With Mother’s Day around the corner, I’ve been doing some reflecting on what it really means to be a mother.
I’ve been on the recipient end of Mother’s Day for three years now. The first year, I was newly pregnant with my first baby and beaming with excitement and anticipation, not knowing what it would truly mean to hold the title, “mom”. I remember celebrating with my husband at brunch and talking about what we thought it was going to be like having a little one running around “this time next year”. We were bright-eyed, still selfish and probably a little nervous. The second year celebrating Mother’s Day, I would classify myself as a “new mom” with a 6 month old daughter – my first true Mother’s Day because I then knew what it was like to hold this title. I knew what it was like to carry a baby for 9 months and then give birth to that baby and love that baby unconditionally. And I knew what sacrifice truly meant – giving up sleep, personal hygiene and maybe even a little bit of sanity, to care and nurture this tiny human. Now, here I am on my third Mother’s Day, with a daughter who is now almost 18 months old (seriously, where did my baby go?) and a new little bundle of joy ready to make his appearance, come October.
As I reflect back on the past year and a half and what it has truly meant for me to be “Mom”, I decided that being a mom means being all in. Just stop and think about the weight of these two words for a second: ALL. IN. There’s not much else in life you can say that about. You’re not all in with your career – even the most dedicated employees take a sick day or a vacation day and can mentally unplug. You’re not all in with your healthy eating and exercise routine – guaranteed you take a cheat day to eat a California burrito or you skip the gym on Sunday mornings so you can sleep in. But being a mom means committing and encompassing this role 100% of the time – even when you’re away from your child, you never “unplug” from being a mother. I don’t care if you work every day, work part-time, are a stay-at-home mom or work-at-home mom – you are Mom. And you’re all in.
You’re all in from the moment you see the plus sign on a pregnancy test. You are carrying a baby and it’s time to start eating healthy, giving up certain indulgences (like glasses of wine, raw fish and unpasteurized cheese).
You’re all in when it’s time for your baby to make her appearance and you go through the most intense experience of your life: labor.
You’re all in when your newborn baby wakes up every three hours and you rock her back to sleep each time.
You’re all in when you feed your baby milk, purees, solid foods – making sure to provide the best nutrition for your baby all day, every day.
You’re all in when you read and play with your baby – teaching her new skills and watching her grow.
You’re all in when making decisions for your baby. You will research topics until you’re blue in the face, discuss in length with your pediatrician, take a quick survey with your mom friends and then decide what is right for your baby. You provide the care your baby needs, always, because she depends on you and you know what’s right for her.
And as your baby grows and goes through new developments and life stages, and as you add to your family with new babies, you’ll continue to be all in, forever. Why? Because you’re Mom.
Happy early Mother’s Day to all of the beautiful mother’s out there! And give yourself a pat on the back, because you’re amazing all day, every day! xo