What it Means to be a Mother

“I am proud of many things in life, but nothing beats being a mother.”

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Almost one year ago, my life changed forever.  I can remember not quite feeling like myself and beginning to wonder what was going on with myself and my body.  It can be a strange and scary time when you start to believe that the changes you’ve been experiencing are due to pregnancy, especially when you were not expecting it.  I was in Orlando on a business trip when all of these thoughts and anxieties were rushing through my head.  Without being able to take the suspense much longer, I had to find out for sure what was happening with my body.  I can remember exactly what I was doing when I went into the bathroom of my hotel room to pee on an $18 stick.  I kept thinking to myself, “This is ridiculous, I know I’m not..” when all of a sudden, I looked down and a second vertical pink line appeared parallel to the control line.  My heart dropped. It was confirmed, I was pregnant; and so my journey as a mother had begun.

Pregnancy is a special journey within itself; one that I am quickly forgetting about.  In hindsight, I wish I had enjoyed my pregnancy more and not spent most of it wishing for it to be over.  Of course, every pregnant woman looks forward to the day they can finally hold their child and feel their little feet and hands that have been beating up their insides for the past 9 months; but I should have cherished the special time my daughter and I had together that we will never have again.  After nine long months sharing the same resources and growing and developing together, full of anticipation and ups and downs, I finally became a mother after a 12 hour labor, on a Thursday in August, at 2:23 in the afternoon.

There was never a single moment when I didn’t have my daughter as my first priority; even though the downs I experienced were very, very deep down. One morning, I was sitting with my 5 week old on my second story balcony. It was a new day after a long and dark night.  I picked up my little baby, turned her to face me, and that’s when it happened.  She looked up at me with her big blue eyes, eyelashes dancing in the sun, and her mouth did something I  hadn’t seen before; it opened into the biggest smile.  I will never forget the feeling that came over me in that instant; to have this tiny life I had created and nurtured and loved since that night in my Orlando hotel room, was showing me her feelings and her happiness despite my depression, despite my thoughts that I was such a bad mother.  She was showing me love.

This is what being a mother means to me.  It means an endless bond of pure love between my child and I.  It means that no matter what dark nights we go through together, the sun will rise again and we will smile.  It means reminding one another how special we are, even if we do this unconsciously.  It means trying to protect my daughter from all of the darkness in the world and within myself.  It means a constant reciprocal exchange of the deepest love in its purest form.

Since that day, I have sought out help for my post partum depression, an after effect of birth that is not highly discussed but should be taken seriously.  My daughter is almost three months old now, and is smiling and talking to me everyday and we couldn’t be happier together in our little world.

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I wanted to ask some important mothers in my life what being a mother meant to them, and I loved reading what they had to say:

“It’s forever having a part of you existing in another body. It’s providing basic needs to sustain all life — physical, mental and spiritual. It’s being there to pick up pieces. It’s being there to remind them how special they are when they forget. It’s teaching boundaries. It’s teaching kindness matters. It’s teaching right from wrong. It’s teaching how to care and nurture self — because you won’t always be there. It’s eventually making yourself obsolete.(if you do it right)” — My Mother

I love being a mom because everyday I get to wake up and look at this little smiling face that loves me no matter how much I may mess up. I may not be the perfect mom, the laundry and the house may not always be clean but the little face that gives me the biggest smile every morning makes me know I’m the best mom I can be for him. I love our snuggles and knowing that the dishes can wait because one day he won’t want to snuggle anymore. Being a mom has made me want to spend all my extra money on my little one so he can be happy, which now makes me happy. I’m a whole new person ever since I became a mom and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” — A close friend

“To me, being a mother is a calling with an eternal nature. To participate in bringing a new soul into the world is the greatest gift and also the greatest challenge. There are moments when it is overwhelming . This child you will love always. I am my happiest when my children are happy. When a child is troubled there is unease in my soul too. When they are little, you can fix things for them but when they grow up it’s no longer in my hands. That’s hard. Being a mother is to pray every day for your child’s safety and well-being an d to hope for a life of love, happiness and every good thing for them .” –My (soon-to-be) Mother in Law

Check out this amazing little video from my woman crush at Modern Vintage Life.

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