Last night, after waking up for the third time to nurse my nearly five month old son, a thought dawned on me.
I was thinking about the millions of women who are up at night, just like me, nursing their babies back to sleep.
Of course, then my mind really got cranking, and I starting thinking about how seriously downright a-m-a-z-i-n-g mothers are. All mothers. Mothers in general. Every single one of you.
The countless sacrifices we make for our children and families!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the same life anymore. And not that I mind – I don’t! My life was going nowhere before I had kids. Becoming pregnant and giving birth at home enabled me to find my passion (you’re looking at it).
Day in and day out, our strength is tested.
Our stamina, determination, patience, understanding and kindness.
How easy would it be just to give up? Throw your hands up in the air and say, “Enough! I’m tired! Go away!”
But we don’t. We take a deep breath and regain composure (maybe we shout in a pillow down in the laundry room first).
We handle the situations.
We clean the mess. We dry the tears. We console the seemingly inconsolable, only to have little miss/mister drama queen/king happily bouncing around the room in the next moment as if nothing happened. ??
Motherhood doesn’t start when our baby is born.
It begins with that first realization – whatever you believe the first realization is – of your baby growing inside of you.
Hearing the heartbeat. The first kick. Feeling your body swell and stretch as a new life grows inside your own. Whether you plan on it or not, pregnancy is a spiritual experience.
Our body is home to that baby, like a garden is home to a seedling, and then we give birth. No matter where we give birth or how, birth is a transformative experience. Big time.
Then newborn baby is in your arms.
To smell and love, kiss and nurture. And just when the pain of childbirth starts to fade away as a dreamy part of your past, the harsh reality of diapers, laundry, countless feedings and the learning curve of figuring it all out hits you head on. It can be really overwhelming!
The thing is, we can do it all.
We may not do it all that well at first, but we learn fast!
Soon, we’re getting pretty good at this thing called mothering. Then everything changes. Baby doesn’t like to sleep for 2 hours at 10 o’clock sharp anymore. Constantly learning; always something new to adjust ourselves to.
See how amazing you are? That you can do all of this and not go crazy? You’re amazing!
Last night as I gently rocked front to back front to back, I was thinking of you.
I haven’t gotten a full night of sleep in over three years. And you know what made me feel more okay about that? Knowing there are so many of you who are just as sleep deprived as I am, craving that one night, some long time from now, when we can sleep soundly (we hope!)