Nine months of watching my belly grow and squirm from the outside led to my favorite face-to-face meetings. My heart won’t ever forget the feeling of having those precious babies laid on my chest for the first time, or hearing some of their sweet little cries. I have been blessed enough to experience that very moment three times now, and while each of them has been so very different, they all have shown me that this is a love like no other. A love that explodes outside of your heart, consumes your entire body and continues to grow stronger with each passing day.
When I think about love before my kids, my heart fully belonged to my husband.
And while that is a love that cannot be replaced by any means, I was worried that motherhood would try to compete. However, it did just the opposite. It showed me a new version of love, one that can be magnified, and that is truly abundant and fully sacrificial. This is a love like no other.
We always hear that the days are long, but the years are short. If you have kiddos yourself, you know how true this statement is! It’s almost as if we sleepwalk through the newborn stage, and truly just survive somedays, and then before we know it, they are toddling around and saying their first words. That is where I am at right now with my youngest. She walks herself up to me in the kitchen, raises her little hands, and says “hol you?” It is moments like this that I never want to forget; the stage where they can’t quite pronounce certain words, and just want to be near you. I know she won’t be asking me to hold her like this for much longer, so of course, I scoop her up and squeeze her little body, just soaking in every second of this fleeting moment. This is a love like no other.
I have seen first hand just how quickly time passes once you have kids. Our son is now almost 6 years old and it truly does feel as if it was just yesterday that I held his tiny squishy body close to mine for the first time. He has always been a Mama’s boy and that is something that I have never once taken for granted! We have reached the stage where he enjoys his alone time, can make himself breakfast, and actually carry on true conversations. The nights are few and far between, but every so often he will ask me to lay with him at bedtime. My heart bursts as I plop myself down next to him and snuggle his big boy body closer to mine. I silently remind myself in these times, to take a deep breath and soak this all in, because we all know this moment will pass just as quickly as it came. This is a love like no other.
Motherhood forces us outside of ourselves, to open our hearts to these precious little people who both drive us mad and fill our days with abundant joy! It pushes us to be patient in trying times (need I mention potty-training?). It drives us to change for the better because little eyes and ears are always watching and listening. It challenges us on a daily basis, which some days leads to tears and other days leads to victories. It is what both overflows our cup and drains it. It unlocks a part of ourselves that we truly didn’t know was there until that first face-to-face meeting, and proves that pieces of our hearts can truly survive outside of our bodies. It is messy, beautiful, exhausting, and such a privilege. This is motherhood. This is a love like no other.