Before a baby makes its grand entrance into the world, a mother might hear the words “One more push!” from someone in the delivery room with her.

She won’t like it, especially since the first time someone says she has just one more push, she’ll probably (definitely) push a few more times. If you’re anything like me, it might be several more times (she said with joy in her heart).

She might even get mad and yell back that she IS, in fact, pushing. before dropping a couple of obscenities and telling her husband or the medical staff to shut up.

But she’ll push again. And again. And finally, when someone in the room has said it’s the last push, it’ll really be true. It will be over. A tiny, adorable human will emerge. She’ll cuddle him or her close, and while taking in those first sweet moments with her new baby, she’ll be overwhelmed with relief that the pushing is finally over.

But that wasn’t the last push, mom. It was just the first of many to come.

And it doesn’t matter how you get there. It doesn’t matter if you’ve physically pushed your baby out or pushed through to motherhood by different means. There’s always a push.

You might push through fear and confusion on an operating table before your c-section.

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You might push through boatloads of paperwork during the process of adoption or foster care.

You might even push through the emotional journey of surrogacy.

It doesn’t matter how it happens, mom. You know the push. You felt it.

Here’s the thing:

When the pains of labor ease and your body begins to recover from the physical pushing . . . 

When the beautiful scar on your belly begins to heal . . . 

When you’ve finally pushed that last signature across the courtroom table . . . 

When you experience your personal push into motherhood . . . 

You will find yourself in a new season.

It’s a whole new season of pushing.

You will push yourself through sleep deprivation.

You will push your baby to keep taking the breast or adjust to a new formula.

You will push grocery carts with all sorts of new items you’ve never purchased before.

You will push yourself into clothes that don’t fit the same anymore.

You will watch in wonder as your baby begins to push herself up off the floor to roll and crawl.

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You will push buttons on baby toys over and over to keep small eyes occupied.

You will scream for joy as your new toddler pushes off the couch and takes his first steps.

You will push the shutter button on your camera millions of times to capture every moment possible.

You will push for answers from doctors about every ailment, big or small.

You will push strollers around for what feels like an eternity.

You will push a vacuum across filthy floors until forever.

You will push playground swings and merry-go-rounds, listening anxiously for those infectious giggles.

You will give your nervous kindergartener a gentle push into their new classroom.

You get the picture.

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You will spend the rest of your life pushing your children of all ages through the hardship, difficulties, joy, and successes of life. You’ll push them through academic achievements and setbacks, social issues, career moves, and medical situations.

You will push through fears and pull yourself out of dark places as you experience this emotional rollercoaster called motherhood.

You will push yourself to the point of tears because navigating mom-life is hard and watching your babies grow up before your eyes is bittersweet.

You’ll always be pushing. Some of it will be easy and some of it will be hard.

Some of it might even be so difficult it makes you yearn for the good old days of labor and delivery.

But you’ll do it. You’ll get through all of it. You’ll push yourself straight through all the wild seas of motherhood, no matter how strong the currents become.

You’ll do it because you’re awesome. That was made pretty clear the day you became a mom, by whatever means it happened.

Mothers are awesome. Mothers are strong and resilient. Mothers are something to celebrate.

From the very beginning and for the rest of all time.

It begins with that one last push into motherhood.

Jheri Jordan

I am a wife and mother of five, raising arrows in Pennsylvania with my hot, hardworking husband. I love Jesus, coffee, plants, and carbs. I can sometimes be overheard yelling things like, "You don't have to ask permission to poop!" Come hang out with me on Instagram @joyful.growing