I love motherhood.
I longed for motherhood, I waited and I hoped. I ached to snuggle a newborn as my own, to be forced to my knees in ways I hadn't been, to enter the glorious mess making up motherhood.
Transitioning to motherhood felt easy, even natural to me. I felt myself becoming more of who I already was. The hardest part of my motherhood journey so far was waiting for it to begin.
Though I love and cherish and adore being a mama—it's what I wanted and even more—I won't deny this:
Whether motherhood came to you unexpectedly and too soon—without warning—, right on time, or far longer than you had hoped...the motherhood journey is not without loss.
But I'm wary to even post this blog. I'm wary because of fear: what if people think I'm complaining, when I'm not? What if people think I'm wishing we didn't have two one year olds, when I don't? What if people think I expected motherhood to be easy, when I didn't? What if people misunderstand?
I've decided time and time again, I will always be misunderstood. So I will write and hope and share to give a voice to the voiceless. There are so many mamas who feel the loss in motherhood, but don't feel the permission to grieve it.
I'm all about giving a voice to loss in our lives...but the loss accompanying the motherhood journey is something I struggle to give space to. I fear if I allow myself to take note of any sort of loss accompanying motherhood, I am denying the absolute privilege and gift of it.
But this is not true.
I write for you, mama, who needs to know I see there is loss in the gift of motherhood. You have permission to acknowledge that loss, too—just as you have permission to acknowledge and grieve any other loss.
It doesn't make you less of a good mom, it makes you a whole mom. A human mom.
Motherhood demands so much of you, nearly all of you. It seeps into every aspect of life, touching pieces you didn't even think of it touching, demanding sacrifices you had no idea needed made.
Becoming a mama requires you deny much of yourself: your impatience, your hobbies, your sleep, your cleanliness and hygiene, your spontaneity, your being on time always, your perfectly clean and organized home, certain friendships, what you thought a day should look like, easy date nights, peaceful car rides, and more. There is always more.
Because motherhood becomes so much of you, basically all other areas of your life fall away or are greatly affected.
Motherhood consumes so much of you, you lose parts of who you once were. This isn't bad, it's simply reality.
Your marriage relationship often gets the last bits of you, the fragments of exhaustion and weariness. And sex? Wait, that's a thing?
For me, this is the greatest loss—or transition—in becoming a mama: this learning the new dance of what our marriage can be. I love LB more than anything. I love life with LB. He is one of God's greatest gifts of grace in my life.
Our life together is such a trip of delight and I wouldn't want anyone else with me on this joy ride. But we have to work incredibly hard to meet one another, to simply make eye contact, to tend to each other's souls during this time. This time of raising two of the sweetest little humans is not easy; it's not without tears and learning and sacrifice and I'm sorrys.
Our life is infused with I'm sorrys.
We have made marriage counseling a priority in our budget and time; it's one of my favorite parts of our month because it is time set apart to connect on heart level, without interruptions or defensiveness. We know we are there to wholly see one another and be on one another's team. We are on the same team.
I know we are being knit closer and closer during this intense time life.
It's often difficult for me to acknowledge the losses in motherhood, mainly because I love being a mama so dang much. I don't want anyone to misunderstand and think I'm complaining when I'm not.
But I am learning I can simultaneously give loss and difficult transitions a voice—not deny it—and continue to be entirely grateful.
The loss in motherhood is vast and wide spread, undeniable, and varies for each of us.
But I would dare to say these losses aren't irrevocable.
I would dare to say, for me, it's is less of a loss and more of a transition: I am trading my [im]perfectly [un]organized life for heaps of glorious chaos and bounties of blessings.
We are transitioning our marriage to a new dance, one with diapers and sleeplessness and tickle fights and food thrown on the floor.
I am trading my perfectly set apart Bible studying and prayer quiet time...for a deeper hunger and thirst for Him in the unseen moments of motherhood. In the losses of motherhood, I am driven closer to the Father's heart, because I know I desperately need Him.
There is certainly space to grieve the loss of what we thought motherhood would be or give voice to the losses of life before.
But I'm learning to see the new me as a much fuller and wholesome me: a wreck of a raw human, relentlessly trying to love these tiny treasures well, learning the difficult dance of patience and sacrifice and I'm sorrys.
Babies grow into toddlers and then kids and then teens and before we know it, they're [hopefully] out of the house. We'll find ourselves back in spaces of empty nests and perfectly clean windows, poopless carpets, time to do whatever we want to do, much sooner than we expect.
So though I give voice to the loss of motherhood—the losing of parts of myself and what life once was—I also acknowledge I've gained far more than I've lost.
I've grown and been stretched, I'm grateful beyond measure, and no matter the cost, I'm thankful for motherhood.
But hear this: it's okay if you're not there yet.
It's okay if you need to just sit in the loss and process what life once was or what you thought life would be.