By Amanda Collins Bernier
“You’ll understand someday.”
Whose mother, at some point, didn’t tell them this? And who, as a rambunctious kid or peeved teen, didn’t roll their eyes and say something to the effect of, “whatever mom?”
But lo and behold the first time you held your own baby didn’t you realize that mom was right after all?
When it comes to motherhood, it doesn’t matter what people tell you, how many books you read, or how perfectly prepared you think are – you just don’t really get it until you become a mom yourself. It’s like a light switch is suddenly flicked on.
For me, it clicked at precisely 10:06 a.m. this past July 14 when my first child, Max, a perfectly pink, squishy and screaming boy, was placed in my arms. Tears streamed down my face and my heart swelled so big I wasn’t sure my chest could contain it. This is that love that everyone tries to tell you about, I thought. That love that you have to experience to understand. It was the someday my mom had promised would come.
And then another realization: this is how my mother feels about me. Becoming a mom gives you a whole new appreciation for the woman who raised you.
I certainly knew before having a child what an amazing woman my mom is. She raised three strong-willed daughters, mostly on her own, while putting herself through nursing school to boot. Supportive yet strong, she was (and is) the perfect mix of mom and friend. When I reflect on the best days of my life, she was always there, smiling and cheering me on. And just as importantly, she was there for my worst days, too, sharing in the sorrow of my first broken heart, or the pain of my life’s greatest loss.
Despite any arguments and eye-rolling along the way, I had always appreciated everything she’d done, but it wasn’t until Max came that I truly understood it. The sleepless nights, the worrying, the pride, the unconditional devotion; now I know, firsthand, the wonderfully intense love that is motherhood.
I also get now that a mother will never stop mothering. I look at Max and know that no matter how big and strong of a man he grows into, he will always be my baby. And I see why whenever I’m sick, tired, or just need someone to talk to, my mom is always there.
To all the moms out there, everything you do and give does not go unnoticed. Keep on loving those kids, and know that someday, they will get it.
Happy Mothers Day moms…especially mine. This year, I really mean it!