Nothing in this world has surprised me more than how much I enjoy being a mom. I always knew I would "love" my own child, but I never in a million years imagined I would enjoy being a mom on this level. And so, an ode to my favorite job ever.
What an unexpected joy this is, to be someone's mother, someone's protector, someone's number one comfort inducer. To roll on the floor and do silly, stupid voices just to make her laugh. To feel her little arms wrap around you. To be constantly overwhelmed with joy and love and panic and worry. To feed her big bites of oatmeal and yogurt and get only half of it in her mouth. To know which cry is hers. To look forward to nap time. To look forward to her waking up from naptime. To give a bath to her and watch her splash and try to drink the bath water. To realize that she has your nose. To chase her down the hall and listen to her wild giggle. To go into her room when she's sleeping just so you can look at how perfect she looks while she's sleeping. To worry if she's warm enough. To feel closer to your partner than ever before because you know no one in the world gets this love for her like he does. To hear yourself saying a hundred times a day, "That is not a toy." To have all vacations be more fun with her to share it with. To give up your body for her needs. To see her light up and start charging toward you when you enter a room. To smell her horrendous diapers. To want her to feel safe and protected in your home and in your arms. To enjoy dressing her more than you enjoy dressing yourself. To want to somehow protect her from every heartache that life will deal her. To always have someone trying to barge in on you while you're going to the bathroom. To watch her fall asleep in your arms and to never want to get up because one day she won't be a baby and she won't sleep in your arms anymore. To be constantly entertained by her. To dress her up in mini Halloween costumes. To be amazed that she's yours every time you look at her. To hope desperately that she grows into a kind, thoughtful, independent, smart, loving woman. To listen to her jabber away in her completely nonsensical baby language. To feel her little body breathing in your arms. To never have a personal bubble. To share every food you ever eat because what's yours is now hers. To wake up in the middle of the night to her cries and to be amazed that your mere presence can calm her down. To have a constant mess left in her wake. To read to her. To feel frustrated and not good enough. To feel overwhelmed with gratitude. To want a million more babies because you love this one so much. To never want another baby because you don't think you can love another one this much. To be stretched. To be tired. To be needed. To be loved. To be happy.
This is what it is to be a mother.
The format of this post is copied after one I wrote several years ago entitled "To be Married"