Shop the fall collection ➔

 

A friend recently asked me what I find the easiest about motherhood. The question caught me off guard. I had to think about it. I’m actually still thinking about it.

Then she asked about the hardest parts of motherhood. I was able to answer that question quickly and deftly. It struck me that I had so much to say about why motherhood was so hard. I had plenty to say about what I was doing to adjust to my new life and how I’d been trying so hard to figure this motherhood thing out.

It made me realize that since my daughter Mary Clare was born, I haven’t given the first question much thought. I’ve been so focused on being honest about my struggle that I haven’t taken any time to consider what about motherhood comes naturally to me. So when I tried to answer that question, about what was easy for me, I didn’t know what to say. 

That felt pretty embarrassing. I ended up saying, “The easiest part of being a mom is loving her.” Sappy, but truly, it is the first thing I thought of.

The most natural, easy part of being a mom is loving her so much that sometimes it hurts. Loving her so much I can’t stop kissing her pudgy cheeks or the soft skin on the back of her neck. Loving her so much that I feel like I can’t even get it out. It feels natural to be together. I love that I feel like we are a pair, like she’s my little sidekick.

This was a significant moment because it was the first time I acknowledged that it can feel easy, natural, and fun to be a mom.

When I first brought my baby home, I felt a lot of emotions. Most of all, the fear was almost unbearable. Everything about motherhood was hard and scary with a just few fleeting moments of happiness here and there. I was not feeling a bond with my baby; nothing felt natural about being a mom. What terrified me most was the thought that I might never enjoy being a mom. I would come to find out I was silently battling postpartum depression and anxiety. So then I focused intently on getting well, figuring it out, adjusting, and feeling like myself again.

As it always does, time passed, and I found my way into a routine. Mary Clare got older, my medication kicked in and just like everybody had told me . . . it got easier.

I know now that not only had I “adjusted” but I had found some ease in my new life as a mother.

It’s wonderful to know the most important part of being a mom is also the easiest.

The easiest part is loving her.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Emily Kasel

I'm the new mom of my beautiful 5 month old daughter, Mary Clare. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety 6 weeks after her birth. As part of my recovery, I began writing and sharing my story on Instagram. Then in January 2018, I launched my blog to continue the journey. I'm recovering well and really enjoying motherhood finally! I am a former/on leave elementary school teacher that has always loved to write. I found solace in reading the stories of fellow mothers. I felt it would not only be helpful for me to share my experience but perhaps I can help other women feel less alone in this wild ride of motherhood!

No One Will Ever Call Me Mom

In: Baby, Motherhood
Negative result digital pregnancy test

This is going to be a tough one. Another seemingly innocuous situation that should be easy, but for me is anything but. It comes in different forms—a conversation, a moment in a TV show, a scene in a book—but it always has the same effect. Some reference to motherhood makes me flinch.  Today, it’s in an English lesson I’m teaching online to a 7-year-old boy in China. I’m supposed to be teaching him to say, “This is my mom.” Slide after slide in the lesson shows a happy mom cuddled next to her child. Mom and daughter hugging. A toddler...

Keep Reading

To the Nurses Who Loved My Baby In the NICU

In: Baby, Motherhood
Woman smiling at newborn in hospital chair

I wish I could remember your face. Your name. Something. But I only had eyes for the tiny baby in front of me. My whole world was about to change and I think you understood that more than I did. He was so tiny. Impossibly small. I had never held a baby so little. He made up for his teeny size with an impressive mop of jet black hair that stood straight up on top of his head. He also had hair all over his body and you reassured me this was normal for a preemie. There was so much...

Keep Reading

I Wipe the Slides

In: Kids, Motherhood
boy on slide

I want you to have the most fun possible at your tiny playground stars program, so I wipe the slides. I don’t want you to have a meltdown if your clothes get wet while I’m gone, so I wipe the slides. I want to have three precious hours of only managing your little sister, so I wipe the slides. RELATED: I’d Rather Serve My Kids Than Have Them be “Self-Sufficient” I don’t want you to feel embarrassed by a big reaction to wet clothes when I’m not there to help you, so I wipe the slides. I want you to...

Keep Reading

My Last Baby Changed Me

In: Baby, Motherhood
Mother and baby touching foreheads

I was already a mom of two teenagers. I thought I’d move to a city and join corporate America in a few years. But my last baby changed me. There would be no law school or big city living. Now, I write about life in my little country home. And I don’t see that changing. I thought I’d be that old lady with 10 cats. I already had three I snuggled and loved on. I never cared about the litter box, the clawed couches, or the meowing. But now I find myself disliking pets. I hope that might change. But...

Keep Reading

God Gave Grandmas and Grandpas Time

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Grandma with granddaughter pointing outside

My daughter, Becca, was laughing as I answered her call. “Mom, we were at the park and Brady just walked up to a man he thought sure was Dad and called him Grandpa.” My first question was if the man looked at all like my husband.  She said, “He had a blue shirt on that looked like one Dad wears, but when Brady looked up at him, he had a baseball cap on and Dad doesn’t wear those. And he had tall crew socks on, and Dad definitely doesn’t wear those.” Then I asked what the man said to Brady,...

Keep Reading

Sometimes I Feel Like a Monster, Not a Mother

In: Motherhood
Woman banging fist on door frame

Whenever someone asks if I plan on a third child, I always give a safe answer: I can’t imagine going through all that again! If it’s someone in the education field I go with a different version: If we stick with two, we can pay for college! If I’ve had a few drinks and the person has a sense of humor: Only if you’ll pay for a divorce lawyer! All of those answers are kernels of the truth, but none of them are the real reason  I diligently pop my birth control pill every night at 9 p.m., which is the...

Keep Reading

Faith is a Verb, So We Go to Church

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman and teen daughter in church pew

Every Sunday morning we rush out the door bribing, coaxing, and threatening our kids to just “Get into the van!” Luckily, we live remotely rural so we don’t have neighbors to witness our often un-Christlike eye rolls and harsh sighs as we buckle each other up. We’ve always lived within a five-minute drive to a chapel, and yet we are usually there not two minutes before the service starts. Once sitting in our seats, we’re on high alert for noise control and sibling altercations for the next hour of what is supposed to be a peaceful, sacred, spirit-filled service. Which...

Keep Reading

3 Simple Ways to Be a More Confident Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and young child smiling outside

Do you ever ask yourself why you can’t be more like that mom or why can’t your kids be like those kids? The comparison trap is an easy one to fall into if we aren’t careful. At the click of our fingers, we see Pinterest-worthy motherhood in every category. From the mom with the black-belt kids to the mom with Marie Kondo organizing skills—it’s easy to look at their lives and feel like we’ve fallen short. Even worse, is when we start to strive to become something we aren’t or prod our kids to become something they aren’t.  Comparison makes...

Keep Reading

I’ll Find Her Again One Day

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother holding baby at night

It happened again. Took 15 months this time. But I found myself in the same spot I said I’d never be in. Lost, drowning, on the brink of a mental breakdown—however you want to put it. I was gone in motherhood. With the diapers piling up around me, I was getting mad at my husband for nothing, screaming at my oldest son, crying along with the babies, and in a fog. RELATED: To the Woman Who’s Lost Herself in Motherhood I couldn’t do anything—literally—I couldn’t even pee without hearing a demand. When my children were quiet, my house billowed with...

Keep Reading

I Know What It’s Like To Have a Difficult Child

In: Child, Motherhood
Little girl kneeling on deck, color photo

One Sunday morning during church, I was standing around bouncing my fussy premature baby around the cry room. This room is special—a place for nursing moms and moms with young kids to watch the live sermon on a monitor. I wasn’t alone, two other moms sat on the couches, and we were all chatting. A beautiful but tired mom sat with her little girl snuggled in her arms, gazing at the lights.  “She’s so chill. She’s like this all the time, much easier than my other son.”  I looked over at her with big eyes and a laugh, “I’m jealous!...

Keep Reading