Jack turns one on Friday. I’m going to have a whole post dedicated to him, of course, but I wanted to talk about what it means for me too. This special milestone birthday also means that I’ve been a mom for a year. (Or, you know, almost since this is a few days ahead of the actual day!)
I have often been thinking about the quote about how when a child is born, so is a mother. This past year has been the most transformative of my life. I am a different person today than I was before giving birth. I could list a thousand ways in which I’m changed, but the biggest one is that I know a love I didn’t know before. It’s a love that knows no end… and it’s terrifying.
I feel as if I’ve been cracked open with the most sensitive of nerve endings exposed to the world. This child of mine feels apart of me and is also living outside of me. It sounds so odd, but I sometimes look at Jack and just want to put him back inside of me to protect him from everything. Knowing this is impossible and that raising a child means knowing this little piece of you is just roaming the earth outside of me is, I think, the most vulnerable thing I could ever feel. Sometimes I wish I didn’t know this infinite love because it hurts.
There have been extremely hard days and so many moments where I felt overwhelmed and tested and, maybe even, broken. I have felt confusion over what the right thing to do and sadness when I see my child in pain and loneliness during long nights and simple days. I have felt so much guilt over making hard choices and I have felt like a failure more times than I could even count!
But, oh, if it isn’t also the most beautiful thing. The most joy!
Even though “joy” feels like such a simple word, I think it sums up how I feel every day best. I feel so happy and content and fulfilled as a mother. I don’t want to speak universally to motherhood because everyone is going to have a unique experience. So I’m only speaking for myself here, but it truly feels like my life began the moment Jack was born. When I was pregnant, I had been warned by well (and not-so-well) meaning people that life as I knew it would be over. And it was. It’s just that I don’t think of it as ending so much as something amazing beginning.
And in the same vein, I am so excited that this is just the very beginning of motherhood for me. I have had a decent amount of “success” in my life, but this is the first time where I feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose. I look to the future with so much excitement. I’ve been teary about saying goodbye to Jack’s infancy, but I truly cannot wait to see what lies ahead.