Our daughter was born in June so I decided that I should get to count Mother’s Day the May before she was born, aka I was pregnant, as my first Mother’s day. Now less you think I am a brat, I want you to know that I was nine months pregnant and was unpacking our stuff by myself in a home that wasn’t finished being built, my husband was out of town pretty much constantly, and it was the dead of summer in Florida. I barely fit through our doorway. So I thought, heck yes, this is my first Mother’s Day because look at what I’ve done, I’ve baked this baby and sacrificed my body and comfort and I’m doing the hard part right now… oh yeah, let the Mother’s Day celebrations begin.
I actually said to my husband, “I’m doing the hard part.” How naive was I? I actually didn’t even fast-forward a couple of weeks to the labor or even, you know, raising a kid, or even considered the fact that I had a completely normal and smooth pregnancy. Just so naïve.
But I actually, at that very moment in time, believed that I WAS doing the hard part.
That was five years ago. It’s so hard to believe that I have been a mother for five years already, especially when it still feels like I have no idea what I’m doing most days. And it’s so hard to believe we have already flown through five years of our daughter’s life. So cliché but it really does go by so fast.
I will say looking back, I do have a new perspective on Mother’s Day; however one thing that hasn’t changed for me is how important it feels.
I know I truly felt pregnancy was doing the hard part. However, after five years and another baby later, those sleepless nights, dirty diapers, swaddling, shooshing, swinging, colic, tantrums (oh the tantrums!), potty training, disciplining, baby wearing, breastfeeding, laundry TONS of laundry, wiping tears – both theirs and my own; guilt, doubt and love … just so much love – I can truly say I am now living the hard part and the most brilliant, amazing and blessed part.
That truly is the crux of being a mother. It is a constant battle of contradictions, competing emotions, worries and desires that we balance every single day as we raise these tiny humans. Like desperately wanting time alone, but missing our kids when we actually get it. Or the life-transforming love we hold for our kids in our heart, right there along side the grief we have for the little bits of ourselves that we lost. Or the chaos that we want a moment’s peace from, yet crave in the quiet moments. It’s a beautiful mess, this motherhood thing.
This is why Mother’s Day feels so important. It is a celebration of all of us moms out there who are in the trenches doing the “hard part” and those moms who raised us, and the moms who raised them who have done the “hard part” and now look back, often times, wishing to be in the thick of it again for just a moment.
It is a celebration that is truly earned, and an honor and privilege to be part of the tribe of mothers.
So this Mother’s Day as you, hopefully sip coffee that was brought to you in bed, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on it all. On all of the parts of motherhood you’ve been through so far: the hard, joyful, painful, easy, lonely, supported, frustrating, liberating, confusing, life-defining, the amazing and the wonderful. I will be doing the same and raising my cup to all of us!
Cheers and Happy Mother’s Day!
Morgan Cutlip is a wife, mom to Effie and Roy, a Ph.D. in psychology, and life-long lover of all things relationships. She develops relationship education programs and resources with her father at Love Thinks and manages the blog at www.mylovethinks.com. She has appeared on the television show, “Marriage Uncensored.”