My eyes are closed. My body is still. My arms are tucked comfortably underneath me, and I am nestled in the most perfectly comfortable position near my husband on our soft, queen- sized bed. Somewhere in the distance of my dream I hear a small cry. I don’t take notice of the cry at first- It seems irrelevant to the dream my mind is creating. The longer the dream goes on, the cry continually grows louder and louder, and the more confused my dream self becomes until suddenly I am jerked awake by reality - the baby is awake in the next room.
“Ugh”, I think, “Is she hungry already?” I try to see what time the clock says, but my tired eyes can’t make out the blurry numbers.
“Fine,” I concede, “I’ll give myself 10 seconds and then I’ll go get her”. Instead, I accidentally fall asleep counting backwards from 10, but am instantly reminded by a louder, more piercing scream that my little miss wants me. I reluctantly push the warm covers off, limp out of bed, and zombie-walk over to the crib to rescue my hangry child. I pick her up, bring her back to my bed, and mindlessly doze off as she nurses in my arms. Some time later, I wake up again, but instead of being annoyed and tired, I am caught off guard by the sweetness of the baby’s face. I start navigating the smooth curves of her poofy cheeks, the long curls of her pretty lashes, and the sweetness of her pouty lips. “This really is the best,” I think to myself, and all of a sudden I am overcome with gratitude for my little girl and my husband sleeping beside me. Suddenly, the world seems good and right, and my zombie walk doesn’t seem so exhausting any more. As I travel back to the nursery, I remember how much I really love my life.
I believe this is what motherhood is.
It is the most amazing sacrifice in the world. It is being jerked awake from a dream to go help a sick, hungry, or scared child. It’s trading late nights out with friends to rock the baby to sleep. It’s putting away the cute jewelry because the child wants to eat it, play with it, or rip it into tiny pieces. It’s budgeting for formula and diapers. It’s cleaning spit up and poop. It’s watching cartoons and sing-a – longs, and it’s talking to little people for hours on end.
But then, even with all the life changes and sacrifice motherhood brings, it has become the most rewarding sacrifice of my life. I can’t get enough of my little family. Motherhood is forgetting the sacrifice and remembering the full-face smile my baby gave me when I rubbed her belly last night. It’s taking in the sweet kisses and bear hugs and remembering that family is all that matters. It’s playing in the rain and sledding in the snow and swimming in the sun and jumping in the leaves. It’s giggling at new experiences, learning the ABC’S, playing patty-cake and reading books…and all the while enjoying these experiences more than I ever thought possible. Because, let’s be honest, before having a baby myself, I never pictured motherhood as “fun”. How could giving up my freedom be fun?
Motherhood takes work. Motherhood takes ridicule from people who say I am parenting wrong. It takes strange looks as I carry my crying baby through Walmart. It takes giving up sleep and parties and time alone and all these other things I could have if I wasn’t a mom.
But if I wasn’t a mom, I wouldn’t have my sweet precious child, who is the happiest and best gift I have ever received. She is worth every piece of the sacrifice. Her smile is the best part of my day. Her chubby arm rolls give the absolute best hugs. Her laughter is contagious, and even though she can’t talk yet, she tells me she loves me. That’s what keeps me going. That’s what makes motherhood the best choice I have ever made.
So to all the mothers out there, who are struggling with all the hardships and naysayers and sacrifices that come with being a mom, remember that you are AMAZING. Remember it is and always will be worth it. Remember what you are really doing. You are using your talents in the best way possible to love and raise a child- and not just any child- YOUR child. You are doing a work far more important and rewarding than going to parties every night and sleeping in every morning because you are helping raise a little person who LOVES you, and teaching them to make a difference in the world one step at a time.
Please remember you are not alone and even though you don’t think so, you are doing GREAT. Don’t get caught up in being the “perfect mom”. Don’t stress over getting dinner done every night and putting the laundry away every morning. Just take a moment to look around, breathe in the beauty of your little family, no matter how crazy they are, and be happy. Say to yourself, “motherhood is the best”, and then get back to cleaning the mud off your kiddos, the boogers off the baby’s face, and ENJOY today.
Holly Bunker is a young wife, mother, and adventurer, who focuses on making life a positive experience one step at a time. She uses her experiences to speak and blog on positive thinking, self-esteem, and creating a happy lifestyle at Holly Bunker. She enjoys playing with her family, going on hikes in the summer, and playing at the family cabin in the winter. She enjoys talking with new people and meeting new friends, so reach out and say hello on her blog, Facebook, or Instagram!