Another friend announces her pregnancy and tears well-up in my eyes. You see motherhood is a bunch of opinions before it actually happens to you. There are so many nuances spoken about time escaping and how much motherhood changes you. There are so many things I want to tell this friend, but the breath holds tight in my lungs. Motherhood is indescribable. The only words that I can form are that this will forever change you — in the greatest ways.
Throughout pregnancy, I nodded my head and smiled thinking, I’ve got this! How much could things change? I’ve babysat a ton. I totally have a grip on what it will be like. My life will continue on the same trajectory. Or at least this is what I thought up until the moment life came crashing down and my body was sliced open, bearing the most beautiful baby.
Two-plus years into this motherhood gig and if I wasn’t living in my body, I wouldn’t believe how different life is now.
Motherhood shattered my emotions. My heart is now filled with much more compassion and understanding. Tears come often when before I had tear ducts of steel. Who am I nowadays? My body is scarred from a surgery during pregnancy, C-section scar, and now there is a soft pillow cushioning my once strong, flat stomach. My back aches, and my posture is now slumped and tired. The physical changes are easy to point out, but the emotional changes are difficult to put into words. Finally, I understand what those stuttering mamas were doing their best to explain throughout my pregnancy. They were attempting to describe the magic around motherhood.
Motherhood is the hardest mountain I’ve ever climbed. The decisions are endless, and at a young age, children are so malleable. I don’t want to mess up. I want to do my best raising a gentleman and a strong adult. This job is hard work — challenging and exhausting, wrapped up with great responsibility. Even though motherhood is the hardest, it is without comparison second to none because with great responsibility comes great reward.
So dear friend, there is practical advice I can share, like our favorite sleep sack or pumping tips for when returning to work. (Just ask me, I’ll fill you in!) But I cannot even come close to touching the stars in describing the joy you are about to encounter. Just you wait. Motherhood is difficult to describe. Simply know there will be indescribable difficulties but overarching incomprehensible joy. You will find more love to give than you ever imagined was humanly possible.
If I were to attempt to illustrate what is coming, this is what I would like to say: There is nothing in this life that can duplicate the vast emotional expanse formed by motherhood. Extreme joy comes from seeing through a child’s fresh eyes in the world. I have learned so much from my 2-year-old without words. Simply through action, he has taught me to slow down and savor the simple and good life. Reminding me to smell the park flowers and to deliberately savor each bite of delicious food. Oh, and there is so, so much laughter. A child’s laughter has the power to light up the night sky — simply the best sound on the planet. On a hard day, remember that a little laughter can change the entire course, so get on the floor and belly laugh with your little.
I lived almost 29 years before having my son, yet I can hardly remember what it was like before him. Motherhood is life-altering in the best way as it stretches you beyond any confines. There is adventure and endless excuses to stay young forever. If motherhood were a cookie, these words only take one tiny bite out — because sometimes motherhood is simply indescribable.
There will be hard days, but the things people have told you are true. The days are long, but the years are short. Enjoy the time you have, they grow up so fast. So fuel your days with prayer and coffee, but in time you will see they’ll be powered with laughter and love. Congratulations friend, and welcome into the indescribable village of motherhood.
This post first appeared on Scary Mommy