Here’s the cut and dried truth: Being a mom is hard. It doesn’t matter your age—how “young” or “old” you are. It doesn’t matter when you first became a mom or when you gave birth to your last. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom of one or of many. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a mother for a few years or for ten. Motherhood—in all of its dynamics—is hard. Challenging. All-consuming.

It’s giving more of yourself than you even knew existed.

It’s overwhelming and demanding.

Related: I lost myself in motherhood, but it didn’t last forever

It’s the fog of the newborn phase that eventually lifts, but rolls you right into the weather of the toddler years. 

It’s trying to be everywhere at once—soccer games, dance practices, parent-teacher meetings—while still trying to manage the homefront.

It’s your child’s first heartbreak—which simultaneously breaks your heart, too.

It’s the ache and excitement in your soul as your child moves out to tackle life on their own.

It’s the grief that weighs you down when you see your child hurting—and the guilt that follows when you feel like you’ve let them down.

It’s trying not to let your dreams and passions fall to the wayside.

It’s a constant yearning for balance.

It’s a continuous cycle of losing and finding yourself.

Motherhood is hard—at every stage.

In the midst of the trials, one unwavering truth remains: Motherhood is beautiful and worthwhile.

Related: I’m not the mom I was hoping to be

A few weeks ago, I witnessed perhaps one of the most vulnerable versions of my mother that I had ever seen. She told me how she felt like she let my younger siblings down because she hadn’t gotten around to taking them on an outing that day. 

“Sometimes, it’s just hard,” are the words she said to me in that moment. And after years of being wrapped in her maternal care and nurture, I had the opportunity to take the years of wisdom and love that she had instilled in me and pour back into her. My mother—a woman in her fifties, with nine children ranging from 12 to 33—found herself in the weariness of motherhood. My mother and I, decades apart, and we still shared this universal truth: Motherhood, at its core, is hard.

It doesn’t matter if you’re “experienced” or if you’re just starting out. The challenges that come with being a mom do not overlook or spare any of us. We all have to trek through the valleys sometimes—or drift the currents until we find our way again. But in my opinion, that’s what creates the essence of motherhood. That despite everything that makes it hard, it still holds room for the most captivating, resolute beauty.

Motherhood will always be a teacher—and there is so much for us to learn.

Sometimes motherhood may leave us aching. It may leave us in an exhaustion that we can’t comprehend. It may shake us loose of everything that we have ever known. Yet all the while, it shifts us as women, shows us unconditional love and allows us to witness something far more glorious than what we have ever experienced.

Despite the motherhood challenges that we endure, we somehow manage to thread the horizon with the deepest love. In the midst of the trials, one unwavering truth remains: Motherhood is worthwhile. And that’s what keeps us steady, amidst.

If there’s one thing that I carried away from that conversation with my mom, it’s that motherhood is a cycle of mothering and being mothered—in each and every season. And that we can meet each other in the thick of every challenge and be a pillar of support, an anchor.

Because this is motherhood—the entirety of it. Emotional. Ambiguous. Vulnerable. Revolutionary.

And despite its many trials, tribulations and challenges—we gracefully rise.