I’m overcome today.
For some reason, this week my Facebook feed has been filled with the incredible joy and intense sorrow that motherhood brings.
One friend welcomed a healthy new baby into the world.
One friend gave birth prematurely and is still waiting to bring her child home.
One friend finally got the call they had been waiting for that a baby boy was waiting for them to make him their son through adoption.
One friend gave birth to a daughter and, after days of rollercoaster reports and emotions, finally had to say goodbye to her angel.
It doesn’t seem fair. It doesn’t seem fair that some women have pregnancies they don’t want and others don’t have pregnancies when they desperately long for a child. It doesn’t seem fair that some women miscarry and others go full term. It doesn’t seem fair that some women have healthy babies and get to take them home the next day while others wait for days, sometimes weeks and months, before they are able to tuck their little one into their own crib at night. It doesn’t seem fair that some women have a safe and smooth delivery and others experience complications and sometimes don’t live to see the precious child they carried. It doesn’t seem fair that some women are able to laugh and smile and hold their newborn baby and others only experience tears and grief because the child they longed for is lost.
It doesn’t seem fair.
As tears roll down my face today in sadness for the family who lost their baby girl, I can’t quite find words to describe my thoughts on motherhood. It is the greatest joy and the greatest sorrow. It is the highest privilege and the highest cost. It is the deepest love and the deepest grief. It is laughter. It is pain. It is blessing. It is loss. It is excitement. It is fear. It is LOVE.
Motherhood touches us in the deepest parts of who we are. It calls us to do what we cannot. It asks us to hold tight and to let go. It challenges us to trust and to be cautious.
It causes us to be completely and utterly vulnerable.
Motherhood may look different to each of us. It may be stretch marks and baby feet and midnight feedings. It may be doctor’s visits and unknowns and worry. It may be waiting and fundraising and waiting for “the call”. It may be the thrill of “it’s time” followed by the sorrow of “it’s over.” It may be too much money on negative pregnancy tests every month. It may be hugs and kisses and snuggles and hopes of a bright future.
Motherhood may look different to each of us, but I know this- motherhood is the best kind of hard.
It’s worth the struggle. It’s worth the heartache. It’s worth the waiting and the praying and the trusting. It’s even worth the pain of loss. Our children change us. They do something to us that can’t be undone. No matter how short or long their life is- inside and outside of the womb- every one of their lives has purpose and makes it’s mark on the heart of their mother. Circumstances may not be fair. Heartache may be long-lasting. But in the end, we are better because we are mothers.
Whoever you are today, whatever road you took to become a mother, and whatever journey you have faced living it out, know that motherhood doesn’t play fair. It won’t always make sense. It will be joy, and it will be sorrow. But know today that you are not alone. That we are in this together, mamas. You and me, we need each other to hold onto and walk with and survive. And you will come out stronger, braver and better.
My heart is overwhelmed today. Overwhelmed with gratitude for my three sweet blessings that I get to hold and tuck into bed tonight. Overwhelmed with sorrow for those who won’t get to do the same. And overwhelmed with resolve to let every second- Joy or Sorrow- make me into the woman that I can only become
because of motherhood.