“Today I went to a baby shower.
Baby showers are beautiful and this one was amazing.
I sat with a bunch of mothers commenting how beautiful a bump is, how precious a newborn is, and lighthearted jokes about the days of sleeping being numbered.
But behind the little laughs and ‘awww’s’ of opening up gifts of tiny shoes, baby bottles and little onesies was the tired and toughness and realness of motherhood. Every mother there had their own heavy story to tell, had their own bags under their eyes packed with sleeplessness and exhaustion. But all they could say or write in the card is ‘you’re going to experience the greatest love you’ve ever known…’ They were all much too polite to say, ‘and it’ll be the hardest love you’ll ever know.’
I wanted to say it. I wanted to say, this love is hard.
This love will make you feel the most incredible, happy things, but it’ll also make you feel the saddest and darkest things. This love will have you feeling more lonely than you ever felt. This love will make you text your partner every detail of your life because you haven’t had anyone talk to for a few days. This love will make you fight with him like you’ve never before. This love can feel like you’re living on repeat. Every day, doing the same thing, and feeling like you’ve gotten nothing done.
This love will have you singing songs from The Wiggles because you’ve heard those songs on repeat, and have two little eyes watch you when you pee… for at least 8 years. This love will make you feel touched out, make you question your ability, your self worth and your identity… and your sanity. This love will keep you up all night, from 8 minutes to 8 weeks to 8 months to 18 years, because they’ll cry, and you’ll worry, because you’ll cry because you’re worried. This love will have you eat every word you ever said when you said ‘I’ll never…’
I wanted to say, this love is hard.
You’ll visit the ER more than you ever have, even when you probably don’t need to. You’ll find yourself running water in the shower, humming in a low tone, swaying from side to side because it worked once. You’ll have to teach this little love how to sleep, how to feed, and both of that will hurt.
I wanted to say that you’ll have it all figured out and then as soon as you do, everything changes again.
I wanted to say, this love is hard, but I didn’t.
Because one day, her baby will smile, one day her baby will sleep the night, one day she can turn the shower on to actually have one, one day it won’t hurt to feed and she won’t care so much how she feeds, as she won’t care what anyone thinks. One day she won’t have to text for conversation because she will find a friend she can vent to that’ll understand, even one she can vent about her partner to. One day she’ll find a new normal way to love her partner and a new normal to have moments together. She’ll learn to trust herself, her ability and she will find a new identity that means she can still be herself, and still be one helluva mother.
One day she’ll know it’s hard, it’s tough, and she too will have the sunken eyes, but she’ll know that things always get better. They do. I promise they do.
One day her little baby will grow up and say, ‘I love you.’ One day it’ll say, ‘I need you mum, thank you for being there for me.’
And she’ll know, this love, it’s hard, but it’s worth every single second.”
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