Menu

The miracle of you is overwhelming, mama

It’s overwhelming to have another person so completely dependent on you for everything, all of the time.

The miracle of you is overwhelming, mama

It has been a long winter.

In previous years, I would try to venture outside with my son, no matter the weather. But with a little sister in tow, and months and months of snow, that has added up to too much inside time, too much TV, and a lot of crazy for all of us.


So, as my daughter came down with her sixth or seventh illness of this long winter, I thought was about to lose my mind. Not only was this another sickness, it was a SUPER contagious one. No Montessori school for my son a week.

I started to feel like I couldn’t take it any more.

On the first day my daughter was sick, I was already overwhelmed about what was going to come the rest of the week. My son bouncing off the walls because we were confined to the house due to my daughter's sickness, and we were both dealing with our crabby sick baby. Fun. Yay me.

Here we go again.

And then…

My daughter was feeling terrible and asked to take a shower. The warm water usually distracts her from how terrible she’s feeling, so we got in. Immediately, she looked up at me and cried, “Up-y, up-y” with her sick and sleepy looking eyes. I picked her up, covered in spots and hot from a fever, and held her. She laid her head on my shoulder and placed her little arms around my neck and squeezed me tight, and I rocked her.

At that moment, despite feeling the way I did about the never-ending winter, and another sickness, and all the other things bounding through my head, I was overcome with a sense of peace.

She fit perfectly in my arms like she was meant for me, and I was meant to be her mommy. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for this amazing, tiny, person who was feeling miserable but was immediately comforted by me. I was overwhelmed with love for her sweetness, and her fragility, and her love for me in return.

I held her for what seemed like forever, and she didn’t move. I didn’t move my arms from around her. I smelled her hair and kissed her face and was completely taken away by the emotion of how much I love her.

I found myself marveling at the sudden realization that motherhood is overwhelming because it’s so demanding, all-consuming and important. I was overcome by the realization that she fit perfectly in my arms because right now, I am what she needs in order to feel whole and happy and safe.

And that beautiful revelation is why motherhood can be so overwhelming.

So our long, rough, icy winter melted away. The worry of sickness, the awful weather, the crazy that the last few months had been. All of it gone.

It’s overwhelming to have another person so completely dependent on you for everything, all of the time.

It’s overwhelming to have more than one child so dependent on you. It’s overwhelming to also try to be present to a husband, a dog, a house, a job.

It all feels like too much at times.

But wow...what a miracle it is at the same time. This little human who I get the opportunity to raise, and shape, and love—I am her world. It can all be so much. And that’s the beauty of it.

As I stood there, soaking her in, I had a new appreciation for the true miracle that being a parent really is. An appreciation for being overwhelmed. Although the hard stuff doesn’t go away, the winters are still long, and the road is still bumpy, I found the most beautiful comfort in a very ordinary moment.

So, when you find yourself overwhelmed, tired, and feeling crazy, I hope you can stop. Soak up the ordinary moments. The ordinary, hard, but important moments.

I hope that you too will find the miracle of being a parent overwhelming, but in such a beautiful way.

Join Motherly

In This Article

    An expectant mama's to-do list can feel endless… but here's the good news: A lot of those tasks are actually really exciting. Planning your baby registry is especially thrilling: You get a say in what gifts friends and family members will buy for your new addition!

    But it can also feel a bit overwhelming to make sense of all the gear on the market. That's why we suggest mentally dividing your registry into two categories: items you need to prepare for your baby's arrival and items that sure would be nice to have.

    Here at Motherly, our editors have dozens of kids and years of parenting experience among us, so we know our way around the essentials. We also know how mama-friendly the registry-building experience is with Target, especially thanks to their recently upgraded registry and introduction of Year of Benefits. Just by creating your baby registry with Target, you'll snag a kit with $120 in discounts and samples. The savings keep coming: You'll also get two 15% off coupons to buy unpurchased items from your registry for up to a year after your baby's expected arrival. Change your mind about anything? The Year of Benefits allows for returns or exchanges for a full year. And as of August 2020, those who also sign up for Target Circle when creating a baby registry will also get the retailer's Year of Exclusive Deals, which includes ongoing discounts on baby essentials for a full year.

    Here are 10 items we agree deserve a spot in the "need" category on your registry, mama.


    A crib to grow with your baby

    Delta Children Farmhouse 6-in-1 Convertible Crib

    First-time mamas are likely creating nursery spaces for the first time, and that can get expensive. Adding a quality crib to Target registry gives friends and family members the option to join forces to make a large purchase through group gifting.

    $269.99

    A safe + convenient car seat

    Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat

    The list of non-negotiable baby essentials is pretty short, but it definitely includes a car seat. In fact, most hospitals will not allow you to leave after delivery until a car seat check is performed. We recommend an infant seat, which can easily snap into a base in your car.

    $99.99

    A traveling nursery station

    Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

    It's hard to beat a good playard when it comes to longevity. This item can be baby's sleeping place when they're sharing a room with you for the first months. Down the line, it can function as a roving diaper change station. And when you travel, it makes a great safe space for your little one to sleep and play.

    $99.99

    A swing for some backup help

    4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

    A dependable swing can be a real lifesaver for new parents when they need their hands free (or just a minute to themselves). Because many babies are opinionated about these things, we appreciate that the mamaRoo has multiple modes of motion and soothing sounds.

    $219.99

    An easy-to-clean high chair

    Ingenuity SmartClean Trio Elite 3-in-1 High Chair - Slate

    Our best registry advice? Think ahead. It really won't be long before your child is ready for those first bites of solid food, at which point you'll need a high chair. We like one that transitions to a booster seat atop an existing dining room chair.

    $99.99

    A diaper bag to share

    Eddie Bauer Backpack - Gray/Tan

    When you're a mom, you're usually toting diapers, wipes, clothing changes, bottles, snacks, toys and more. You need a great bag to stash it all, and if you're anything like us, you'll choose a backpack style for comfort and functionality. Bonus: This gender neutral option can easily be passed off to your partner.

    $64.99

    A hygienic spot for all those diaper changes

    Munchkin Secure Grip Waterproof Diaper Changing Pad 16X31"

    We can confidently predict there will be a lot of diaper changes in your future. Do yourself a favor by registering for two comfortable, wipeable changing pads: one to keep in the nursery and another to stash elsewhere in your house.

    $29.99

    A way to keep an eye on your baby at night

    Infant Optics Video Baby Monitor DXR-8

    Feeling peace of mind while your baby sleeps in another room truly is priceless.That's why we advocate for a quality video monitor that will allow you to keep tabs on your snoozing sweetheart.

    $165.99

    A comfortable carrier to free up your hands

    Petunia Pickle Bottom for Moby Wrap Baby Carrier, Strolling in Salvador

    A wrap carrier may be about as low-tech as baby items come, but trust us, this product stands the test of time. Great for use around the house or while running errands, this is one item you'll appreciate so much.

    $39.99

    A full set of bottles + cleaning supplies

    Dr. Brown's Options+ Complete Baby Bottle Gift Set

    Whether you plan to work in an office or stay at home, breastfeed or formula feed, bottles are a valuable tool. To make your life as simple as possible, it's nice to have an easy-to-clean set that is designed to work through the first year.

    $39.99

    Target's baby registry is easy to create from the comfort of your own home. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with the Year of Benefits featuring exclusive deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

    This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


    Our Partners

    A Montessori-inspired gift guide—for newborns to 6-year-olds

    There are plenty of Montessori-friendly toys that are beautiful and engaging, but also appeal to children's developmental needs.

    With so many toys out there, it can be hard to find intentional gifts for our children that are both fun and meaningful. Using a Montessori approach to your shopping doesn't mean your choices need to be academic. There are plenty of Montessori-friendly toys that are beautiful and engaging, but also appeal to children's developmental needs.

    Montessori toys are usually made from natural materials, non-electronic and foster independent play, creativity and concentration. Montessori materials are simple and somewhat minimalist in general, and this is especially true for infants and young toddlers. The world is so stimulating for these little ones already, that simple toys made of natural materials spark the child's curiosity without being overwhelming.

    Keep reading Show less
    Shop

    Cameron Diaz on having a baby at 47: 'You really have to work hard for it'

    "The only pressure for me now is I have to live to be, like, 107, you know? No pressure!"

    This is the decade that saw the face of first-time motherhood change. The number of first-time mamas under 30 is shrinking, while more and more women are becoming moms after 40.

    Cameron Diaz is one of them. The actress and businesswoman, now 48, became a mom in January at the age of 47. In a new episode of Naomi Campbell's YouTube series, No Filter, Diaz opens up about what it's like to become a mom in your fourth decade.

    "A lot of people do it the other way around ... they get married [and] have a family in their youth," says Diaz."I'm kind of doing it in the second half of my life."

    Keep reading Show less
    News