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On What it’s Really Like Being a Mom

{Etsy print by kmberggren}
{Etsy print by kmberggren}

I think I might have been a) in denial b) not paying attention c) intentionally left in the dark

on the day my friends, caregivers, teachers and family members talked about or kept silent about having children.

Because I don’t remember anyone telling me the following:

  1. I would age faster than the President of the United States.
  2. The pregnancy mask would stay and permanently turn me into a raccoon face.
  3. That Babies R’Us would suddenly do to me what women’s clothing and makeup stores used to do for me.
  4. I would suddenly turn into my mom.
  5. How painful childbirth is.
  6. How physically exhausting being a parent is.
  7. How your friendships will change.
  8. How everything you ever thought you knew about yourself, your partner and life would change. Forever.
  9. That trips anywhere (even to the restroom) would be a giant feat.
  10. That a good day would look like a relatively clean house, a relatively clean baby and a relatively clean me.

Those are all the bad things. Because seriously motherhood is a strange thing. Vomit-inducing and heart-wrenchingly painful, and an amazing blessing all wrapped up in one messy basket of crazy indescribable fun.

And the most surprising thing of all of this is that I’m writing it. I never thought I would be a parent. It was not my dream. But being the mother of my son is the best and the hardest thing that’s ever happened to me.

In honor of Mother’s Day, and this being my first one ever, I thought I’d share the good, bad and the ugly. Truthfully, the good parts were also surprising. I didn’t know, for example…

How much you could love another human being or that my love for him would trump my love for any furry friend I’ve ever owned. I didn’t know it was possible to go gaga googly eyes over a baby or that I could fall in love again (after my husband). I didn’t realize that life could get profoundly more meaningful or that I would want to be better, healthier and stronger for someone else. I didn’t know being a mother could be something to be proud of, that you earned it and that it would be harder than any other title I’d ever been given.

I never knew how much I could do with a pathetic amount of sleep. Being a mom pushes me past what I thought I was capable of physically and emotionally. And it’s continually inspired me personally and professionally.

I’m both grateful for the people who didn’t tell me about it so I could find out for myself and mad that I didn’t know about it sooner. But I’m writing this so you will know. Or relate. But hope you’ll spread the word. Motherhood is a lot more complicated, messy and insanely beautiful than we might think it is.

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