So, Now You’re a Mom

10:08 AM


“Ah, life’s forever changed now, so it has.” 

The lovely, aging midwife said knowingly as I looked up at her in helpless new mom stupor. 

“You’ll be filled with a compassion for everyone. A compassion you never knew you had. Soon you’ll be crying at commercials!” 

She laughed then continued in her soft Ulster brogue. 

“Motherhood. It changes you.” 

As I sit here, reminiscing on my pre-baby life, my nearly eight-month-old son has just become infatuated with the radiator dial (mental note to google “baby proofing radiators.”) Looking up from the baby’s exciting endeavors, my eyes take in our living room, which is now, as the Nirish would say, “an absolute tip.” How do those instagram parents keep their houses so tidy?

We’ve moved outside to a less hazard-filled spot. Clearly, writing will have to be done a bit at a time. Just like most things nowadays, I smile to myself. No one  can truly prepare you for motherhood, just like no one can prepare you for anything. I read a lot of articles and had a lot of friends with kids. And man, parenthood looked…bad! The stress of losing your independence and free time? Never being able to go to a movie or sleep in on a Saturday? Getting pooped and/or puked on literally everyday? No thankee! I was way more interested in researching travel options than onesies. 

Then along came Josiah. And I’ve never felt such delight. Watching him fumble around in some weird crab-like army crawl while squeaking in ecstatic joy is the best entertainment I could have asked for. You watched a great film last night? Well my kid learned to sit up. That’s right, sit up! Do you know how many muscles it takes to do that? He’s basically Thor. Ate at a lovely restaurant? My kid tasted a lemon for the first time. And yes, it was hilarious. There’s literally nothing I’d rather do than hang out with my little family and enjoy life with our son. 

The waves of love for this tiny person when he looks up and smiles in my face (or for that matter, screams in it)are indescribable. It’s a love that’s unconditional, overwhelming, all-encompassing, and humbling. I often stare at this little wonder and think,

 “So, that’s how much God loves me? More? Impossible!” 

And then he attempts to claw off my face like a tiny lobster with his newfound pincer grip. 

Sure, it’s hard, just like anything! But so is starting a new job, or moving to a new country. The newborn stage was especially rough. I distinctly remember calling my oh-so-far-off mother in America in a delirious haze, begging to know if it would always be like this? New parents also know the profound relief of discovering the baby white noise YouTube (32 million hits and counting!) And birth? The worst. Halfway through, I recalled all those women who said they’d do it all again for their child and thought they were either nearing sainthood or crazy. And then came Josiah. 

Nothing could have prepared me. No one could have warned me. My heart was surely as cold as ice until it was warmed by the love for this little boy. I may not have always deeply wanted children, but I wanted him. And yes, every step thus far has had its hard parts, but I’ve come to realize hard doesn’t necessarily mean bad. In fact, there’s so much that’s good about being a mom, all the hard stuff really doesn’t weigh up to the incomparable joy of this little boy. 

“She’s only eight months in.” More experienced parents may say. And yeah, you’re right. Perhaps, it’s a really sweet stage. But no matter if he’s 2, or 12, or 45, one thing won’t change: he’ll still be my kid and that love is unshakable. Everyone was right. You’ll never know how God feels about you until you have a kid. So, if you’re like me and are freaked out by all the bad press parenting gets, just remember, hard doesn’t mean bad. In fact, hard can mean the greatest thing you’ve ever done. 

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