I met my daughter nearly seven months ago.
Since then, I’ve been asked, “What does it feel like to be a mom?” I’ve been asked that question countless times these past few months and an answer is still difficult to put into words.
I could say it’s the purest form of love I’ve ever felt. But love is abstract and that sentiment doesn’t quite convey how I feel.
Before becoming a mom, I imagined what it would be like but imagining this journey and experiencing it are two completely different things. Imagination, no matter how vivid, can’t capture the emotions you feel when you meet your child for the first time or see them smile for the first time or hear them laugh for the first time and every time for that matter.
Maybe there’s an emotion that hasn’t been coined yet. Felt yes, but it’s such an intense feeling that there is no word for it. That’s how it feels to be a mother: An intense emotion that can’t be confined or defined linguistically.
There’s this notion that before finding romantic love you are half of a whole, that your significant other completes you.
I don’t believe in that. I believe that you are, or should be, a whole person before committing to someone else. If you’re broken, or unhappy or unfulfilled, you’re the only person who can fill those voids, those gaps. You’re the only one who can fix you.
Do I believe in romantic love and soul mates? Yes, I do. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be married to my husband who happens to be my best friend, confidante, partner in crime [you get the gist]. But he is not a part of me in a sense that without him I am broken. [Heartbroken, yes, but that’s different.]
Being a mother completes me. Now, let me explain that before I get jumped on by an angry mob that sees motherhood as banal because, ‘any woman can push out a baby’
My daughter lived inside of me for nine months. I hadn’t met her yet but I loved her with a fierce love since she was the size of a grain of sand. I say that she completes me because she was, and is, a part of me. Her happiness is my happiness. It’s hard to believe that my body nourished this tiny being, but it did.
I have never loved anyone as fiercely or with such intensity as I love my daughter. My heart doesn’t soar the way it does when I look at her nor am I as calm and content as I am when I’m with her.
I have never felt that my life was so irrevocably and inextricably connected to another as it is to my daughter. It’s an odd thing, to have your life look so different to what it was like before, yet it’s almost as though your previous life never really existed. As though you were only half the person you were meant to be, or as though you were lucid dreaming the entire time. Because, in all honesty, I can’t picture my life without her. And that’s what I mean by, ‘being a mother completes me.’
I’ve specifically not spoken about giving birth and what it was like for me postpartum and the simple answer is this: It feels like a brag. I’ve been on a high since I’ve given birth and no one wants to hear things like that. Giving birth can be extremely difficult for many women and the baby blues, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis are very real conditions. I’ve also not given any ‘mommy advice’ because, let’s face it, everyone hates that and nothing starts a war like a mommy debate.
I will say this though: I’m happy.
And I hope that you are too 🙂