My First Mother’s Day

8 May

I want to write some poignant piece about my experience of motherhood thus far, but really, I can’t help but feel it’s been said before. The writers, storytellers, and mommy bloggers before me have told of the the love so grand that it feels like you’ve been punched in the chest, the challenges so great that you wonder how you’ll overcome them, and the fact that it’s all worth it in the end. My story isn’t overly unique, I’m a mother of a small baby; there are millions of women alongside me doing this today, billions who’ve done it before, and theoretically infinitely more who will do it after me.

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Bean on the day she was born

Even though my story isn’t unique I still think Mother’s Day is a worthwhile day to pause and reflect on the last 4 months. I want to say “everything is different,” but that’s not quite true. I’m still a wife, still a social worker, still a daughter and friend. I’m still a runner and a crafter. I’m still funny (I think), and light hearted, while maintaining a healthy dose of anxiety and perpetual worry.

But I’m also tired. I’m spread thin. Trying to find balance. I’m the center of this tiny person’s universe. The level to which she needs me is amazing and overwhelming. But the level to which she loves me is even more amazing and overwhelming. Seeing her smile breaks my heart in the best way possible, it breaks it so it can grow larger and have even more capacity for love (thank you for so eloquently making that metaphor Sylvie).

There are the sacrifices you expect – like the lack of sleep. Then there are the ones you don’t expect, like needing to spend at least 3 and a half hours per day hooked up to the breast pump. You figure the baby will get sick once she does to daycare, but don’t necessarily realize it means that you and your husband likely will as well. I didn’t expect that I’d have to give up dairy and soy so that I’d be able to keep feeding her. And I certainly didn’t expect that I’d pee my pants trying to get to her.

But then there’s the smiles. The full face, bright eyed, gummy smiles. The “you make everything right in my world” smiles. Her tiny toes, her little baby belly, her elfish nose and ears. Her laughs and her coos. The way she snuggles up against me and buries her head in my shoulder. It’s nothing short of magic. She has me bewitched, entranced, and captivated.

There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for this little Bean. She is my world. And I’m smitten.

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Bean and I at 3:00 AM this morning

So I sign off with a Happy Mother’s Day, to all of the mothers, to all those who’ve been mothered, and to all those who need a little bit of extra love today – I’m sending some your way!

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