How Motherhood forever etches the heart

Mother’s Day is typically a day for moms to receive sweet and thoughtful cards, flowers, candles or anything else that shows appreciation for the role we play in our children’s lives. Over the years since becoming a mom at the ripe age of 24, I have received so many Mother’s Day keepsakes that I will treasure forever. Hand-drawn, stick figure scenes that my kids have given me, depicting them and me, holding hands with an imperfect sun drawn above our heads…their sweet and innocent way of showing me that they love me.

One year my oldest presented me with a necklace. The pendant formed a circle, and all around the circle was the word “Mom” with hearts and blue gems. He had spent some of his own money buying it, and was so proud. I remember receiving it and my heart melting as his sweet little face beamed with pride giving it to me. My youngest also gave me a necklace one year; its pendant a cute little owl face with big green eyes. I will truly treasure these little gifts for the rest of my life.

I’m sure as moms, we all remember those little

treasures our children have given us over the years; the things that have truly made our hearts grow bigger in a split second. As I reflect on Mother’s Day though, and my gratitude for the gift of being a mother to my two children, I am reminded that Mother’s Day is so much more than a 24 hour Hallmark holiday. It is celebrated by breakfast in bed, spa days, flowers, cards or candles, but it is not represented by this. What it represents is so much more.

Mother’s Day starts the day we give birth, the day our children enter this world and take their first breath and truly, it starts even before this, the moment of conception, inside the womb. Through this process, we go from being mothered to becoming a mother. We actually grow human beings inside of our bodies, which still, after almost 15 years of being a mom, truly amazes me.

We take on this role, completely inexperienced, unaware of the unchartered waters we are embarking on. We feel terrified and excited all at the same time. We wonder if we will be a “good mom” and we read as many books, blogs and articles as we can on how to do this.

And then on top of all the emotions we are already having and experiencing as we prepare for our child’s birth, we are hit with one even bigger and one that truly rocks us to our core. This emotion and feeling is really quite indescribable, and one that no one has been able to prepare us for. Deep, unconditional love that we have never felt in this capacity before, hits us like a ton of bricks the moment we are handed our baby, and we are changed, never to be the same.

I remember the moment I first looked into both of my children’s eyes as I am sure you all do too. I can still see their little innocent eyes looking up at me. I can still remember the feeling of pure bliss and joy I felt as I held them for the first time and experienced this new kind of love, the love of being a mother. I can honestly say these moments in my life are forever etched in my memory and on my heart…they are true, joyous tattoos of my soul.

Some of us have birthed our children and some of us have adopted; it really doesn’t matter. Either way, we are changed because the gift of motherhood literally causes us to go through a metamorphosis; it really is a caterpillar to butterfly experience. We experience immense joy, fun, laughter and happiness as mothers, but we also experience immense pain, worry, fear, concern and hurt as mothers. Bittersweet is an understatement. We pour all that we are and all that we have into our children, giving ourselves completely to them, only to realize that one day, we’ll have to let them go and let them spread their wings on their own.

At times, we doubt ourselves on the deepest level feeling like we are the worst mom in the world and “knowing” that we are failing our children miserably. Yet at other times, we feel like Superwoman and we realize our own awesome and surprising strength, capability and confidence in this job of raising human beings. Wisdom we didn’t know existed within us, springs out in the words we speak to our children. Insight and instinct kick in and slowly overtime, we learn that we can do this thing called motherhood, and we are doing not only doing a good job, we are doing an amazing job.

You see no one can really ever prepares us for this role and this journey we embark on, not even our own mothers. We can receive great advice and insight from other mothers and even parenting experts, but this role is truly something we have to figure out for ourselves. We begin a bit blind if you will, but overtime we see more and more, our sight becomes clearer and clearer, and we realize we are not only capable of being a great mother, we are destined to be one.

This weekend as we celebrate the special women in our lives and our children celebrate us, let me remind all the mothers out there of a simple truth. Yes, we mess up, yes, we make mistakes sometimes with our kids, and as mothers, we doubt ourselves to an unbelievable degree at times. But in these times I encourage us (and this includes myself) to remember this simple truth- none of us became mothers by accident, none of this was unplanned. Just as God has a plan for everything, He had and has a plan for our motherhood. He knew what He was doing when He gave us this role and how capable we are, even if we question it at times.

So Moms out there, know as you celebrate this day, just how truly amazing you are. You not only grew a human being inside of your body, labored and delivered to bring that little soul into the world, you now are pouring out everything you have into the most important job you will ever have…being a mom. Tomorrow is a day to acknowledge and realize just how wise, strong, capable and beautiful you are.

The stick figure mommy with an imperfect sun above her head over the years, transforms into a strikingly strong, beautiful, wise, confident mother and woman. THIS is what Mother’s Day represents.

Happy Mother’s Day…we all deserve it.