..."you’ll have a baby. An amazing little being who will blow your mind and expand your heart and make you think things you never thought and remember things you believed you forgot and heal things you imagined would never heal and forgive people you’ve begrudged for too long and understand things you didn’t understand before you fell madly in love with a tiny tyrant who doesn’t give a crap whether you need to pee. You will sing again if you stopped singing. You will dance again if you stopped dancing. You will crawl around on the floor and play chase and tickle and peek-a-boo. You’ll make towers of teetering blocks and snakes and rabbits with clay.” - Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things
Last mother's day I was 22 weeks pregnant with Claire. My mother-in-law had just fallen and was coming out of neurosurgery. My husband was grieving. My belief that I would raise a perfect child was still solid. I was capable then. Now I am humble. Motherhood - the foxhole trenches of it, has brought me to my knees.
I think it comes easily for some women - in fact, I've seen that be the case firsthand. That instant selflessness. That hunger, that need for our children to have everything their hearts desire. But for us mortals, becoming a mom is like having a mirror held up to our faces, wherein we look through the glass, and deep into our weaknesses. I did not know I had so much anger before I became a mother. I did not know I had such a lack of patience. But I also did not know I had so much love.
What Cheryl says above is true. While becoming a mother has been extremely difficult for me, I have also found that I experience more joy in my day to day than I did before I had Claire. I laugh a lot more. I sing and I dance much more. I prioritize my time differently, because time away from her has to be worth it - and most often, it is not.
I'm a different person because I am a mom. Maybe not a more beautiful or impressive individual, but a more empathetic, more forgiving, more intuitive individual. I think I like myself more now. I no longer mourn the loss of my freedom or the person I was, because I'm beginning to feel comfortable with myself - confident. I'm not a Saint and I'm not an angel, but I am brave and willing and Claire at least, thinks I am funny.
I had Claire because I wanted someone to love. I just didn't realize how important her love would be to me. I love that tiny human, and I love being a mom.
Happy Mother's Day to all you mothers, however and whomever you are mothering.