I recently told a friend something that felt hard to say out loud. “I thought I’d be a better mom.” I stated it casually, but the words felt heavy and tears threatened at the corners of my eyes.
See, I thought I was ready. I felt prepared. I did all the things. I considered every bite of food that went in my body. I took the classes. I read the books. I washed the precious, small onesies in baby detergent and I talked to my sweet baby bump every night on the couch.
But then it happened. I really had a baby. And the mom that I envisioned was a far cry from the person inhabiting my body.
This Mom was terrified. She cried, a lot. She worried more than what she could have conceived.
I cuddled my very small baby and loved him with the fiercest love while simultaneously feeling my heart break over everything out of my control. Out of all the things I had prepared for, the one thing I didn’t understand was how big the feelings are.
Simply put: A baby grows your heart and shrinks your world. And no book will ever come close to preparing you for that.
For all the new mamas and mamas to be: do those things. Prepare yourself physically. Make that nursery beautiful. Buy the sweet outfits.
But know: nothing can prepare you for the long days of being someone’s everything. The way your heart will burst when they cuddle into your neck. And the sweet smell of their fuzzy head. The way you will collapse onto the couch after bedtime – physically and mentally drained. But then find yourself watching videos of them for 15 minutes, just because you miss them so much.
There is no way to describe the wonder that is becoming a Mom. It will bring you the highest of highs and possibly the lowest of lows. And on those low days, when the tears threaten to spill over and you think, “I thought I’d be better a better mom…” just remember this: you are their mom. And to them, that IS better.