No one told me how much my heart would hurt when you hurt.

They told me I wouldn’t sleep.

They warned me about blow outs and tantrums, and made sure I knew to always keep snacks on hand.

A few brave souls even cautioned me not to lose myself to motherhood. Still working on that one if I’m being totally honest.

They told me you would grow up too fast and that I shouldn’t blink if I could help it.

But no one told me my heart would be so completely wrapped up in another person’s wellbeing.

They didn’t mention I would physically ache when you struggle.

No one told me I’d beg God to take your pain away or that I’d plead with Him to place it on me instead.

They didn’t mention long nights with high fevers, or falls from high places.

I wasn’t warned about the way your eyes would search for me when you were hurt or scared or defeated, as if my presence alone could heal even the deepest wounds.

No one told me about rejection, exclusion or heartbreak, and the way it would both crush and infuriate me to see your feelings trampled.

They didn’t tell me that despite my very best efforts, I wouldn’t be able to spare you from pain, or that I would replay scenes over and over in my mind trying to figure out how I could have protected you better.

But if they had—if anyone had been bold and honest enough to tell me how vulnerable my heart would become as a mother, how I’d be walking around the rest of my life with pieces of my soul outside my body and completely outside my control—then they should have mentioned the strength of a mother’s heart, too.

They should have told me that no matter how hard or how dark or how painful, I would find the strength to be strong for you.

They should have mentioned that my love would have the power to mend boo boos and hurt feelings, and that my arms would be the safest place you know.

They should have told me that I’d do absolutely anything within my power to keep you from getting hurt, but that when those painful moments inevitably come, I’d be there. With a band-aid, an ice pack, an encouraging smile, a knowing look, a hand to hold, or a hug that quiets the rest of the world if only just for a second.

So, no. No one warned me about what would happen to my heart when I became your mom.

But I can promise you this: it’s yours, and it will be constant and strong and overflowing with love to get you through everything this life throws your way.

And when it’s not as simple as a bumped head or a cruel word on the playground, my heart will sit with you. It will hold you and grieve with you. It will take on as much of your pain as it can, and it will bear the rest by your side.

Because that’s what mothers do, my love, and that’s what they should have told me.

This post originally appeared on Daylight to Dark

 

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Kendra Barnes

Kendra is co-founder of Daylight to Dark, a lifestyle blog. She's a fun-loving wife and momma to a spirited, blue-eyed girl and a particularly jolly baby boy. She's an expert at holding down the fort, abandoning her coffee, and interjecting just the right amount of snark into any conversation. Through her love of writing, she aspires to share how she turns regular days into memories.