I couldn’t tell you how many times I heard it growing up. We’ve all heard it. That universal threat all mothers give at some point, “I can’t wait until you have children, then you’ll understand”. Usually exclaimed at the peak of their utter frustration. I think even as their children we can appreciate our unruliness. Though we would never admit it, we have an idea of how challenging parenthood could be through our own behavior. However, I would have never understood the extent of a mother’s love without experiencing it for myself.
About Mothers Love
When the time came that I did actually have a positive pregnancy test, I was less than patient for this magical understanding to come. I was beyond blessed with a very healthy pregnancy. No morning sickness, no complications. The swollen ankles and the Tennessee summer were my biggest challenges physically. But emotionally I was a wreck. Somehow through the pleasantness of my pregnancy I felt disconnected. Wasn’t I supposed to feel more different? During one particular break down I cried out, “I feel like I don’t even know him!” As tears rolled down my ankles, his father looked at me like I had gone completely insane. Wasn’t there supposed to be some kind of cosmic connection already?
I look back now and realize even before my son was born he was teaching me lessons. I realized the importance of not letting my own expectations of him get in the way of letting him be himself. While I was pregnant he was actually showing me exactly who he is. Today, I have the sweetest most easy going baby I could have ever been blessed with. I was just too wrapped up in how I felt. I was too worried that I was doing something wrong, even though everything was going so right.
The truth is, having a baby has not magically transformed me into some kind of super mom. It’s still very much an oversized cape I have to put on. I’m still just me. I don’t have all the answers or all the confidence, and I am hard on myself. While I do believe motherhood “comes naturally” nobody has ever promised that it would come overnight. They never mentioned through what means it would reveal itself.
Experiencing A Mother’s Love
What has enlightened me in these moments of struggle has been a quiet revelation, slowly unfolding during these past few months I’ve spent with my son. It is perhaps not so shocking, but for me important. What is impossible to understand until you have a child of your own, isn’t how difficult it can be. Surprisingly enough, what I’m really coming to understand, is just how strong my mother’s love for me really is. I was once my mother’s baby. She was once in my shoes. She must have looked at me in the same awe inspired way I look at my son.
I gained access to what a mother’s love is really like. For me it’s not about a feeling as much as a perspective. The months of pregnancy were full of wonderings about what the baby would be like. When my son finally arrived, I was more amazed by him than anyone I could ever imagine. I realize how much hope my mother had for me before my own opinions and insecurities of myself were ever formed, ever thought, or ever felt. At this time in my life I need that confidence more than ever. I’m truly amazed at how life circles around, how it’s all connected so beautifully.
The overwhelming confidence and love I have for my child, it doesn’t really have anything to do with who he is. Yes, his sweet spirit makes me fall in love with him more and more everyday. I’m talking about this encompassing love that develops because children are just so miraculous, my child is my miracle.
I believe unwavering hope is one of the major roles of a mother’s love from day one. We pioneer a self-esteem for our children before they even realize they have anything to question about themselves. My mother and I have had our trials, oh for sure. But I look back and realize even through the tears, through the anger ,through the disagreement, she has always been my biggest cheerleader.
Realizing Just How Much A Mother Loves
What we don’t realize growing up is just how much we need that confidence, the ridiculous love, and the never ending hope our parents have for us. At least I know my parents must have those things. Or they might have said “so long” to me a couple of times! I have no idea what struggles my son will face, what trouble he may get into, God forbid. I just know already, it doesn’t matter. The faith I have in him has been instilled in me before I ever met him. I know it will be there even when he lets me down.
Children will never always do and be everything you want. I realize already that there will probably be no greater hurt than having to bear the times when my child does not like me. The moments where I no longer feel as effortlessly close to him as I do now that he’s small enough to be wrapped up in my arms. We may understand that we can be difficult to manage as children ourselves. What I would not have understood fully before having my own child, is why the difficulties matter so much. It’s because as a mother, I already know the endless possibilities my son’s life holds.
My hope for myself as a mother, is that I will look back and remember the love I have had for him before I even knew him. How much I long to know him. And how whatever I learn about him will never affect my belief that he is destined to be great. If I can remember these simple things, hopefully my son will one day realize the strength of his mother’s love.
The pictures above are of my mother and I as a baby, and my mother and my baby boy. Below is one of my favorite inspirational Mothers Love Quotes.
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Richard Allen says
Beautifully written and very insightful on how it feels to become a mother.
As a mother, I have thought many times, “So this is how much my mom loves me!” As a child we love our parents without bounds, but it is effortless. As a parent loving itself is also effortless but there are so many actions and choices we must make to accompany our love. It is a whole new thing!