Gifts for Mom, Grandparents, Besties and YOU🎄 ➔

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

 

You may also like:

Dear Child, I Wear Your Pain

I Love You Enough to Not Give You Everything You Want

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

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.

I Love You At Every Stage

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three children at park, color photo

Confession: I love the 1-year-old phase. Our youngest is one and such a joy to be around. He’s still so cuddly, finds such joy in the smallest things, is learning new things every day, and smiles at every little thing his big brother and sister do. I love the 3-year-old phase. Our only girl is three. She has a flair for the dramatic, but she is very forthright with her feelings. “I’m having a hard time.” “I just miss my daddy when he’s at the Fire House.” “I’m a princess.” “God made me beautiful.” She is quick to be a...

Keep Reading

10 Lessons I Hope You Learn Playing Youth Sports

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy dribbling down basketball court, black-and-white photo

Last night was my sixth grader’s last basketball game of the season. He played with many of the same gang of boyhood friends he has known since kindergarten. This year, however, they were introduced to a traveling team, older players, and much stiffer competition than they had encountered in the past. They stood the test and played their little boy hearts out. I am proud of my son, his team, his coaches, and all the familiar faces we came to know in the Greenwood Laboratory School cheering section each week, sometimes two to three times in one week!  Here’s to...

Keep Reading

Having a Late Preterm Baby Is Hard Too

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, color photo

I see you, mama, who holds her breath while they bag your brand-new baby. Asking “is she okay?” and being met with “everything is fine” when you know that everything is not fine. The baby who was due in just a few weeks. The baby, who just a few hours earlier, you joked “wanted to surprise us early.” The baby who was fine on the monitors just minutes before. I see you, mama, when they tell you they are transporting your baby to the NICU. The baby you held for five minutes before they took her to the nursery for...

Keep Reading

You Gave Him So Much More than a Haircut

In: Child, Motherhood
Baby boy with long hair, color photo

“Thank you for cutting his hair,” I’ve told Emily many times in passing, or lightheartedly over text. I wish I could show her what it actually means in my heart. “I’ll go in by myself,” he says. Instantly, my mind flashes from the achingly handsome 10-year-old standing in front of me to the toddler he once was. I see his 2-year-old self standing before me in our mudroom. Fresh from Kids Cuts, a soggy sticker on his T-shirt that reads “I GOT MY HAIRCUT.” A red and blotchy face from crying, eyes swollen. The buzz cut was the quickest way...

Keep Reading

You’re Never Alone in the Trenches of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding infant, color photo

This one goes out to all the mamas in the trenches. To the mamas in the kitchen stirring dinner with a baby on their hip. To the ones waking up an hour earlier than the rest of the house to pump after waking up countless times throughout the night to attend to both your toddler and baby. The ones who must take care of business from lobbies, bathroom floors, lunch breaks, and the carpool line. To the mamas who pass on their own birthday presents so their kid’s medical bills can be covered. RELATED: This is the Sacrifice of Motherhood...

Keep Reading

Simple Moments Shape Childhood

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy in shallow water of beach

Sometimes it’s the little things that can turn out to be the biggest things. Motherhood has made me appreciate the everyday moments, the simple moments, differently.  Being outdoors with my boys can be simple in theory, but I absolutely love the adventures we take. Whether we are hiking, biking, swimming, exploring, or checking out a new park, this momma knows it is time well spent.  RELATED: I’m Watching You Grow Up in the Little Moments Because whether they realize it or not, these memories being made are the special ones. The ones my boys will carry with them in their...

Keep Reading

When You Stop Running into My Arms, I Pray You Run to Jesus

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child and mother walking on beach in sunlight

I love seeing the light in my little girl’s eyes when I pick her up from school at the end of the day. Her eyes open wide, and she runs to me loudly saying, “Mommy!” for all to hear. I pick her up and give her a big hug and kiss on her cheek. She smiles ear to ear and knows she is loved and adored. She feels safe in my arms, and I pray that never changes. I want to always be her biggest cheerleader and greatest fan–holding the streamers on the sidelines in shades of brilliant gold encouraging...

Keep Reading

I Promise to Show Up for You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter in garden

My child, I hope you know you can count on this: I will show up for you. I will show up when you wake in the middle of the night, when you get up too early or stay up too late. I will be there to make your meals, read you a story, and tuck you into bed. I will show up when you are sick—taking time off work, bringing you to the doctor, cleaning up your throw-up, and sitting up with you. I will show up at every game, sitting in the stands or a camp chair, freezing or...

Keep Reading

A Strong Woman Does Not Always Feel Strong

In: Motherhood
Woman holding baby on beach, color photo

You feel weak, mama, but you are strong  We wear our strength in many forms, barely noticing the feats we accomplish daily.  The strength of a mom can be seen carrying grocery bags from the trunk to the house, upstairs and down again, with a baby strapped to her chest.  The strength of a mom is pushing two kids on swings next to each other while inwardly dealing with a recent miscarriage eating away at her heart. She holds back tears while picturing a newborn in a stroller nearby watching. And the hole deepens. Yet she carries on.  The strength...

Keep Reading

When You Feel Like You’re Failing, Know You’re Not Alone

In: Motherhood
Tired woman sitting in messy child's bedroom

Dear parent, you are going to fail. You are going to fail over and over again while parenting. I don’t care if you have nine children or one. I don’t care if you are a step-parent, an adoptive parent, or anything in between—you are going to fail. Over and over again. But the great thing about kids is God made them so resilient and forgiving, so He could show us grace on earth.  I have forgotten to send the paperwork to the school. I have forgotten about events and practices for the kids.  RELATED: I May Fail, But I’ll Go...

Keep Reading