Even though my Mother’s Day started and ended with cleaning up puke with my bare hands, I daresay it was one of the loveliest, sweetest, most special days for me and my little family. If you had asked the pre-kids me if that was even possible, I would have said, “NO WAY”.
But it is.
First things first, I have these two beautiful baby faces to gaze into all day. And Benjamin’s cute face, of course. And Schnitzel’s cute, furry dog face. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I adore these three (and the dog!) so hard that sometimes it seems that nothing else in the world matters.
I remember on my first Mother’s Day (with a kid outside of my belly) that I write about how having a baby had changed me. It transformed me. It made me a better “me”. More understanding, more thoughtful, more gentle, more patient, more present, more organized. After that, I kind of thought the transformation was complete. The shift from pre-kids “me” to post-kids “me” was made.
But now, on my first Mother’s Day with two sweet babies outside of my belly, I can honestly say I have grown into myself in a way I didn’t expect, even three short years ago.
Motherhood has seeped into every nook and cranny of my heart and blown up like a balloon until I thought I might explode from the power of it. I have felt the unmistakable bliss of true, unconditional love. Twice. I have felt the overwhelming (yet futile) motherly urge to protect my boys from unavoidable sadness and the familiar pain of unkind words. I have felt the turn of the sharp knife of guilt in my belly, making me doubt the tough decisions that I have made as a parent. I have felt the impenetrable bubble of my family’s laughter while sitting around our dining room table, laughing until we’ve forgotten which private jokes we were even laughing about in the first place. I have spoken words in what feels like a secret language with my boys, knowing that they know what I mean to say even when I can’t find the words to say it out loud. I have felt the firmness of their little heads under my chin as I cuddle and rock and sway and hold, long after they thought they needed me to. I have locked eyes with my partner, my husband, above the boys’ heads, acknowledging the perfection that we have created and how lucky we are to be able to bask in it every day.
Motherhood has continued to change me every day since that very first Mother’s Day.
It has given me the confidence to trust my instincts. To listen to my heart. To NOT listen to those who are not worth listening to. To know that I’m raising my boys to be kind and generous and to give really good hugs. To know that I’m trying my hardest to support them and help them grow while respecting their individuality.
Being a mother has made me grow into the person I always wanted to be, even when I didn’t even know it yet.
The journey is far from over. And maybe Mother’s Day will be my personal, yearly marker to take stock of how far we’ve come, as a family. How far I’ve come, as a mother. And to look ahead, to the future. To all of the changes yet to come. To all of the joys my family has yet to experience. To the sadness and the pain that we wish we could be spared, but alas, we cannot. It’s all ahead of us. And we’ll move forward as a unit, my three boys and I. And I know that we will continue to change. To grow. To be better.
Every year, I hope to be more “me” than the year before. And I hope the same for my boys.