When I gave birth to my son, I got so much more than happiness. I gained a new perspective. It was a revelation. Life became about living beyond myself; about being bigger and better. Becoming a mother made me see the world differently. It gave me purpose, humility, and an ingrained sense of empathy. And most importantly, it gave me love: true unadulterated unconditional love.
M otherhood! Wow. This journey has been the most beautiful, raw, and powerful experience of my life. After I had my son, I saw life from a new perspective. I suddenly had a new sense of empathy. I was able to see people at the most fundamental level and had a newfound understanding of human life. I began to see everybody around me, all people, as “people who were once babies.” I would imagine them, helpless and pure. I would think of their mother, having loved and cared for them. That old cashier at the store was once innocent and small. The frail man standing in line at the store once had a mother who lovingly cared for him. I began to understand the fragility and impermanence of existence. Deep down inside we are all tiny people, lost in the dark, crying for comfort, wanting connection, seeking our mother, looking for love. And I also began to question society, and wonder, what leads some people to become cruel towards one another? Why do we have violence and war, when we all start out as such innocent beautiful little souls? Is there anything we can do to change it? I often think about it, of our role as mothers in how we raise our children, and how as mothers we can affect society.
Motherhood is a hard, scary, character-testing experience that dissolves whatever opinions we used to hold and sets new priorities. Suddenly a tiny human snatches control from our grip, and we set out on a journey we could never predict. For me, having my son reinforced the purpose I felt. I found myself again, and I was newly passionate about the issues I had once cared about. Having new purpose gave me happiness and peace, and I forever want to better myself, and keep finding and evolving into this new version of myself.
I gained a new sense of humility. You can’t feel too special as a new mom. You’re pushed to your knees in exhaustion while taking care of a screaming little person. Motherhood forces us to test our biological limits — it exposes our base humanness, as we function on tiny amounts of sleep, at the mercy of wild hormones, trying get through each day as best as we can. Nights bleed into days which bleed into nights, and the days never seem to end. Motherhood is both happiness and sacrifice, all at once. It’s pure unadulterated love, heightened through the extreme fatigue and difficulty, and found in the most unlikely places.
Becoming a mother taught me the meaning of pure love, and it’s based on sacrifice. I remember the early days when everything was so new and fresh. My mind was still foggy as my alarm clock would jolt me awake every two hours (my son was a good sleeper, but I had to wake up to pump milk 🙁 ). I’d drag myself over to the side of the bed to start, and when I was finally done almost 30 minutes later, I’d set up the feeding equipment from the sanitizer. I’d then head over to the bassinet (this was before we started co-sleeping), wake Ocean up, bring him to our bed, and give him milk. I was tired, but I did what I had to do. I found comfort, knowing that I was nourishing my son. I was loved. I was his entire world. I remember how warm his tiny body was, how helpless and innocent, and I’d take in his amazing smell. I would hold Ocean close, and the exhaustion would melt away (sort of). 😉 In that moment, it was just the two of us. There was nothing else in the world, nothing else in the universe. Our souls were together, intertwined in an other-worldly time space that is, and will always be, forever ours.
That’s motherhood – the inexplicable, nonsensical, biologically activated true love that comes from caring for your child, and it’s like nothing else I’ve ever known before.