Friday, September 13, 2013

What Cliche?

Deep down inside, only once confessed and that was to my husband, I had this great fear that I would not love being a mom. I had wanted this so badly but now that it was so close I was unsure that maybe I overplayed how wonderful motherhood would be and overestimated how much love I could give. Maybe the mother's love thing was a cliche and I wouldn't bond with my baby when he was born. Not to mention, postpartum depression was a real thing and maybe a baby would push me off the edge. The closer my due date got the more uncertain and terrified I became. All I knew is that I did not feel this amazing connection with the baby growing inside of me and I did not enjoy being pregnant. I loved him sure but I also loved mint chocolate chip ice cream and beautiful Fall days. I was looking forward to him arriving but I also looked forward to holidays and weekends. I probably wasn't capable of this whole mother thing but now it was too late. There was no going back.

On the day my water broke the moment felt very unreal. As crazy as it sounds, I felt like I was on the outside watching this happen to someone else. Being admitted, nurses trying to prepare me, none of it felt like this was really happening and the uncertainty felt like a weight on my chest. And then the moment came when a little being wriggled his way into this big world and I held him, my son, for the very first time. It was in that moment that I realized that a mother's love, is in fact, very real. I felt overwhelmed with it and was in tears with him. This little baby was mine and I loved him, I really, really did.

Along with that overwhelming love came a sense of relief. I knew this baby and I would be okay, because God is good and knows what He is doing. Because somewhere, I had had that love all along. I had just been too consumed with my own fears to realize that every little kick I felt that made me smile, every feeling of peace at hearing his heartbeat and the joy at each ultrasound was a mother's love. The fear of losing him, the drive to eat right even when I really didn't want to and the pressure to prepare a safe haven in our home was a mother's love already put into motion.

After a few weeks of being home another wave of relief washed over me. My other secret fears, like being home all day and hating it and the fear of resenting having him because so many changes were required and he needed so much, weren't coming true either. In fact, the opposite was happening. I loved every moment spent with him. I've heard it said by other mothers and wondered if they exaggerated but it does happen. I spend hours staring at him, watching the little faces he makes. I love holding him and never want to share him with anyone even though I am with him all the time. And that mother's love I was so scared of not having actually seems to increase each day. It amazes me that there is a love so strong that it moves you to tears.

Don't get me wrong, it isn't easy. There have already been tears shed over feeling as though we made the wrong decision. It's exhausting, emotional and requires giving like I've never given before but it's totally worth it. Because this little stinker is all mine, he's my little blessing and he brightens my days. I still wonder if I'm capable of being a great mom, I still wonder if I am making the right decisions and I'm sure I always will. But thankfully I know the best parent of all, my Heavenly Father. I can only try my best and trust Him to help me with the rest. And I know He will because His strength and the love He places inside of us gives us the strength to be the mother we need to be. It gives us the courage to move mountains, the strength to give when we might not have anything left to give and the ability to find joy in the little moments when there might not be joy in the larger moments. And when that runs thin He renews and restores.

I'm nothing more than a naive rookie. I've been a mom for not quite four weeks but I already have learned that being a mom is hard work. Not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. I still have so very much to learn but I can already say that motherhood is one of the most rewarding "jobs" God has ever blessed me with and I'm so thankful He did. 

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