Sunday, February 8, 2015

To Be a Mom


It's having your heart go walking outside of your body, you know. I remember hearing that when I first got pregnant- a woman told me that for the rest of my life, it would be like my heart would be separate from me, walking around out there away from me, once my baby was born. And she was right. It really does feel like that. Most of all it's hard to let go; it's weird to have equal parts of myself wanting him to grow and thrive and be who he will be, while there's the other side that wants him a baby forever, tucked into my neck here, snuggled under my arm there.

Time is strange. Being a human is strange. I often think about how I grew these two boys right inside my body. I housed them, I kept them safe, my heart beat into theirs at they grew and grew, hands and hearts and feet and brains. I remember those little kicks in my belly, the faintest flutters turning to jerky movements as time went by. My body changing, my belly growing bigger and bigger, my hands running over my stomach at night, wondering and whispering "who are you, who will you be" as I drifted off to sleep.

Then one day it's done. Inside to outside in a flash and just like that all of those quiet days and nights spent wondering what this life would be like, well, you're living it. All of those hopes and dreams for the future- the future has become now. And as different as everything is, your responsibility is the same- protect and house and nourish your child, but this time with your baby on the outside.

So I stand there and watch as my first baby walks into school, running and jumping down the walkway, smiles and laughs and a high five for a friend. I think about that woman who told me about how it would be, about how it would feel to have my heart walking around out there, outside of my body. And there he is, the tiny thing I carried everywhere in my arms, the baby who was crawling then walking then running. And I think about being a parent- what it's like to accept the fact that your heart will ache every moment of your life, for the rest of your life. About what it feels like to let go a little more every day- to learn what it means to truly love someone unconditionally.

I watch the back of my baby's head turn the corner, feeling that familiar twinge in my chest. My mind runs along as I walk back to my car, thinking about what his day might be like, hoping he feels accepted and loved and happy while we are apart. I smile and nod at the mama in the car next to me, and she smiles back, because we both know we're in this together- we both know that we've got our hearts out there, walking around on their own. This is what being a mama is. Love so strong that sometimes it feels like pain, with a heart so full of love it feels like you couldn't possibly love a bit more. Letting go and loving more. Always, always more.

24 comments:

  1. From one who is still feeling those flutters and kicks and spending her nights wondering who this little he will be: lovely.

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  2. I love when you do posts like these! And that photo is perfection.

    perfectlittlehappiness.com

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  3. So beautifully said. Parenthood is such an amazing gift. We are trusted with these little lives and in a blink of an eye, it's time to set them free in this huge world.

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  4. Mama of a 9month old here and this brought tears to my eyes. Today my baby attempted to stand on his own. And in a flash I felt that pang of oh no, please slow down! Being a mama is hard on the heart! Thanks for this post.

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  5. I have a 9 month old and this made me pine for this feeling with another baby.

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  6. This was so beautifully written!

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  7. I'm a Grand and Great Grandmother, the love NEVER stops!

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  8. Whyyyy did I even bother with mascara this morning?? This hits such a note. My son was recently sick with the flu, croup, and an ear infection, all at once. I felt so awful for him and wanted so badly to fix everything. But spending a couple nights in the rocker with him sleeping in my arms- that is when it strikes me the most how much he is growing. He went from being safe in my belly, to safe in my arms all the time. And now, those times are so few because he is such a "big boy." I try to treasure each time, even with the loss of sleep and sore back from being in that rocker all night, because no one is going to be there to tap me on the shoulder to let me know "Ok, so this is the very last time you're going to hold him like that."

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  9. For me, you are the lady who told me that it would be like my heart walking outside my body. You had briefly mentioned this in a previous post that I had read while I was pregnant. I now have a 1 year old and it is unbelievably true. It's terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.

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  10. I am 37 weeks pregnant now. I am a full mix of emotions and awe.

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  11. This is so beautiful to read as I am 6.5 months pregnant. I am loving these moments, and time is already moving too fast. Thanks for writing!

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  12. I feel like I could be that mama in the car next to you. This piece is lovely. I have no words but to say thank you for putting the words on the page.

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  13. I never thought about it in terms of your heart going "walking outside your body" ... but yes. So well said!

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  14. Thank you for this lovely post. I'm not a mother, but it really struck me and I really look forward to becoming one. Beautiful words.

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  15. As a new momma, this really resonated with me. Beautifully said.

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  16. Beautiful words and oh so true! :)

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  17. love your dress.
    and they are so cute.

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  18. I just found your blog (thanks Bloglovin'!) and I've spent an embarrassing amount of time reading back through your posts. I love the way you write about your family, and how sweet are they?! As a kind of new mommy (he just turned one- do I still get to say "new"?), I love reading posts like this which say exactly how I feel too. Excited to read more :)
    xo, Sarah
    http://www.sarahhartley.net

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  19. I'm in a coffee shop reading your post and I have tears in my eyes and my mascara is NOT waterproof! I miss my heart everyday. While at school and even sleeping in the next room. It scares me and makes me happy all at the same time. Lovely lovely post.

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  20. So sweet!!! Thank you for sharing this!

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  21. This was very beautifully written. Loved it

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  22. It must be such an amazing feeling to be a mother. At this stage of my life I can only feel all kinds of fear towards motherhood, but when the time comes I know it's going to be the greatest thing ever.

    Rita
    http://heyrita.co.uk

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  23. My goodness I loved this so much! Beautifully written.

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