This post originally appeared on my blog Defining Motherhood, but I wanted to share it today, my anniversary of becoming a mom.
Six years ago today, I spent a lot of time walking. And walking. And walking. I walked the neighborhood until it started to rain. Then Matt and I headed to a local college campus and walked the halls of the university I had attended. We weren’t just doing it for exercise. We had purpose behind it all.
Six years ago today, I woke around 5:30 a.m. with contractions. They weren’t strong or even regular. By being 10 days post-due, we knew they meant something. And so we walked. By the evening, they had become more regular and by bedtime, more intense. That’s when we headed to the hospital. What I didn’t realize was that I had another 16 hours of labor ahead of me. I could’ve taken a slower shower. I could’ve tried to get some sleep. I could’ve worked through the contractions in the comfort of my own home for a while longer. But I didn’t know. This was the first time I had been in labor. This was the first time I was becoming a mom.
There were a lot of things I didn’t know six years ago. I didn’t know how all-encompassing motherhood would be. I didn’t know how much I could love such a tiny, little, helpless creature. I didn’t know how much my priorities and worldview would change. I didn’t know how much I would be okay with that change.
Six years ago today, I started on a journey that has been full of ups, downs, life lessons and unforeseen twists. I remember leaving the house that night and taking one last look as I walked out the door. I knew that was my last moment in our house as a wife, but not a mother. I didn’t know what that meant and in some ways, I was scared to find out. How would this little person change me?
I’m not the same person I was six years ago. I look back over that time and realize that at no other point in my life have I changed more rapidly than since I became a mom. It’s a role I wasn’t sure I was ready for. We often joke that Jonas was hesitant to be born, being 10 days post-due, 16 hours of hard labor, four hours of pushing and a vacuum extraction. But honestly, how much of that was my own hesitation?
Today I think back to that last walk through the house and I just want to tell that younger version of myself, “You will be changed. And it’s okay. There will be struggles and learning curves ahead, but you will get through them. Your capacity to give and receive love will grow exponentially. There will be moments of discomfort and frustration, but there will also be joy in depths you hadn’t known before. Embrace the journey.”