, when seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.” — Tenneva Jordan
With the precision of a skilled surgeon, you carefully pull out splinters from tiny, kicking feet. When fun adventures take a turn, you bandage and kiss scraped knees. You hold wiggly arms and smile at crying faces during doctor’s appointments. With complete confidence, you reassure hurting little hearts it will be ok, even when you desperately need to be told that yourself. All of their aches, pains, bruises and scrapes hurt you more than them and sometimes it’s hard to stay strong. But you do it. Sometimes you feel like there is no strength left. But the moment they need it, you somehow always find a little more. Because you are their strength, also known as their momma.
Momma, you are strong.
“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” — Linda Wooten
Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. It is not weak or easy or safe. You see the darkness in the world. You see the dangers. You see the pain. And if you could bubble wrap your babies for the rest of their lives, you would. But you know you can’t. Your task is far more difficult than simply keeping them safe. You have to teach them to be brave. That will include them experiencing pain and heartbreak. Simply the idea of them hurting in any way feels like a dagger in your heart. But you know a pain free life isn’t the ultimate goal. It can’t be. There’s no such thing. The goal, as a momma, is to raise little lives that will be bold, courageous and brave. Voices that will yell into the darkness, “I am not afraid!”; hands that will grow strong because they are constantly helping the weaker; feet that will lead others to freedom; hearts that will help carry others’ burdens to Jesus.
And at the end of the day, despite total exhaustion washing over you, when you hear that tiny, raspy voice say, “I wuv you, momma”…it’s all worth it. And you’re ready to do it all over again tomorrow.
Momma, you are brave.
Yep, you’re doing it. You are a good mom.
“Making the decision to have a child — it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” — Elizabeth Stone