From that moment I saw two brilliant lines on a pregnancy test, and subsequently announced my pregnancy, I was told of how much I was going to love my baby. And not just with any type of love, but an extraordinary love I had apparently never experienced before. A deep, profound love that is solely reserved for parents.
I nodded and smiled, and said I couldn’t wait to experience it, while quietly questioning… I mean, I loved my husband, my parents, siblings, and family. I knew what love was. And frankly, I was a little offended that these people didn’t think I knew what deep, profound love was.
And then Elle was born.
Her birth was incredible, joyous, life-changing and absolutely miraculous! To think we created a tiny, perfect little human being… there is just no comparable experience in existence.
At first, I was overwhelmed, excited, terrified, enthralled, anxious, and completely in love with her, all at the same time. I understood what all of those well-meaning people meant about love. Loving your child is a different love. A more resilient, powerful and vulnerable type of love. The kind of love where you say, “I would die for you” and truly mean it.
I’ve been a little baffled about how much my heart and capacity to love has grown since becoming a mother.
I will let you in on a little secret though. I have a theory as to why we love our children so much…
It is so we can endure:
- Sleep deprivation. Newborns wake up every 1-3 hours. They have no concept of night or day for the first few months of their life.
- Poop. Oh. My. Gosh. The poop. Is anyone really prepared for how frequently a newborn poops? I sure wasn’t.
- Heart-stopping moments: It is so exciting to see an infant slowly turn into a little toddler, but they are like drunk caveman! They have no coordination, balance, or respect for danger. They’re like little beacons for trouble.
- Tantrums: No apple juice? 10 minutes of hysterical screaming. Nap time? That means running away as fast as possible. Put the wrong shoes on a toddler? Complete and utter meltdown! I believe toddlers also have a sixth-sense of knowing when their melt-downs will most embarrass you. A Christmas party, family function, and large crowded store are prime time for tots.
- Any hope of a clean house: It’s not happening. Not for 18 more years.
My theory is we have to love our children as much as we do. In order to survive the most testing, frustrating, and trying moments of our lives. There is not one single other relationship that could remain intact with all of the aforementioned offenses.
But in the midst of the sleepless nights, countless diapers, and embarrassing moments, there is that first beautiful and gummy smile, that first glorious laugh, the first time your child hugs and kisses you, and tells you they love you. It’s enough to make your heart melt, and to forget all of the other hardships you’ve encountered.
For me, parenting is the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life. Given a hundred chances to do it again, I would take every single one of them.
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