May 8, 2016
My introduction to motherhood did not happen the way I expected it to. I woke up one night and realized that my water had broken, and felt intense contractions begin. I was just shy of 35 weeks pregnant. I had work meetings scheduled the next day, and a nursery to assemble. All I kept thinking to myself was, “It’s too soon.” I was so worried about my little one, and hoped that she would be okay. Needless to say, my birthing experience did not happen how I envisioned. Gratefully, my beautiful baby girl was born healthy, and was able to come home after a brief stint in the NICU. My capacity for love was forever amplified the day she was born.
This experience taught me a great lesson about motherhood – it’s complicated. You feel All. The. Feelings. Especially “mom guilt.” It’s demanding and wonderful, heartbreaking and triumphant. It’s one of the most difficult things I have ever done, and one of the most rewarding. There have been days where I’ve had to pump in a crappy workplace bathroom after being away from my kids all day, and days where I don’t brush my teeth (let alone put on a bra) until 5 p.m. Caring that much is all-encompassing, and I’m in awe of the strength that we women have, whether we’ve birthed our children, gone through the complicated (and oft times heartbreaking) rigors of the adoption process, or are still waiting to become mothers. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.
I recently stumbled across this quote, and felt it was very apt:
So today, let’s celebrate this optimism, and all of the different and amazing facets of motherhood. Here’s to being kinder to ourselves and to each other, as we navigate through the wonderful and wacky world that is raising children.
Happy Mother’s Day!
—Contributed by Lauren Soderberg
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