by Kimberly Crossland,

It seems like yesterday I was indulging in a pregnancy craving (strawberries, please) and ticking off the days until my due date. But as I write this, our son is 3 weeks old. The birth is a memory, and I am a new mom.

Let’s face it. There’s no shortage of advice for moms – especially first time moms to newborns. Everyone seems to have an opinion about how things should be done. The best piece of advice I got was this: Nothing prepares you for motherhood.

Nothing prepare05 Motherhood May16s you for the new way you’ll see the world – especially on that first drive home from the hospital. Nothing prepares you for a tsunami of emotion you’ll feel when your child smiles for the first time (even if it is just gas). Nothing prepares you for how much you’ll tear up while listening to a song about a child growing up as you drive down Colossal Cave Road. And nothing will feel more like a breath of fresh air as a friend telling you you’re doing everything right when all you feel like is a fumbling mess.

Your body isn’t yours anymore (wasn’t that supposed to stop after pregnancy?). Your sleep doesn’t belong to you. Your clothes? You wear those milk and pee stained threads like a badge of honor. Your routine and semblance of a schedule? Gone and gone.

You pray, you cry (oh how much you cry!), you laugh, you worry, and you get through challenge after challenge. You’re doing this in your way – there is no right or wrong.

As you sift through the barrage of advice, glance at your messy and unkempt self in the mirror or emerge from a colicky night, you feel it hit you with the intensity of a firecracker finale – the kind of emotion no one could have prepared you for. Your heart explodes with a love you never thought possible. Amidst all the madness, you sit back and think to yourself, this! This is motherhood.

About author View all posts

Lucretia Free