Motherhood is undoubtedly full of the sweetest moments that make all the hardships of parenting worth it. From the moment I met my daughter, I was absolutely in love in a way I had never been before.
No romantic love I had ever known like what I had with my husband or even the all-accepting, pure love of God I’ve come to know was even close to the same as the love I feel for my daughter. It’s just a very different feeling. A mother’s love is truly unique and one that I have a hard time putting into words.
My days as a mom are filled with such tender love. It looks like my toddler running to me as soon as she wakes up in the morning, a sudden look of seriousness followed by her pursed lips waiting for a kiss from me, and lots of big arms-around-me-tight hugs when she needs extra reassurance.
With all this love comes a downside though – it’s so bittersweet.
Maybe before you became a mom, you remember your own mother tearing up at your high school prom, your wedding, or other events. And maybe like me, you scoffed it off and thought what’s the big deal?
Oh, if only I could have known.
With time flashing before my eyes faster than I ever could have known as I was thrust into parenthood, lots of scenarios have run through my head that bring me to tears. I’ve already thought and cried about my daughter’s wedding day, sometimes while rocking her to sleep, and I realize that one day I will have to let her go. That the sweet baby I thought I was going to get to keep is but a fleeting moment, a set of memories that will pass too soon. That this moment in the rocker is just that – a moment.
I think about the friends she will make and when she will no longer need a hug from me to feel all better. I think about the boys who will love her. I think about all the other people who will love, hug, kiss, and know her. There will be so many other people in her life besides me (of course). While it’s all so obvious when written down, it’s not so obvious – this you-are-mine-but-only-for-a-while phenomenon – when you become someone’s mother. And all of it is heartbreaking to know that your children don’t stay children, that they move on, that they don’t always need you in the same ways.
But when all these thoughts get me a little too worked up and I start to feel panicked by the rate at which motherhood moves, to which I can never keep up, I just remind myself of a few things.
I am the first person to have ever held you, to see you exactly as you are.
I am your first friend.
I am the first person who got to see you smile, sit up, crawl, take a step, eat a piece of cake.
I am the first person you called by name: mama.
I am the first person to have kissed you and been kissed by you.
I am your mom, and while so many others will come and go in your life, my love for you never will. Whether you live down the street from me or move afar when you get older, the memories we have will never change.
You will have friends and boyfriends (if dad lets you 😉 ). You will probably marry and have your own babies to love. Your life will be full of other opportunities, relationships, and things that one day have very little to do with me and that baby that I rocked to sleep so many nights in the rocker.
I loved you first.