One of my best friends is about to have a baby. It is her first, and she is due in the next month or so. She had her baby shower on the weekend and her request from the women she invited was for each of us to share some wisdom or advice about raising kids or being moms. I've been chewing on the request for a few days now, and thinking "what would I have told myself? What would have been the best advice?" So here goes, a truthful mustering about motherhood that I wish someone could have told me. Although, like all things real and gritty and life-changing, you have to go through them to know them.
As you are about to become a mother, there are some things you ought to know. I realize you may not remember all of what I am about to say, especially in the middle of the night when you are rocking a fussy baby and are exhausted and frustrated and think your life is over, but hopefully these words will find you when you can't see through the small moments.
You are about to change. And I mean, really change. You are about to lose a self that you thought you were only to find someone bigger, softer, stronger, angrier, and more giving than the self you are now. You are about to birth, not just this small human who will be your son or daughter, but also this new self of you, and it may take some time to get used to both.
Motherhood will ask you to change. It will ask you to put aside a lot of the shit that you thought was so important in order to do what needs to be done and just be present. You will look different. Your body will change. Try to love this new body: honour it and comfort it and give it what it needs. Your body is now someone else's home for a while and even as your children grow, you will be the shore for them. Always.
Your heart will break again and again, and it will keep breaking because it needs to get bigger and it needs to open and expand to hold the love that you have for this child, but also the love you will need to have for yourself.This bigger love will make you see the child in everyone, even in people you think are assholes. You will somehow come to love the assholes because you know that even they have mothers.
You are about to be stripped down to who you really are and who you are meant to be. This might feel very confusing because you'll think you have lost yourself for a good, long while, but really you are becoming, and that takes time. While hanging in limbo, have faith that you will find yourself again and whoever she is will be awesome.
Your kid will sculpt you. This can really suck, but is ultimately good. They will sculpt you into the parent they need you to be. Let them be the teacher.
Most importantly, who you are is exactly who you need to be for your kid. Show Your truth. You don't have to be something you're not. Motherhood is your expression. Let it be messy, let it still be your life, and never sacrifice your needs and the things which keep you happy.
You will find the dark places in yourself. Babies and kids seem to expose this to us. Let those dark
moments be like soil: rich and earthy and holding space for something to grow. The anger comes because you want control, you want to be alone, you want to run away, you don't want to do the work, your kid is driving you crazy, you feel trapped, you need a break, you just can't take another second. All of this is okay, and all of this is natural. Ask for help from the people around you. They want to help.
A lot of people say that "your life is over" when you have kids. Who are these people and why did they give up? You are starting a new chapter and it will enrich and feed you like nothing else has.
You are about to truly become hardcore, in the softest way.
But the key is this: find the moms. They're often in coffee shops and parks. They all have iPhones and use them religiously. Talk to them, befriend them. This is your new hive. These women, even in very brief moments or words, will be the backbone you can count on and they will count on you. Be honest with them; share your strife. Build your village.
Welcome to the greatest journey of your life.
Linking up with Selena over at le petit reve. '#RealMamaLife - Motherhood Uncensored.' >Find this weeks edition here