From a soon-to-be-mama

You are all seriousness with a heaping dose of want-to-be helpful. You share the hard things, the questions and anxiety and heartache.

You are a legion of mamas who kind heartedly offer advice and experience to this soon-to-be mama. And truly I am thankful. For your honesty, for your desire to help. I am thankful.

But in a way your stories dishearten me. You share about how hard labor is. You share your horror stories of bringing life into this world. You told me to register for formula because I will have difficulty breast feeding. You told me about your frustrating weeks of bed rest. You told me I will feel like I can’t make it, that my body will hurt, and that I’ll probably cry myself to sleep some nights because of sheer exhaustion. And you offer a knowing smile and tell me not to stress and to remember that no matter what I’m not a bad mama.

But you never told me how every moment of fear and frustration was worth it. You didn’t mention that you’d cry those tears of exhaustion all over again for just a moment of the joy your little one brings you. You forgot to mention that you’ve never, not once regretted all those late nights and early mornings with a sick baby, or that your heart swells with pride and joy and excitement when that innocent-babe-turned-strong-willed-child makes good choices and heeds your advice and instructions.

Why not? Why do you share the negative while not even acknowledging the positive? Why do you offer to be there for me when the going gets tough, but you don’t offer to celebrate with me in the little victories that are to come? I can’t help but wonder why advice is freely offered about the hard things, without a knowing smile of “you can’t begin to imagine the glorious joy you’re about to experience?”

I know it will be hard. All of it, from finishing this pregnancy with grace and some shred of dignity, to changing blow out diapers that would knock a train off its tracks, to begging for wisdom when my son disappoints us through his words and actions. It’s all hard.

But I also know there will be joys beyond measure. I know that sometimes my eyes will fill with tears because I am overwhelmed by the extraordinary gift that God has given me. I know that I will take pride in pictures and projects that he proudly hands me, even when I have no idea what I’m looking at. I know that my heart will very nearly burst with joy when he snuggles up next to me.

So can we tell those stories? Those happy ones? Can you share the joy and peace and glory of motherhood, and share quietly that you personally struggled with fill-in-the-blank, and that if I ever need to talk about that you’ll gladly lend an ear and walk beside me?

I’m not approaching motherhood with rose colored glasses. I’m in that funny place in life where I know that I don’t know what I’m in for. But that’s not limited to the hard things. I want you to tell me that I have no idea what I’m in for: the joys and blessings and downright thrill of bringing another human being into the world. Could you tell me about that?

from a soon to be mama

And in those moments when I feel overwhelmed, remembering that you said it was absolutely worth every painful, sleepless moment will be as helpful to me as remembering that you’ve been there too, and that you’re there for me if I need you.

Because I’m quite certain the joys of motherhood outweigh the heartache of motherhood. So shouldn’t we talk about those joys more than the difficulties?

Disclaimer: this post is not directed at any of my friends or family members specifically. After a lengthy conversation with a sweet friend of mine last week, we both realized that mamas are often quick to share all about the hard things of pregnancy, birth, breast feeding, and life with a newborn. And for that I am grateful. I love it when women get real and honest with each other about those things with which they’ve struggled. I love it when they offer to hold each other up and walk beside one another in the hard times. But not at the expense of exulting and reveling in the wonder and joys of new motherhood. So please hear my heart on this and know that I offer these thoughts not as an accusation, but with the tender heart of a soon-to-be-mama who sometimes gets overwhelmed with advice, opinions, and stories that leave me wondering how in the world I’m going to make it through the next several months. 
Amanda
Amanda
Amanda

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Comments

  1. Krystal Richardson says:

    These words right here! I am not pregnant nor have a baby (yet) but I saw my sister get absolutely stressed out with advice from well meaning mamas but what they didnt tell her was that she would be bursting with joy and loving every moment both good and bad because of the two blessings that were bestowed to her. ,y sister parallels you in many ways she struggled to have her first and it happened just like yours did (except hers was after a miscarriage after IVF). The second one came very soon after and was also a surprise after 8 years of being unsuccessful. Congratulations again Amanda, I have followed you and you will be a wonderful mum.

  2. Jessica says:

    I don’t have a baby and I am not married (yet). But this post made me kind of sad because I don’t like how it seems like a lot of moms talk about the hard things and they don’t see the joys like you have said. I LOVE babies and so I have been around a lot of babies and my cousin had twins in November and I got to spend some time with them and while it was great even just being there for a week was really hard and exhausting. But it was also really great, there is nothing like having a baby sleep on you or sleep on your chest, I LOVED it. Just writing about this is making me want to run back and squeeze them Anyway, Thank you for this post and for being honest about your feelings. I am SO excited for you and your hubby and I know that you will be a wonderful tender-hearted mama come April. Blessings Amanda! love you!

  3. Motherhood is a joy. It really really is. The sweetness of my two kids (4 years and 6 months) is next to none other.

    In the last 5 years, there has been a shift in the way mothers talk about motherhood. When Malone (age 4.5) was born, no one shared with me that the days would be hard. I was blindsided by motherhood and it left me with a pretty sweet case of PPD because my expectations didn’t meet my reality. And there was literally NO ONE talking about those hard days.

    I speak about the hard days from time to time because I want to make sure that other mother’s know that those feelings are normal. Things are hard. But they get better. And the joy of motherhood is so sweet.

    I think that what has happened is that a lot of people went through something similar. There are so many mothers that have gone before you that are thrilled you’re having a baby. I’m not a regular commentor, but in a lot of ways I feel very protective of you. I want you to have the best experience because you’ve waited so long for baby E.

    Yes, you well be sleepless from the 3:00 am nursing sessions. But you know what is awesome about getting up with the baby in the middle of the night? The honor of meeting the Lord there and keeping watch over your friends and family in the darkest hour before the dawn.

    Yes, labor is hard. It is painful. But the pain quickly fades when you see the face of your child. Ask for a stool softener ASAP. You’ll thank me later, trust me.

    Yes, nursing is hard at the beginning. And I was really thankful for the formula samples that my husband used “in case of emergency” while I was out getting a breath of fresh air for myself.

    There is no right way or wrong way to “do” motherhood. Trust the Lord and your instincts. You’ll be great.

    • Amanda says:

      I think it is SO important to tell about those hard times. Obviously I’ve done a fair share of that myself in writing about infertility. :) I’ve just noticed (at least for me) there has been an unhealthy balance of all the things that could go wrong, compared to how insanely excited and honored I still feel to be able to bring this precious life into the world. Finding that balance is hard – because there is so much value in sharing the struggles so others don’t feel alone, and because it is important not to misguide someone and let them think it’s all sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns. Such a unique time in life, isn’t it? And we all process it so differently.

      • I will tell you this. The most amazing and overwhelming thing about motherhood that changed me was I grew in the Lord in ways I could have never imagined possible.

        I remember weeping as I rocked my first born to sleep and crying out to God in gratitude because “He gave his only Son so that whomever believes in Him will have eternal life” took on an entirely new meaning once I became a parent.

        I think the most important thing you can do as you share this journey with your readers is to write authentically, which is something you already do. Sometimes motherhood IS HARD. But a lot of the time it is amazing. And it is okay to talk about both :)

  4. Carly says:

    Oh my friend, it is so hard but so empowering at the same time! Our birth experience wasn’t my ideal, our little one was breech….so it was a required c section. But it was totally God’s plan…..the surgery was quick and I had a very easy recovery. We did have feeding issues, but we made it through and they helped me to grow closer to my own sister who has two children when she helped me with them!

    I’m sure people want you to be prepared, but rest assured…….as hard and life changing as it is, it’s also fun / filled with love and joy!

  5. Oh Amanda, my sweet friend when a blessed babe in her belly, these words could not be more true! The amount of information, solicited and not, is overwhelming. I’ve been where you are. I’ve been in your shoes. But take heart, precious one, and know that you are NEVER alone. Remember that not every pregnancy or labor experience is the same. Thank God, too, because I actually ENJOYED Kamden’s birth! I finally got around to sharing his birth story ( http://wp.me/p2448I-18Q ) earlier this week, plus pictures our birth photographer took. It was an amazing experience, a beautiful experience, and one I’d do over and over again if it meant holding my precious babe for the first time. Take heart, too, and know that not every woman experiences pain while breastfeeding. While I’m exclusively pumping now, I’ve never once felt pain or even had to use lanolin cream while I nursed Kamden. I had to transition from breast to bottle with breast milk because Kamden is such a sleeper he’d fall asleep and not get satisfied during a feeding. When his feeding sessions started taking two hours or more, I decided to try the pump. It was then, also, that we learned he wasn’t getting as much as we thought while nursing. Now, with bottles of breast milk, we know exactly how much he eats and he’s growing like a champ! The intimate act of nursing my son is not lost in the convenience of pumping either. Just the other day, after I finished pumping but had not yet put my shirt back on, Kamden woke from his nap really fussy, maybe from a bad dream? I picked him up, held him close, skin to skin, and before I knew it, he had rooted and latched on to my breast. I sat down in my comfy recliner, Kamden comfort sucked, and went back to sleep for an hour. I ignored the nay-sayers, and the pile of laundry that needed to be folded, to cuddle with my boy. I have a feeling you will do the same! I certainly do not have all the answers, but I think my labor and breastfeeding experiences are positive and pleasant. I am an email or phone call away, sweet friend. Enjoy these last weeks as a mama-to-be and I pray Baby E’s entrance is a grand and sweet and easy one. Despite the long and sleepless nights you will encounter once or twice, that little boy’s toothless grins, heavy sighs of contentment, and wide-eyed gaze into yours will melt your heart and make you forget that you haven’t slept more than four hours in a month or forgot to brush your teeth this morning or used body wash instead of shampoo to rinse your hair. You’ll be just fine, Mommy, you are in God’s hands! Kamden and I send our love and big hugs. =)

    Nicole @ Three 31
    http://nicoleandkevin.wordpress.com/

  6. Mom says:

    This makes me kind of sad and also makes me glad there was no internet when I was having babies! Since I had no sisters and my bestest friend never had children, I had no one sharing such stories with me! My thoughts were that women all over the world had been having babies for thousands of years and I figured I could do it, too!

    I surely hope my stories about having babies have been uplifting – - – I think they have been. I remember sharing our story about you, with you when you were very young. I think the story just focused on the wonderfulness of it all!

    There needs to be a happy medium – - – somewhere between the idyllic, babies are brought by storks or found under cabbage leaves and Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, that was the worst experience of my life!

    Yep – - – all things in moderation – - –

    All things.

    Love you!

  7. becky says:

    Amanda, your story resonates with me even though I have never carried a pregnancy to term–we adopted three children, all as babies. And in my experience, many of those negative stories/warnings came from friends that seemed to feel obligated to tell me that it will not be as wonderful as my dreams are causing me to believe–like they had to give me a reality check so I wouldn’t be disappointed when my dreams were finally fulfilled after years of waiting. (They were wrong–it was, and still is, far more wonderful than I could have ever imagined!) I have also wished for more focus on the positive, on the joys and blessings of motherhood, rather than people wondering if we know what we’re getting ourselves in for and all the work and expense and trouble and…don’t tell me more, I know enough of that side already. I need to be told that the blessings far outweigh the challenges! Because they really do, and it is worth everything many times over again, and on this side of motherhood with my oldest child 13, I can still say that!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Becky

  8. Rachel L says:

    During my pregnancies I found that my Grandmother (and others of the grandmother persuasion!) were full of the stories of joys, whereas the mothers of teens were full of advice and the mothers of small children were more apt to give warnings. In my experience it was a great balance, and I loved seeing how each phase of life had it’s own perspective on motherhood.

  9. Fran says:

    Children are so worth everything you go through with them!! I thought birth was the easiest part of pregnancy. You would have laughed if you could have seen us give Esther her first bath. Two engineers are sent home with a how-to book and they take it very seriously. Dad reads one step at a time and I do my best to execute the instructions on a squirmy baby. Squirming is not mentioned in the book or shown in the pictures! We still laugh over that first bath.

    You know that I will be there to encourage both of you every step of the journey through parenthood. I will share your joys, your sorrows, your triumphs, your fears, your laughter, your tears. I can hardly wait to meet Grandbaby E!!

    It is just human nature to tell the stories of things that did not go right. Ask us about camping, we will probably not tell you about the 100′s of evenings where everything went right. We will tell you about the thunderstorm, and the evening we spent each leaning against a tent pole trying to keep the tent up, watching the neighbor’s gear blow by. Or about the morning it was so cold, we all went to the bathrooms to sit on a throne with our bowl of cereal because it was the only warm place in the campground.

  10. Lynne says:

    It’s a swinging pendulum, isn’t it? I’ve noticed both in my personal interactions and in reading a variety of blogs and forums that when the negative aspects of things aren’t mentioned, the cry always seems to be “why didn’t you tell me?” or, worse “I thought I was the only one that that felt this way, and I felt so alone.” “I thought I was a bad mother because I wasn’t happy all the time” etc…….I appreciate your call to present both the positives and the negatives of the experience of motherhood. You are very perceptive to realize that there will be days you will need to go to your mental “positive savings account” and withdraw some of those thoughts and words of encouragement to help you get through the day. So, I agree – bank ‘em up now! You can add this one if you like – motherhood is hard….and honestly, it doesn’t get any easier when they are older, just hard in a different way. My 26 and 24 year old can still exasperate me and bring me to despair/tears – but they also are the two best things I have ever “done” in my life, and bring me insane amounts of happiness and joy. All the sacrifices and not so nice times are worth it – it’s a crazy ride, parenthood is….but a mostly fun one!

  11. I love this post and completely agree. Perhaps I’ll write a blog post all about the most wonderful things about being a mom! I think sometimes we focus on being “real” and forget that the awesome, wonderful, fabulous things are real too. Labor is hard, to be sure, but the moment they hand you your little one on your chest (be it the moment you push him out, the moment he’s removed from you, or 24 hours later) you will forget all pain and your heart will explode with more love than you’ve ever experienced. And your heart will continue exploding for the rest of time. My little man just turned 2 and he is the best thing in the whole world. I ache to be with him when I am away. He’s so funny, smart, and makes my life so awesome. He tests my patience, but still my heart explodes with love today just like it did on the day he was born.

    - Yesterday at Target I was pushing him through the aisles and he grabbed my hand, rubbed it on his face, and tried to snuggle with my arm. So much love.
    - The other day I was blowing bubbles for him and I blew a really big one. He said, “Niiiice!” So appropriate and funny!
    - Watching him play with his daddy brings me more joy than I ever knew possible.

    Yes, it’s hard, but life is hard. The love explosions every day make it so worth it. The good FAR outweighs the bad.

  12. Nancy Smith says:

    Oh, you precious wondering child! Let me tell you about being a mother- it’s all those things and more- I’d gladly go through the toughest labor and delivery again just for that moment that the babe is in my arms fresh from the heart of God, to touch that wet strand of hair, to gaze into those eyes so new. I’d gladly experience the tough moments of breastfeeding, the off kilter supply and demand, the pain and the frustration just to have those precious eyes gaze into mine and have that finger hooked into my lip one more time. I’d gladly go through the 900th temper tantrum of toddlerhood just to have those chubby little arms around my neck and the whisper in my ear “love u mama”. I’d gladly spend those nights in prayer on my knees again for my teenager who is out in the big, wide world doing who knows what without my supervision. I’d gladly be the mean mama again if that meant the child for whose life I was entrusted was safe. I would gladly tell my kids again that as long as they were in my care, I was responsible for their behavior before God; that when they were adults and made poor choices they were accountable to God and could make decisions on their own behalf knowing they were the responsible party. (my kids were no angels)
    Parenting was harder than I’d bargained for and I know there are sleepless nights, heartbreaking moments, words flung that can’t be taken back. I know that there will be moments when you wonder what in the world you were thinking when you wanted a child. But I also know the glory that He allows us to experience what being a parent really means- to bring a new human into this world and gently but firmly guide them to independence from us to full dependence on Him at the point of the empty nest- knowing that you have done your best that your finest gift to the Lord is giving them back to Him to now make of them the fully functioning adult believer that you helped bring into this world and to equip them with the tools they will need to walk with Him eternally. Getting from the cradle to adulthood and beyond has many challenges and many heartbreaks, but oh the joy that is indescribable in those sacred moments that you hide in your heart to take out again and again during the hard times. Yes, they can break your heart over and over but they can bless your every moment, too. Listen to advice, but pray pray pray; find a mentor mom who can listen with the ears of experience and has wisdom to give words that help- we all need a sounding board and those wise women who’ve traveled the trail before us understand that everyone’s life and experience as a mother has much in common but is never the same as our own. My only practical advice: put your baby on a blanket on the floor- they can’t fall off the floor. lol

  13. This is so good, sweet friend. A friend of mine and I have talked about this recently, she is struggling to get pregnant and longing to be a mom. It hurts her heart when so many only talk about the negative. And I totally agree! As a new mama, I appreciate the people who were real and honest about the things that were tough, like breastfeeding, so I knew I wasn’t alone. But sometimes they do forget to tell you it’s worth it, instead they say it will be over soon. That part is true, it is only a season, but one I don’t want to wish away. Another new mom friend asked me if I think this eight month age is easier/better than the newborn stage that she is in. I told they all have their own challenges, but they each have their own joys! Joys that only last for that season before they grow oh so fast! Oh your heart will explode, and even in moments your frustrated you won’t even care with the love overflowing!

  14. Patricia says:

    Amanda I suspect the negative comments you’ve been receiving from well intentioned friends stem from all those moments they’ve had when they thought, ” If only someone had told me…” But do they REALLY wish that? Would knowing that they were going to actually get used to never feeling fully rested, being sore in all sorts of fun places. being peed, pooped and thrown up on really have helped them in ANY way? No, probably not. But somehow sharing the mommy “badges of honor” with a new mom validates what they’ve already been through. Will you have his tiny arms around your neck, wet kisses, seeing the world for the first time through his eyes, laughing for the sheer joy of him, feeling as though your heart may actually burst with love? Yes, absolutely! And like Mary, many of those things you will hide in your heart. Some will be SO precious you won’t be able to share them. Most of those just have to be experienced. By the way, you ARE definitely going to be overwhelmed! I’ve never even heard of parent that really knew what they were in for… that’s a BIG part of the fun! But go ahead and try to prepre yourself if you must… you will need to do some facial exercises to get ready for all the smiling, voice practice to get just the right inflection for all the “Ohhhhh’s” and “Ahhhh’s”, maybe some strength training for your camera finger (otherwise you might suffer a serious photographic injury)… I think you get the idea. Personally, I can hardly wait to see how you and David are going to grow with your little guy. *grin* He’s going to knock off rough edges y’all never even knew you had! What FUN!!

  15. Colleen says:

    So happy to see a post from you… I love your rawness, your openess and your heart. I love you… You are going to the BEST mommy!
    xoxo!

  16. I remember going through this when I was preparing for motherhood just over 7 months ago… There are those that want to just rub in your face how hard things are going to be… SO I feel ya girl. But let me tell you about my labor. I went into labor two weeks early when everyone had told me my girl would probably come late. I was at home with my husband and my water broke. I didn’t even realize it had broken and thought maybe my stomach was just upset or I wasn’t feeling well… Because it was two weeks early and she was “supposed” to be late. We finally decided to go to the hospital just in case after a couple of hours. Turns out I was 8cm dilated. I told the nurse when I got there, I’m not sure but I think I’m in labor. Later they laughed at me because I was definitely in labor. It happened so fast I didn’t have time for an epidural or anything. There wasn’t even time for my parents to make it to town! So I did the whole thing natural, only a shot of something in my IV to help with the pain. And it hurt. You know labor is going to hurt. Nobody can sugarcoat that. But honestly, it wasn’t that bad. Afterwards I was elated. I felt like a rock star. Like I could do anything! And I had a beautiful, healthy baby girl to show for it.
    Another positive of labor that you don’t often hear about is the love that you feel for your husband. Mine stood right there next to me, holding my hand the entire time. Even when they took the baby to look her over my mother in law went with her and he was right there worried that I was ok. Your love for him just grows exponentially in a short amount of time. Then you see him hold your child and it grows even more.
    Breastfeeding in the beginning for us was hard. If it’s hard for you get a lactation specialist to sit with you. Ask her to make sure you’re latching right. I wasn’t and nobody really ever looked, once they did and helped me it saved me a world of trouble and heartache and my daughter has been exclusively nursed since. But there was a time when we had to supplement with formula. Maybe if you get the right help in the beginning you won’t have to.
    Being a mommy is the most rewarding and fulfilling thing you will ever do. And you will love that baby boy more than you would ever have thought possible. You are going to rock mommyhood Amanda.

  17. Sara McNutt says:

    I love this exhortation; I, too, get so tired of all the negativity surrounding motherhood and parenting. I’m expecting our fourth right now and I can honestly say that “hard” is not how I remember the baby/toddler years. I had what I call “postpartum happiness.” I have so many vivid memories of sitting and nursing my second while watching my first play (they’re 18 months apart) and thinking to myself, “I honestly don’t think I could get any happier than I am at this moment.”
    Of course there are hard moments, but there is in EVERYTHING. Nothing is pure bliss all the time and that shouldn’t be our goal.
    I have pain breastfeeding for about 6 weeks, which is common, but once it passes it is honestly my very favorite thing. I love the intimacy, the closeness, the fact that nobody else shares that with my baby, the ease of it, all of it.
    I can’t wait for Baby #4 to get here. It’s wonderful, you’ll see. :)

  18. Labor? The most empowering, closest to God experience I have ever been privilege to.
    Nursing? Simply beautiful. And so are the gel-filled pads for when it hurts. =)
    Late nights? To cry together with your babe in the wee hours because you’re both just done truly is sweet.
    Watching my son grow up? Learning to pray? Saying the name ‘Jesus’ with a smile? Calling me ‘mommygirl’, and crying out for me in the night? Knowing I’m sustained on grace {and a little caffeine} alone? So, so many kinds of lovely. Mothering is a blessed mix of heartbreak and extraordinary joy and you will love and be consumed by (in a good way!) it.

  19. Yes, yes, yes! When I was pregnant, I remember hearing so much about how my husband and I needed to enjoy the time we had before kids, when the craziness would happen, but only one person told me “get ready, because this is the BEST thing in the world.” But I do think the trouble is that some people don’t talk about challenges. For example, most people did not tell me that breastfeeding would be hard. It would be “natural.” So when it WAS hard, I felt like the biggest loser. But we pushed through and it was worth those struggles! I think moms tend to think they’re the only ones struggling with an issue. Recently, a reader landed on my blog by searching for “is motherhood hard?” I wrote a blog post in response to her, and and absolutely told her the “it’s worth it” part. Because you’re right–I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

  20. Jessi says:

    I LOVED every word of this post. As a momma, one thing I learned very early on was don’t give advice unless asked.

    But also, I am so discouraged by the negativity surrounding birth stories and breastfeeding stories, etc. It’s like motherhood has become a competition at who has had it the hardest. But that’s ridiculous. Yeah birth is painful. It just is. Labor in general, is WORK. But why does it have to be written about and spoken about so negatively? Your labor, your birth story is all for a purpose. One that God has already determined. Yeah, there will be pain but that is one TINY part of it! You’ll get over the pain, immediately actually. But the experience, the joy, the amazement, the wonder, that will all stay with you! Oh how I WISH more mothers would see it from that perspective and tell about how wonderful it is.

    The same goes for breastfeeding. Funny thing about the formula. A friend of mine who was pregnant a couple months behind me asked while preparing, “did you have formula in the house just in case?” I thought, just in case what? It had never crossed my mind to get some because I was going to breastfeed, come hell or high water! Because I had been surrounded by mommas who all did and they were so darned encouraging about it! No one ever suggested to have formula on hand, nor would I ever recommend it. But again, breastfeeding is hard in the beginning, it just is. But you get over it and what remains in the most amazing, nurturing, intimate relationship you could ever know with your child. Let’s focus on that!

  21. Being a mother is as wonderful and beautiful as it is terrifyingly new! The joys far far outweigh the heartache :) . You’re going to do great!

  22. Julie Marie says:

    I loved this. The joy and laughter and silliness absolutely do outweigh the struggles. I am open about my struggles to some degree, particularly as my kids grow older and the specific struggles are harder to relate with other people. Everyone deserves deals with tears from exhaustion and blow out diapers, but not everyone deals with a child who says he is lonely. Or not everyone hears words like aspergers or adhd when talking to a professional. Those moments are hard and I have no one to talk to. But if you have seen my instagram photos or if we were personal Facebook friends (we should be, btw) you would laugh like the rest of my fb friends at my ‘kid’ stories. People tell me I should write a book of children’s quotes. Children to me are the makers of the abundant life. I tell them who would I laugh at if it weren’t for Jada? Who would do pretty dances for me if it weren’t for Leila? Who would tell me I’m the best mom in the world over and over again if it weren’t for Wesley? God must really love me to give me a Wesley, a Jada AND a Leila=) I must be super special. There are hard moments that go beyond diapers and breastfeeding and preschool. Those moments will never stop I’m realizing, but they will never come first. They are few and far between the moments of exhilaration and joy. You will love it, friend. Love you.

  23. KT says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I was 35 when I got married and jealously guarded a few honeymoon years with my husband, even though we were both older. The truth is I have watched my friends and family become mothers and I hear about the heartache more than the blessings. I know exactly how hard it can be. My husband and I are about to welcome our first daughter in 57 days. I am beyond blessed that we conceived so easily, have had a relatively healthy pregnancy and that we have support from friends and family (albeit much of it long distance). But the ugly truth is that I harbor fears that I won’t like being a mom, that it will be too hard for me to find any joy, that I, myself as I know me, will completely disppear when I take on this new role. My baby girl deserves better than that. I am clinging to the truth that the God who is giving her to me never gives us more than we can handle, never leaves us alone. And I too, would appreciate more stories about the amazing blessings of motherhood to feed my hope.

  24. Thanks for sharing, Amanda! You make an excellent point! It refocuses my own thoughts and feelings about my children. It seems that lots of moms wear their badges of motherhood martyrdom on their sleeves when in fact, we should be reveling in the gifts of our children and their sheer sweetness. I have three amazing girls, all with their own personalities and places in life. I love that my nine-year-old still wants hugs and to sit on my lap. I love that my seven-year-old wants to talk to me about absolutely every detail about everything. And I love that my four-year-old gets her fuzzy blankie and asks me to snuggle with her on the couch almost every day. Motherhood is awesome…all of it! Even on the most frustrating of days. Can’t wait for you to experience it! Hugs!

  25. Honestly, this was a great reminder but a bit of a rebuke for me. I think it is because motherhood was so life altering for me and I wasn’t looking for it that makes me want to warn women about what is coming. I love the up moments and the down moments. I have fully embraced what God has placed before me. I do thank you for the reminder to share the good things along with the bad ;-)

  26. I wonder too if sometimes people don’t share the joys because it comes off supposedly as bragging or having it all together? Does that make sense?

    • Lynne says:

      I think you may have something here…….no one wants to make someone else feel badly by saying that things are great for them, even though they currently suck for you…….at least, I hope not!

  27. Jelli says:

    Great point! You know, you’re right that mamas often do share the worst. In fact, I was so prepared for a terrible postpartum that I was amazed when it was smooth and I healed fast. You will never have such intimate moments with your child as when you’re nursing them in the wee hours of the night- just you and them and utter darkness. It is God’s little glimpse of heaven. Enjoy it!

  28. Rebekah says:

    I don’t know what it is but yes, everyone loves to share the negative. I have found that when you try to share the positive side of things or that I found birth empowering or that breastfeeding hasn’t been a living nightmare at all I’m viewed as bragging when I’m offering an alternative to the horror stories so many love to share! Being a mother is rewarding and wonderful but just like everything else in life that’s worth having, you work for it. You’re going to be an amazing mother, I’m so excited for you!

  29. Amanda says:

    I have missed a lot! I just suddenly realised I hadn’t checked in to see how you were doing for such a long time and I see this and it makes me sad! Thankfully (for me at least) the “knowing looks regarding all the negative aspects of parenting I received were balanced out completely by the fact that I knew nothing post-pregnancy could compare to the awful pregnancy I had. And even through that I felt the joy of knowing I was able to carry a baby to term, something we never knew if I could do. And I’m not saying it was easy – we had a really rough start to parenthood. But every single moment, from the time he was conceived, through the difficulties of the early days, and the period last year when we had virus after virus, EVERY SINGLE MOMENT was worth it!

    Becoming a mother opened up a whole new world for me. I had always loved children and had worked with them, but nothing could prepare me for the sheer joy of being a mother. Every little milestone was marked with a mixture of happiness and sorrow that we’d never experience that again (we knew we wouldn’t have any more). But that sorrow was a good thing because it meant I was truly loving every moment so much I didn’t want any of them to end. I’d go through it all again, if I had to, all the truly awful times because the truly amazing times outweigh it all. I look at my 2 year old son and I know that we have been blessed beyond measure to have him in our lives. His smile can break through even the darkest moments.

    “Snuggle cuddles” and “mwah” kisses blown down the phone are so generously given. New experiences are shared with us with awe and wonder – even the most mundane parts of our lives are a marvel to a young child! Hearing him learning to sing and explore music is adorable. Sitting curled up in bed reading book after book (despite being exhausted and wanting nothing more than to fall asleep) is the most precious thing in the world, especially when his little voice begs for just one more story!

    Yes, you are in for some really tough times… but you’ve been through worse!! The tough times ahead are worth every second because you are going to be a mama xx

  30. Monica says:

    I had trouble staying pregnant – but even with difficult pregnancies I would do it all over again 100 times over to hold my precious babies in my arms (I have two miracle boys). They are worth every minute of any discomfort I ever felt and they bring me so much joy! I just launched my first book – Baby Ready and its all about preparing and adapting to life with baby. If you’d like a FREE copy please send me a note on my contact me page: http://www.happyandblessedhome.com/contact-me. If you’d like to read more about the book: http://www.happyandblessedhome.com/baby-ready – some other bloggers pitched in some great freebies to go with the book. Just send me a note if you’re interested. I spent 200 + hours on the book b/c I truly wanted to make it helpful for expectant mommies – I think you’ll like it. Congratulations and my prayers for a safe and healthy delivery!

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