Being a mom is sacrifice. But it’s a sacrifice of great reward.
Being a mom is cold coffee and soggy cereal.
It’s falling into bed at night knowing you don’t have an ounce more to give, then suddenly finding superhuman mama strength when your teething baby begins to cry.
Being a mom is looking in the mirror on date night, trying to figure out how on earth to dress the woman staring back at you or do her hair. It’s wondering where that confident, fun wife went and worrying that your husband is wondering the same thing.
Being a mom is audiobooks and podcasts. Praying before bedtime and at 3 am. It’s a verse here, a verse there. It’s listening to worship music while driving to work, reading a devotional while waiting at the doctor’s office. It’s connecting with the Lord when you can, where you can and with whatever you can. It’s reminding yourself He’s still right here, even in this season.
Being a mom is going to the store—hat on, no makeup, still wearing your sweats from last night. But your baby? Full belly, clean diaper, happy heart, and fully clothed.
It is realizing it’s time to get back to the gym when your 8-month-old baby is winning the wrestling match on the diaper changing table.
Being a mom is surprising. But it’s surprisingly beautiful.
Being a mom is becoming besties with Google, Alexa, and curbside pickup for every grocery store in town.
It’s dropping your baby off at daycare so you can run some baby-free errands and having 18 mini panic attacks during that time thinking you’ve left your baby somewhere.
Being a mom is looking down at your exposed body as your little one suckles at your breast, surrounded by leftover rolls, sagging skin and stretch marks and feeling more beautiful than you have ever felt in your life.
It’s the thought that you would do just about anything to have a break. Like an actual break where you’re not researching, worrying, wondering, nurturing this tiny dependent baby. Then realizing that will never be possible apart from your untimely death (and that’s not a viable option), you resort to dropping your baby off for a few hours at daycare. Ten minutes later, in the Starbucks drive-through, your mind wanders to your baby and your heart physically aches, longing to kiss those little cheeks!
Being a mom is sometimes having emotions that sit just beneath the surface ready to explode at the slightest amount of pressure, and other times having emotions that are buried so deep that you wonder if you’ll ever feel again.
Being a mom is baby-proofing your home against every possible worst-case scenario only to find the rubber end that is typically attached to the door stop is now inside your child’s mouth.
Being a mom is never having a minute alone and yet somehow feeling incredibly lonely.
Being a mom is hard work. But it’s hardly futile work.
It is dirty bottles, dirty diapers, dirty laundry, and a dirty house.
It’s getting used to saying and hearing the words, “I don’t know,” “I need HELP,” “Your turn” and “I’m sorry.”
Being a mom is walking out your front door carrying your baby in the car seat on the crook of your arm, the diaper bag on your back. Your pumping bag, your lunch bag, and purse strung over your shoulders. Water bottle in one hand, coffee mug in the other. Keys in your mouth, determination in your eyes. Every. Single. Day.
Being a mom is confidently standing in front of a room full of professionals delivering a presentation at noon, and then helplessly pacing the floor of your nursery at midnight with an inconsolable baby in your arms, tears streaming down your cheeks with no clue what to do.
Being a mom is having the hum of your breast pump as the soundtrack accompanying your everyday life.
Being a mom is breathing in and breathing out. Then doing it again.
Being a mom is a joy. But it’s a joy unmatched.
Being a mom is ten of the most perfect little fingers cupping your cheeks.
Being a mom is silly voices, silly faces, and silly dances—anything to bring out the baby giggles that will cure any ail.
It is coming face to face with what unconditional wholehearted love feels like and realizing such love will cost you everything.
Being a mom is being enraptured by the realization that this baby has been given to YOU and at the same time, being grounded with the insufferable responsibility that this baby has been given to YOU.
It’s convincing yourself that “they” were right in saying you should nap when your baby naps, then spending the first 30 minutes of nap time going through baby pictures and videos on your phone.
Being a mom is first smiles, first giggles, first steps, first words.
Yes, being a mom is hard work, it’s surprising, it’s full of sacrifices and joy.
But it’s our legacy.
It’s you, and it’s me.
Each of us walking our own unique path, but each stepping in line shoulder to shoulder with the millions of women who have carried this title before us and the millions of women who will carry it after us. We are women—united and bound by a common, unspoken joy. It is knowing when we have reached the end of our rope, conquered the morning routine, can’t figure it out, or feel all alone that we can make eye contact in aisle 3 at the grocery store and give each other the all-knowing “you-got-this-momma” nod. This is the motherhood.
This is being a mom.
Featured image by Hill Smiley Photography
Jessica Schatzle is a new mom who is knee-deep in diapers, baby giggles, and the whole new world of motherhood. She is a working mom, spending her days as a physical therapist helping her patients find hope in their unforeseen stories. When she’s not working, you can find her outdoor adventuring with her husband and son or sitting in a coffee shop swapping stories with a friend. A story-teller at heart, she most enjoys writing everyday stories that offer true hope. Next time you’re vacationing in the Black Hills of South Dakota and need a little perspective shift, give her a shout, and maybe you can share a table and a story. Until then, you can keep up with her tales on her blog.