“You never know until you get there,” are words my mom has shared with me throughout my life. However, they have never felt more honest, true, and fitting than with the season of becoming a mother myself. 

She would share this, as she listened to me ramble on about my school kid drama—assuring me that she would always be there to listen and that she loved me more than I could ever know because she was my mom. “It’s a love you cannot fully understand until you get there too—one day when you are a mom, you will know.” 

She was right, that feeling of your heart being embodied within that little baby. Your baby who, once born, is now suddenly outside of you experiencing this great big world. The undeniable connection that when they are not with you, it is like a part of you is not present in the room—that fierce momma love hit me hard. 

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It has hit me hard and made my mom’s words ring louder and louder in my head with each passing season  . . . 

You never really know until you get there.

We can anticipate what pregnancy feels like, imagining our growing belly. We can research and ask all our friends about their remedies for swollen feet and heartburn. Ask what it feels like to have a baby roll and kick, little flutters at first then big sweeping toss and turns. But we don’t really know. 

Because we never really know until we get there.

When it comes to labor we can take the classes, read endless articles, take more classes, and ask so many questions. All of which are responded to with variations of the same storyit was hard, it was labor, my cheering section was there, my partner was a great coach, the labor team was incredible, my OB/GYN was on vacation, it got scary for a bit, I didn’t anticipate needing a C-section or wanting the meds or going without any meds.

But then I held my baby and it was beautiful, time stood still, and I would do it all over again to have them in my life. 

Because you never really know until you are there.

Rocking your baby back to sleep in the wee hours of the night, whether in a chair or swaying in the moon-lit room. You rise time and time again from your slumber to meet their needs. The pattern of this wears you down, and yet builds you up as this provider. This baby whisperer who soothes them, protects them, and is powered by the smell of their sweet littleness and their little puckered lips as they doze back to sleep. 

Because you never really know until you are there.

Raising that babythe volume in your house never being the same quiet as once expected at nap time or late after bed. The messes and spills. The number of times you pick up the same toys and clean up spilled milk or cereal off the floor. How all at once when your baby crawls over to you, arms fully extended out, looking up saying “Momma” makes it all worth it and completely exhausts you at the same time. 

Because you never really know until you are there.

Because suddenly you are sending them off to kindergarten realizing that the baby you anticipated, nurtured, and doted on is ready for their first day of school. People along the way say how it goes so fast and that you did all the right things as they rush off excitedly skipping to a new adventure. You can research how to prepare them for their first day, things they need for kindergarten readiness.

But there are no books for you momma, no checklist.

Because you never really know until you are there.

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I am learning to embrace this as a motto for my motherhood, letting go of anxious anticipation of what is coming nextmiddle school, a teenager with a drivers’ permit, high school dating, then moving to college, and adult life later on.

Because you never know until you are there. And I refuse to be robbed of the joy-filled fleeting moments of today.

From what my mom has shown me and what I hope to pass on to my kids is that life can be a wild ride and things can often feel impossible to navigate or overcome but you figure it out when you get there. So embrace what you have now and give grace to those who have not yet walked through the seasons of life you have because you never really know until you get there.

Tiffany Frederick

Tiffany is a mother of three littles who resides in Leesburg, Virginia with her husband Casey. She loves finding ways to connect with people and making memories with her family. As a working from home Mom running her own real estate business and teaching preschool to her two older littles her life is very full. Tiffany shares her life journey and the commitment to taking on the daily challenge of living presently - on the blog Not Lucky Simply Blessed.