What was once an old, familiar friend, steadily thumping, blissfully whole . . . 

Becomes mysteriously halved and beautifully new, keeping perfect time with the newborn baby sleeping on her chest.

A mother’s heart will never again be her own. 

There are moments it doubts as it grows familiar with this tiny, mysterious being. Is he warm? Is she hungry? Is he tired? Is she wet? The fledgling heart frets as it fumbles for sure footing, solid ground. 

Then somehow, in the blink of an eye, the tiny baby is a toddler—and her heart is a bit sturdier, too. “Mama,” he bleats, as he staggers toward her outstretched arms. Her heart swells as she cheers his first wobbly experiment with independence. 

Before she knows it, the toddler is a child. An oversized backpack bounces against her small shoulders as they walk, hand-in-hand, to the classroom door. She squeezes the tiny hand with feigned confidence, her heart squeezing even harder as she leaves her baby at school for the first time. 

He grows at breakneck speed then, gaining confidence as quickly as he does inches. And suddenly, the little boy is no longer little at all. She looks up at him—then to him—and her heart worries anew as she watches him pull his car out of the driveway and into the jungle.

She excels in the classroom. Has a knack for math and sports. She makes friends easily; laughs often. She’s confident and kind—quick to help, slow to judge. Watching her blossom, chasing dreams all her own? The mother’s heart bursts with deep pride and overwhelming joy.

It beats both in and out of her chest now, but not at all with singular purpose. 

It rejoices when they succeed. 
It aches when they fail. 
It trusts. 
It hopes.
It watches. 
It waits.

It prays unceasingly for protection, for love, and for growth. 

A mother’s heart, in every moment . . . in all things . . . for all time . . . 

Beats for them. 

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Mama In the Still, Small Hours

A Mother’s Mind Never Rests, Because We Carry The Mental Load

I’ll Hold You Instead

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn traded a career in local TV news for a gig as a stay-at-home mom, where the days are just as busy and the pay is only slightly worse. She lives in flyover country with her husband and four young kids, and occasionally writes about raising them at Assignment Mom