anchored in light

A lifestyle blog about finding light in every avenue of life

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

My First Mother's Day with a Baby | An Open Letter

Dear Mom,

I know that everyone says that once you have a baby, things are different, you appreciate your Mom more, and they were right. Things are different. I would say that our relationship has changed for the better since this little one made her debut. I hold her and rock her to sleep and think about the times when you must have done the same for me. It's strange to think that you ever held me when I was that tiny, or that you loved me this fiercely (as you said, the Momma bear is strong with me). It's strange to think that I will ever be in your place, holding her hand as she brings her babies into this world.

Motherhood really is the craziest experience. On the one hand, you are exactly who you were before they came into the world, and on the other hand, you are part of this giant tribe of women that stretches back through time and forward. Before having Everly, I felt that I was the end of the chain with no real connection to the people that came before me, and now I feel that ring of eternity circling around all of us. I feel that I really am just a person standing in between two mirrors, forward and back.

I'm so grateful that I had a good mom to show me the way. I know that I wouldn't be the person I am, but most especially the mother I am, without you. I have all these tender moments with Everly, or watch you have tender moments with her, and think of how you must have loved each of us, your babies. It makes me want to remember these moments that I have with her, something to hold onto when she's sassing me or dating a boy I don't like 😉. Watching that kind of love and having it for Everly feels like it has rewritten my memories. The ones where I thought that it was all about me and that you just wanted me to be miserable. Now I can better see how you were trying to make sure that I got what was best for me. I can see how love played through those moments when all I could see was what I wanted.

Motherhood is just what I expected in some ways and so much better in others. It has made me see myself in a different light. When so much of my life is about her, it's easier for me to put the most important things in life into perspective. Where before I was focused making sure that I never got fat (and had real issues watching the numbers creep up the scale when I was pregnant), I found that after she was born I was more comfortable in my skin than I ever had been. It made me wonder if you would love yourself more if you knew how it felt to hug you, the soft comfort of it. If you would see yourself just a little bit differently if you could have seen how beautiful I thought you were when I was small. Everly doesn't care whether I am wearing designer clothes or walking around in day-old underwear. She smiles just as wide when I wear glasses as she does when I wear contacts and makeup. 

Motherhood has made me see how much sacrifice there is in parenthood, and how we would give up just about anything for our children, things that we would never give up for ourselves. Having given up dairy and eggs and watching my weight drop down to my marriage day weight even though I am eating nearly all the time has shown me that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. It has shown me that I will choose things for her that I didn't feel capable of choosing for myself. I can't help but wonder what kinds of things you gave up for me over the years, especially the lean years when we didn't have much. I want you to know that I'm grateful for all that you sacrificed for me, even though I know that even now I can't quite comprehend just how much that was.

You have been an amazing example of motherhood. I couldn't have asked for a better mother. Thank you for showing me how to be a good mom and for making the transition to motherhood so much easier than it would have been on my own. I love you, Momma.

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