Mother’s Day is Sunday, so make sure you surprise your mom with a visit, a phone call and a special gift. Being a mother is such a privilege. Please take time to let your mother know how much you appreciate and love her.
There is nothing that quite prepares you for motherhood. No amount of advice, reading or researching mothering can get you ready or equip you for the adventure — the ups and the downs and the everything in between.
When I found out I was pregnant with our first child, I was ecstatic. We had only been married a few months, so I wasted no time visiting the library and the book store to stock up on material to prepare me for pregnancy, a newborn and raising a child in general.
Since I loved school my entire life and especially enjoyed researching and writing projects in high school and college, I reasoned the whole child-rearing thing was probably similar to an in-depth research paper. No problem. I dug into the research with a vengeance.
I could tell you on any particular day how big our growing baby was, what organs were doing what, and any other information about his development. I talked to him, sang to him and read to him. I listened to classical music so he could hear that and stimulate his forming brain.
There were, of course, a lot of things that happened that I was unprepared for. I was always hungry. I ate lots of food, all of the time. One time, after making a big dinner, my husband asked me which plate of food was his. I took that as if he were saying, “you are eating as much as a 200-pound man.” I burst into tears. Poor Paul. My emotions were up and down most of the pregnancy.
I also experienced my first migraine headache during my pregnancy. If anybody ever says they aren’t sure if they have ever had a migraine, trust me, they didn’t have one. There were many other things I wasn’t expecting, but I will spare you those details.
Before I knew it, it was time to go to the hospital to deliver our first born. Turns out those birthing classes we took didn’t prepare me after all. So much for going “all natural.”
After screaming during contractions, I ended up getting an epidural and eventually delivered our crying, red-faced son. It was the first time I saw my husband cry. Of course, I was bawling my eyes out with happiness.
After a brief hospital stay, there we were driving home with our baby who now had a name and somewhat of a cranky personality. Reality was sinking in. I was a mother. I was no longer researching the “project.” The project was in a car seat crying and I was now in charge. I was terrified.
My mother must have been reading my frightened thoughts, as she came to our house to help us get settled. I don’t know what I would have done without her. After his birth, and after the other three children we went on to have.
Reading about changing diapers and actually doing it are very different things. As it turns out, reading about caring for babies, toddlers and children (don’t even get me started on teenagers), is completely different than doing it.
Babies are demanding, loud, often fussy and exhausting. They are also beautiful, perfect little beings — truly little miracles from God.
Being a mother is the hardest thing you will ever do and also the most rewarding. Celebrate your mom this Sunday and also any other special women in your life who helped you along the way. Many of us have special aunts and grandmothers who were influential in our lives — be sure to thank them too.
God bless all of you young moms — reach out for help if you need it. I know I sure did and was so lucky to have my mother close by when we were raising our four children. Happy Mother’s Day!
South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.