Author: Becky Sizelove
"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." - Rajneesh
As I enter Target and get myself a coffee and my first substantial meal of the day, inspiration hits me. I realize I have truly entered a different realm of being as a Mom. Suddenly, I notice every fellow Mom or Dad around me and we give each other a reassuring nod. I think to myself, “wow there’s so many new babies around right now,” as though there wasn’t already a million parents in Target that I didn’t notice before I had my baby. It’s like when you get a red car and suddenly every car on the road is red. In my early twenties I was known to say that I was afraid of babies and when someone announced they were pregnant, I’d click “unfollow” so I didn’t have to see every update about what their kid had for breakfast (totally love those posts now). Once I was married I sometimes joked that I’d just get twenty dogs and travel the world, rather than have children. I then decided I wanted kids but just wasn’t ready yet. I felt too selfish still. And suddenly one day I woke up and felt like my life wouldn’t be complete without becoming a mom, and a mom I became.
While pregnant I kept trying to imagine what it would be like to give birth and have an infant - plenty of people told me what it would be like but their words never could have explained it. Being a parent can’t be described, you don’t know until you’re in it. Each woman has their own unique birth story and I think that's so beautiful - our babies enter the world in different ways and we raise them in different ways. Sure, we all have similarities but each family has their own unique dynamic. The moment Sawyer was born I burst into the most joyful sob, the emotions and love I felt instantly were so overwhelming. It was like an outer body experience and I felt forever changed by it. I was reborn. Fast forward to day six, where my hair was in the biggest messy bun at the top of my head, I looked at myself in the mirror and didn’t recognize myself - I hadn’t slept more than an hour each night. I’d been up trying to figure out how to nurse and hoping I was doing everything right for my son. I Googled every sound and activity to see if I was doing the right thing. I worried if I didn’t run fast enough to his bassinet when he started to cry for nourishment or comfort that he'd be irrevocably damaged. I tried to describe how I felt about him to my husband, “I feel like we’re tethered together.” It was as though the umbilical cord was still connecting us. We went through a bout of digestive issues for a couple weeks and Sawyer would cry and I wondered if he had colic, I wondered if I’d ever sleep again. But then he started to sleep more, I became more confident as a Mom, I started to learn the ins and outs of my baby and suddenly I went from feeling like I wasn’t good enough to feeling like I was living my life’s purpose. I felt Sawyer was making me the best possible version of myself.
With Sawyer by my side, I feel the most joy I’ve ever experienced. Suddenly that “selfishness” I had before vanished. Sawyers every need comes before mine and it brings me so much happiness. The exquisite feeling of comforting him by picking him up or making his face light up just by looking at him is all I ever need in life. From day one, I felt so much love for Sawyer but it wasn’t until around six weeks that I felt love for myself as well. Becoming a mother both breaks you and builds you up - it has to be that way because you’re no longer the same you, now you’re Mom. It's such a beautifully transformative experience. We run in survivor mode and we raise our babies on instinct, somehow we don’t know what we’re doing but we follow our hearts and intuition and it works. We tap into a space in our brains that never before existed.
It’s like I entered a different world or dimension when I became a mom, a whole new state of being with a different brain. A brain that could withstand lack of sleep, a brain that could use logic and reasoning to calm my baby, thinking of the most random solutions that magically worked. A brain that could push all my needs down and put my baby’s needs first, being completely selfless. And suddenly these kind sweet women were reaching out to me to offer support - the fellow Mom. I don’t know if I could have gotten through those first few weeks without it. Their encouragement built me up and gave me an ever important outlet and I got to thinking ... isn’t this how it’s supposed to be? When we lived in villages, women all banded together and helped each other out. I think that’s a beautiful thing, and it could be used more often in every aspect of life. Everyone just helping each other out. Because life is tough sometimes and you just need a reassuring smile or someone to hear you out and tell you it’s all going to be okay.
I have a new respect for my own mother now. She did all that I’m doing but she didn’t have the internet and she didn’t have a car. She didn’t even have friends or family nearby at the very beginning. And suddenly when I look at my mom I see a cape over her shoulders. She’s super human. Now I know why there’s a day for moms, even when you have the most supportive husband, there are often needs only moms can fulfill. I get why people post a million photos of their kids - they are the best thing ever - more beautiful to us than the most exquisite sunset or mountain scape. When I look at my son I see the best thing that’s ever existed and I can’t believe I get to be his Mom. And I’m thankful he made me a new me. I’m thankful he made me a Mom.
So cheers to you, moms, and Happy Mother's Day. Keep raising the sweetest nuggets around and share those photos, they're beautiful :)