Updated: Mar 24
Dear mama-to-be, I know you are going through a lot of emotions. Excitement, fear, anxiety, joy, and maybe even grief. I know you are being flooded with advice and opinions. I know you are trying to imagine how life will be different once you welcome your baby into the world. I know you may already be mourning the life you currently have and the person you currently are. I just want you to know that motherhood is everything you dreamt of and nothing like you imagined.
Going through labor to bring your baby earthside will be one the hardest and most rewarding things you will do. You will think you have hit your limit and then in the next minute your baby will be in your arms. In that moment you will experience a relief and an overwhelming love like you have never felt before. But, that love also may take some time- and that is okay too.
Being released from the hospital will bring a whole new flood of emotions. Excitement to start your new journey, yet fear that you are actually being trusted to take this new human home. On the drive home you will be acutely aware of every pot hole, passing car, stop light, and bump in the road. Your instincts to protect will already be in full effect.
You will watch your body change with each passing day. Where a baby was once carried will now lie stretch marks- a road map of sorts to your motherhood journey. Your boobs will grow and shrink and grow and sag and you might even start to resent the body that so powerfully carried, birthed, and fed life. You might feel less attractive. You might look in the mirror and not recognize the face in the reflection. But, eventually you will find your strength again. The body that birthed your babies will now be the body that rocks babies to sleep, carries sleeping kids to their bedroom, runs and chases toddlers avoiding a diaper change. Your body will dance and jump and race. Your body will be a safe place; a place of comfort for little scraped elbows and bruised knees. Your body will be a safe haven from bad dreams and scary sounds. Your body will continue to nurture and care for your babies long after they leave the womb.
Your friendships and relationships will change. Becoming a mother will cause your community to change. Relationships will either evolve or fade. You may even feel isolated or lonely at times. One of the best things you can do is find your tribe. It takes a village to raise your babies, and there is nothing more fulfilling than raising your babies beside your friends.
Your day to day will look much different. Whether you are a stay at home mom, work from home mom, or work outside the home, your day will be filled with responsibilities for your family. Small things like folding laundry or doing the dishes might seem overwhelming. It is okay to say no to things that overwhelm you in order to be fully present with your family. Your job never really clocks out. You wake at all hours of the night when your name is called out in the dark. Sure there are diapers, feedings, teething babies, never ending preparation and cleaning of food, homework to check out and chores to accomplish. But, in the midst of all the to-dos your sense of purpose is found in your home… and they have your eyes and your husband's nose. Your motherhood matters. What you see so often will feel momentary. But in reality you are weaving a legacy that will long outlast the diaper changes and potty training stages.
There will be moments when you feel like you are in the trenches- all mothers feel it from time to time. It’s okay to admit that motherhood is exhausting. Motherhood can be both the hardest thing you have ever done as well as your favorite. It is okay to want to run away somewhere quiet without anyone yelling your name, but simultaneously want to run back because the silence feels abnormal. You will count down the minutes until naptime or bedtime but then sit on the couch looking at photos and videos of your baby and miss them. Time will simultaneously be going too slow and too fast.
You will be flooded with other people's opinions. From the minute you find out you are pregnant, people (usually with the best of intentions) will tell you what you should and should not do, what to name your baby, how you should birth your baby, feed your baby, and just about every other topic. Unsolicited advice will become a normal part of your life. Eventually you will build confidence and trust your own motherly instincts. You will be your child's biggest advocate, biggest cheerleader and biggest fan.
Welcome to the greatest journey in life mama.