Motherhood. The world does not adequately prepare you for all that role truly encompasses. 

Sure, they tell you many things like: 

“You don’t know what love is until you become a mother.”

“You will never love anything more than your child.”

“There is nothing more fulfilling than motherhood.”

“There is nothing stronger than a bond between a mother and her child.”

“You were chosen to be their mother for a reason.”

And all of that is absolutely true.

However, our minds can’t help but be filled with thoughts of romance because all that sounds so magical and mystical. They have given us quite a disadvantage and are performing such a disservice by forgetting to tell us the most important parts . . . that there are hard ones. 

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I thought I would take a minute to share what they will not tell you. What you are not supposed to say because you are a mother and mothers are supposed to be constantly selfless, always grateful, and always giving of themselves. 

They will tell you that mothers are superheroes.

And we are. 

But they forgot to tell you that you are still human.

As such, you will have human thoughts. 

You will have spent the better part of a year growing a human being. Countless hours connected to their every movement, yet within hours there will suddenly be an unrecognizable distance between you and what was once a literal part of you. 

They forgot to tell you that when you birth your baby and that baby is placed in your arms that you might feel lost and disconnected. 

You might think, “I know I love you but who are you?” 

They forgot to tell you that you may mourn your pregnant self and resent your birthing experience because birthing experiences are yet another romanticized concept. In reality, they rarely go as planned, and let me tell you, that is quite the motherhood metaphor.

They do not tell you that it could take time to forge a bond.

That it takes time to learn who your baby is. You will be constantly unsure and concurrently confident. You will find yourself occasionally resentful but mostly thankful. You will become acutely aware of your shortcomings and will always, always strive to be better even when you are at your best.

They do not tell you that you are going to worry about things you didn’t even know were possible. You will be so incredibly tired and unbelievably worn down from all the aforementioned uncertainty that you will wonder if you were really meant for this journey. 

And gasp, if you really wanted it. 

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You will start to lose yourself in the idea that motherhood is your sole purpose. And you will wonder why it is not filling you up in quite the way they told you it would. 

You will know love, but you will also know fear, doubt, and confusion. 

And then miraculously one day, it comes together. Like placing the last, missing piece into the puzzle. You find your rhythm. They come to you when they get hurt, and you can make it all better. 

They are always running toward you. They are an extension of you.  

And it is as wonderful as they said it would be. 

Years pass, as they always do, and you realize they forgot to tell you again. 

You find yourself in familiar territory but in unfamiliar terrain.  

You find yourself in the space between.

Teenagers. No longer toddlers, not yet adults. 

You are once again meeting a new person you don’t recognize but you know you love. A child who no longer runs towards you when they are hurt, but painfully, they run away. 

In a sense, your child once again becomes a stranger to you as they begin to formulate their own ideas of how the world operates and their place in it. They hunger to experience the sights around them and are all too eager to leave you behind.

They don’t tell you that you will discover them as they discover themselves. And in the process, you will uncover the quiescent aspects of yourself.

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As mothers, we don’t know what to do with that. We think we should know our child better than anyone. Even better than they know themselves. And in the midst of it all, they tell us we should have found ourselves in this journey.

Anything less than that knowledge makes us feel like we are failing. 

It makes us feel like we missed the point. 

But my beautiful friends, that is the point. 

We are not raising miniature 2.0 versions of ourselves but rather guiding human beings to be the best versions of themselves. 

We are supporting them in their messy and loving them harder in the midst of it. 

We let them pull away loudly but stand behind them silently so they can confidently wander out into the world and share their light. And we lovingly re-emerge when they need help navigating their dark. 

Moms, we are raising world changers, love bringers, and kindness makers. In doing so, we let them be who they are while simultaneously letting go of what they told us it should be.

And no one tells you, but that is the hardest part of being a mother.

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Sara Springer

Sara Springer has spent the last two decades supervising the chaos she has created. She is a midwest mom of five and Adult Nurse Practitioner who has battled depression and anxiety for the better part of 30 years. She is now a mental health advocate pursuing her writing dreams. She writes about maintaining mental wellness in parenting, marriage, and online spaces. She is co-founder of the mental health focused non-profit Love Will Foundation, a yoga enthusiast, and a staunch practitioner of sarcasm. Her work has been featured on multiple sites including Her View From Home, Scary Mommy, and The Mighty.

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