What do you wish someone had told you before you had kids?
All the planning in the world cannot prepare you for becoming a mother. Even if you received too much advice from other moms while you were pregnant, you only realize this fact after you give birth—not a moment prior.
You will take pictures and videos—lots of them. From hearing the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of your baby’s heartbeat to grasping ultrasound pics in hand to your husband’s photo capture of you with a tear streamed face holding your precious baby in your arms for the first time to waving good-bye at the bus stop while your stomach lurches to your daughter going to her first middle school dance to talking about the birds and bees to waking up one day and your son is grown-up, you will capture every important moment with a snapshot and/or video clip—and then some.
Real parenting is not your friends’ Facebook shares. Facebook is not the real world. Seeing highlights of your friends’ exaggerated posts, whether it’s viewing pictures of their little ones who are reading novels by the age of 3, potty trained by age 2 using the M&M’s method (it does work sometimes), or playing concertos at age 4, isn’t necessarily reality—even though the photos may be cute. Reality is: little ones will become preteens, next teens, and then they will go off to live their own lives. Your heart may feel like breaking but you will be proud—so proud. Welcome to the real world and celebrate every moment.
You will always be a mother. This reality will never change no matter how large your son’s shoes are or how your daughter towers over you in heels or if your kids become chefs, police officers, teachers, or parents themselves or if they adorn their bodies with tattoos or piercings or if they grow their hair out and join rock bands—whatever. After the umbilical cord is cut, you are forever mom. If you are lucky, you will become grandmom at some point. Love will never be in short supply.
You won’t ever be the same—never ever. From the moment you find out that you are carrying a life inside you, the ground will careen under you, you may see stars, and you will free fall into a love that no life alert call could rescue you from. You wouldn’t want to be rescued. You fall hard and thank God every day for it.
You are a mother. Imperfect at best yet filled with love so consuming that its presence is like breathing. You wouldn’t have it any other way.
To my mom, I know now–and I appreciate everything you are to me. You are the best. To my beautiful children, you will always be mine. I adore you.