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Adventures in Parenthood // All the Love

Baby Feet

Every time someone asks me what’s been the hardest or most surprising thing about becoming a mom, I have the same answer: I was not prepared to love this much.

I know that sounds weird or perhaps obvious? But truly, I remember the first few weeks with Henry as a blur of highs and lows and so many feelings it seemed like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. I would look at him and just think that surely I would collapse at any moment because I couldn’t handle the weight of how much I loved him. It was so wonderful and so scary. And to love something so small, so helpless, someone who has given you no reason to love him other than the fact that he exists — that to me is a sure sign that miracles exist. And that was another layer of love to handle.

Nobody warned me or prepared me! Nobody said, “Get ready because this is going to blow your heart and your world wide open!” Everybody just warned me about babyproofing and getting enough sleep and using the right kind of diapers. Future mamas, I am here to tell you: Those things matter, yes, they do, but they’re gonna happen one way or another. You’ll chose breastfeeding vs. formula and you’ll figure out how to get the kid to nap. That will all fall into place. What you need to prepare for is to love something better and bigger and different than you’ve ever loved something before. You’ll love it because it’s wonderful and you’ll love it because it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do.

And sometimes, now that he’s a little older, I look at Henry and I wonder where to put all the love. Sure, we cover him in kisses and we care for him with everything that we have. But there’s a part of me that thinks it’s almost not fair to make a little one be responsible for all that love. What’s in my heart for my child would surely be too much for him if I unleashed it all. And I think that’s the hardest part of being a mom so far. The hardest thing is loving your baby just enough but not so much that it’s overwhelming. A mom’s toughest job is to hold all the extra love in her heart and protect it and dole it out when it’s needed. My guess is that it probably gets harder as your baby becomes a kid and then an adult. Then you have to love them so much you let them go.

So for now, I let the love live in every little moment. It’s there when he makes his little noises while he falls asleep. It’s there when Ryan is tossing him around and he’s laughing like a maniac. It’s there when he’s crying for the fourth time that day just because I walked out of the room. I let it sneak out and around and put it into all those little moments because I think that’s where it belongs. And that’s my job as a mom — to find a place for all that love. xoxo

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14 thoughts on “Adventures in Parenthood // All the Love

  1. What a lovely post. I will soon be in your shoes of overwhelming love in just 4 weeks for the first time, and I’m so excited. If I love our sweet boy so much now, I can’t even imagine what it will be like to stare at him as he sleeps, cries, laughs, and what have you. I think the key is just to LOVE unconditionally! Sounds like you already have a good handle on that!

  2. This is the most truest thing I have read. I feel exactly the same way as if you’ve read my mind. I love my son so much that it hurts.

  3. What a gorgeous post and totally true just looking at my daughter makes my heart ache with love and it is something you cannot prepare for!
    I already worry about her being older and moving out (she is only 1) but I am going to make sure I enjoy every moment and hopefully give her a magical and memorable childhood.

  4. My son is 15 and I reread your post substituting his age. I still feel all those exact things now. I still feel all the love and feel like I have to keep it reigned in or otherwise appear crazy. I will say goodnight to him every night and make him give me a hug every now and then. It’s easy to say they are too old and don’t need your constant affection, but this is the only time you get. In three years, mine will leave the nest and I want him to be confident in his parent’s love for him. Sniff, sniff.

  5. I couldn’t have said it better myself. My daughter is 7 months old and I didn’t think it was possible to love her more but I do each and every day.

  6. Since having my daughter, I now say I have NEVER loved so fiercely in my life. You can’t explain the love, but it’s so wonderful and scary and every moment is a gift.

  7. This is profoundly beautiful being a mother of four and now a grandmother of eight it’s true the deep and undying love you have for your children will never be contemplated and then they have children of their own. Precious gifts God sends that look so similar to your own children when they were young you can’t help it, but this love actually doubles in size! So to all of you enjoy the journey I know I am.

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