Mama, you told me

That motherhood would be wonderful.

But Mama, you never told me

What it would do to me.

How it would take the woman that I was;

The woman that thought she knew everything

And could control everything

And break her down and

Teach her that

She had so much to learn.


Mama, you told me
There would be sleepless nights.

But Mama, you never told me

Just how tired I would be;

How sleep would become a luxury, and not something

To which I am entitled;

But that there was nothing sweeter

Than hearing the sound

Of their steady breath while they slept;

And that even when all I wanted

Was to close my eyes

For five more minutes,

Small, soft, chubby arms

Around my neck,

Singing me songs,

Telling me stories,

Giggling and squealing,

Would make me forget how badly I needed to sleep.

Mama, you told me

That I would figure it out one day at a time.

But Mama, you never told me

That motherhood would take the perfectionist in me,

And whittle her down to someone that

Has no choice but to accept

That sometimes,
“Good enough”

Is enough.

Mama, you told me

That motherhood would change the way I think.

But Mama, you never told me

How my sharp memory would be torn into shreds,

And that I would forget,

Misplace,

And confuse things;

But that I would remember nothing more clearly

Than the way the weight of their

Small, warm bodies felt

In my longing arms,

The first time I held them.

Mama, you told me

That motherhood would teach me selflessness.

But Mama, you never told me

How sometimes I would feel like my independence,

My freedom,

My time,

My sense of self,

Had all been taken away

And that I would feel guilty sometimes wishing I could have it all back;

But that in fact, it is a privilege to be needed by someone

So deeply

And that motherhood would gift me

With so many exhilaratingly precious moments

That take my breath away.

Mama, you told me

That motherhood would change my priorities.

But Mama, you never told me

About the worrying;

How much I would worry.

Are they happy? Are they healthy?

Are they okay?

Am I enough?

I didn’t know that someone else’s needs could

So wholly and completely

Consume my every thought

And that everything else would become
Unimportant,

Secondary,

As long as my children were happy.

Mama, you told me

That it would be a joy to watch them grow up.

But Mama, you never told me

How quickly the time would pass;

How the hours, the days, the weeks and the months

Would slip through

My fingers

So fast

That I would suddenly find myself looking at a child instead of a baby;

A baby instead of a newborn;

And beg time to be a little bit kinder and wait for me to catch up.

Mama, you told me

That motherhood would teach me things.

But Mama, you never told me

How becoming a mother would test me

And push me

And make me doubt myself

And lead me to think that I was doing everything wrong;

But that with each test, each push, each trying moment

It would teach me

How to be better

How to be stronger

And just how much I was capable of.

Mama, you told me

You loved me.

But Mama, you never told me

How that love would run so fiercely through my veins;

How every other kind of love

I have ever felt

Would be nothing like this.

How it would be a love that teaches me
To give more than I ever thought I could give,

To somehow want to give even more when I think I have nothing left,

And to be grateful for the simplest of joys.