To the One Who Made Me a Mom

As I type this, I am less that 24 hours away from being induced and paving the way to meet my daughter.  This has me in a ball of emotions, as it’s the last day I’m a mom of one, the last day we’re a family of three.  I feel like I’ve been crying for days and finding every moment I can to just stare at my little guy, trying to memorize pieces of his face and the way his hair smells because I know that in just one day, I won’t have the luxury of that kind of focus any more.  And, while I’m beyond excited to meet the cherub-esque gremlin who has taken residence in my body for the past nine months, I’m also lamenting the loss of my time of just being “Aiden’s mama.”

wp-1487721089587.jpg

Parenting is such a bizarre business and it has changed me in ways that are so profound, I know that I will never go back to being the person I used to be.  When I found out I was pregnant with #2, I was ecstatic.  And, despite the general ickyness and discomfort of pregnancy, I’ve maintained that perspective for most of this process.  But as the time approaches, I’ve been surprised to discover that sadness and guilt have crept their way into my heart.  I hear this is normal.  And also, you know, hormones, so I can blame a lot on those.  And that’s all ok, because most of parenting is a mixture of joy and guilt anyway.  But I can’t shake the feeling that I’m somehow betraying Aiden by forcing him to share me with someone else.  And, weirdly, I find it somehow comforting that maybe my mom felt the same way about me when she was about to have my brother.  Maybe this is a rite of passage to becoming a mom of two.

So, on my last day being just Aiden’s mommy, I wanted to honor the last three and a half years we’ve spent together because one day–maybe when he’s an angsty teenager with emo hair and headphones growing out of his ear canals–he’ll know how much he taught me about being a mom.  Thank you in advance for indulging me in this basket of feelings.

wp-1487722878620.jpg

A Letter to My Son

I don’t know if I’m supposed to tell you this, but I didn’t want a boy at first.  I teach boys, and I don’t understand them.  They smell and make strange noises and wrestle all the time.  Girls make sense to me.  So when I found out you were going to be a boy, I wasn’t sure I would know how to connect with you.  I didn’t think I’d get you.  But I was so wrong.  I can’t imagine my life any other way than being a mom to a little boy, to you specifically.  We connected the moment I saw you, and you spent every single day of your first year literally hanging off of me.  Watching you grow into your boyness has been my favorite thing, whether you are furrowing your brow over a puzzle, exclaiming, “It’s a match!” or zooming one of your nine million cars along the edge of the couch, or running in circles around the kitchen island because you have so much energy in your little body, you don’t know what to do with it.  It all makes my heart explode with gratitude for having the chance to watch you become the person you’re meant to be.  I know you’re only three, but you are this whole person already; you’re independent, kind, sensitive, silly, and smart.  And I totally get you because you’re mine.

wp-1488420016268.jpg

I want you to know that before you came into my life, I didn’t really understand how love works.  I love your father with my whole heart, but that love is a choice, one made every day through actions and compromise.  It’s a love that has to be nurtured, that grew from something that wasn’t love into something that was, that needs to be tended each day and year.  My love for you is different.  My love for you was instantaneous–born the second you were born with overwhelming intensity that has not wavered or changed since that moment.  I have loved you with every fiber of my soul from moment one.  A mother’s love isn’t a choice; it’s instinct.  It is fierce, roaring, and primal, and it radiates out of my very marrow.  It illuminated a part of my path that I hadn’t recognized previously, that my whole purpose in this life is to protect you.  I did not know I was capable of this kind of love until you.

wp-1487723365687.jpg

I want you to know that you have changed me for the better.  You have taught me patience.  You have taught me the beauty in slowing down to admire the small things.  You have taught me how to block out the inconsequential.   You have taught me awe–how there is such joy to be found in a balloon, that nature is magical, that airplanes and lights and trains are mesmerizing.  You have taught me what it means to live selflessly.  You have taught me the weight of responsibility and the power of fear–that living in constant worry sharpens your senses and strengthens your resolve to be and do better.  You have taught me just how much family means to me–that at the same time I discovered the depths of my love for you, the love I have for my husband, parents, mother-in-law, brother, niece, and nephews would swell and deepen.  In your short time on this earth, you have given more to me than any other person in my life.

wp-1488419848728.jpg

And lastly, I want you to know that this new baby is a gift.  I know there may be times it may not seem like it, and you may get frustrated or jealous.  And that’s ok.  I’m an older sibling too, just like you.  I was the same age as you when Grandma and Grandpa brought him home, and I was worried because I thought they were going to forget about me.  But as it turns out, my little brother was the greatest gift they could have given me.  He has been my partner in crime for life, my built-in best friend, and I could never imagine my world without him.  That’s how it will be for you two.  You are going to be the best big brother, and you will be her hero forever.  There is no one I trust more to play this role.

This is not an end; it’s a beginning.  Know that the last three years of my life have been my absolute favorite, and it’s all because of you.  You will always be my first-born.  You will always be the one who made me a mom and changed me.  I love you forever.

Love,

Mama

wp-1487722588881.jpgwp-1487722713356.jpgwp-1487722809223.jpgwp-1487722770920.jpgwp-1487722851055.jpgwp-1487722947660.jpgwp-1487723146390.jpgwp-1487723271949.jpgwp-1488418830069.jpgwp-1488418951665.jpgwp-1488418992707.jpgwp-1488419123363.jpgwp-1488419232259.jpgwp-1488419080270.jpgwp-1488419417638.jpgwp-1488419921637.jpgwp-1488469995647.jpgwp-1488420512806.jpg

18 thoughts on “To the One Who Made Me a Mom

  1. Mary Beth, when I woke up this morning on the day my first granddaughter will be born, I knew there would be tears of joy later today. I didn’t expect the tears to start this morning. Today’s blog made me cry. A lot. But they are happy tears! I love you so much. Know that my heart is with you in that delivery room today.

  2. All of you parents and parents of two or more can understand viscerally these words and emotions. Can you also imagine being the dad of this mother, so filled with pride for the the girl she was and the woman and wife and mother she became. Gifts from God abound, in the very words chosen to express such love and devotion, in the very moment of curiosity, joy, anguish and anxiety witnessed and absorbed. This brilliant writer made a mom of the woman I chose to spend my life with, a mom of two as well, who had experienced the joy, yes, but also the anguish and eventual incandescent pleasure of holding grandchildren.

  3. Mary Beth, after reading your words from the depth of your soul, I find myself filled with overwhelming emotions. The way you put the perspective of a first-time mom and having instant love and now allowing that same love bestowed onto the sibling of that beautiful first born Aiden. Knowing the love your mom and dad have for you and Nick explains why and how you have become the mom and woman you are. There is message in every picture you shared here and it is so much more than love. Have yourself a beautiful baby girl, that Aiden will forever protect.

  4. MB, I came across your blog via Emily, of course. It is beautifully written and expressed my exact feelings for my first born, Eric. Your daughter will also be a life changer (I know from experience!) and bring you joy beyond imagination! Good luck today!

  5. Oh man MB…I haven’t connected with you, personally, in many years, but I’m a hot mess over here in Podunk as I type this to you. The emotions you are writing about are spot on. You and your little family are in my prayers as you prepare to deliver your sweet #2 into this world. I remember the last day of my pregnancy with Augie. I rocked Harper to sleep that night (a task I vowed I would NEVER do, as I didn’t want her to become dependent on that for a bedtime routine). I sobbed and sobbed while I held her, not knowing what was in store as I became the mother to a little BOY (ick!).

    However, as you expressed, you know what is about to happen, and that age old wisdom about your heart growing is no lie! The love you feel for A probably feels “at capacity”; however, you’ll find that your heart has even more room than you could imagine! I wish you and your family all the best. A will be a fantastic big brother, and you and Dave are in for a WILD ride with a little girl 🙂 I’m so happy for you and hope that you enjoy every second of your maternity leave. Being a momma of two means twice as much awesome!

    I’ve exhausted my exclamation mark quota, so with that, good luck…!

  6. Oh, this was just lovely. I was so nervous that I had to love a second kid. I’m so glad to know I’m not alone.

    1. Thank you so much! It’s nice to know that we’re not alone in this; it definitely makes me feel less nuts.

  7. It’s so amazing how children open your eyes to true love. They change our world and perspective in so many ways. I was so nervous having my second. I was certain I wouldn’t be able to love her the same as I love the first. I can’t believe how my heart grew! It’s such an incredible feeling. And when you see your first child start to connect and build a bond with the new baby it’s like your heart will literally explode!

    Congratulations!

  8. Oh my gosh, this made me tear up. I love all the pictures. I just found out we are expecting again two days ago, and I’m already feeling the emotions of not being just my daughter’s mommy anymore.

    1. Aww, congratulations!! Get ready for the guilt during the pregnancy, and then get ready for it all to disappear when that sweet little angel gets here. And your heart will explode watching your daughter be a big sister.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *