Describing Motherhood: Quotes from the Trenches

Motherhood is. . .

I bet you could fill that in with your own description. It would probably be based on your day, honestly, as I could fill mine in with words like frustrating or messy or confusing. And yet, there are moments when I can step back and the words about motherhood come flowing to me and the perspective of the sacredness of these years hits my heart deeply. And right then is probably also the moment when the kids fight over whose turn it is on the computer.

That’s the nature of describing motherhood. It’s never just one thing, cemented into the dictionary, but is rather a moving cacophony of adjectives and emotions and realities that one day will sound exquisite.

And sometimes it’s helpful to get a glimpse into someone else’s Motherhood story. I asked some of my mom friends if they could answer the question "Motherhood is . . " with their best motherhood quote. They did all that and more. When you read these they will make you laugh, make you cry, give you perspective aand will ultimately remind you that you are not alone on this journey. And that? That can be the greatest gift of all. So many thanks to moms all over the world sharing their story, their Motherhood quote is a sentence for all of you to read, enjoy and share.

~Rachel

"Motherhood is. . . a crying, perfect baby boy, fresh from heaven and placed on my chest--not by a doctor but by a courageous birthmother who wanted me to be the first to hold him.  

Motherhood is a tiny but mighty baby girl, born looking up at the sky, bruised and purple across her forehead from a tough entrance into the world.

Motherhood is listening to those two miracles playing "Doggy" upstairs while I work at my computer, hearing snip-its of their conversations and their arguments, wondering at who they are becoming.

Motherhood is losing my temper and being someone I wish I weren't--but loving myself enough to just keep trying.  

Motherhood is cuddling up on the coach with a child under each arm and a picture book between us, our favorite time of day.

Motherhood is unfulfilling days, gum in the carpet, pee on the bathroom floor (again), and temper tantrums that never end. But it's also snowy walks hand-in-hand, bedtime talks that burst my heart, and a little boy with wild hair, running towards me with his arms open after his first day of school.  

Motherhood is heaven and hell, hard and holy.

Motherhood is Noah and Sally."

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"Motherhood is . . . an unveiling. A sudden nakedness. A slow revealing. It is discovering an understanding of yourself that has previously been unknown. Before I became a mother, I knew I had the capacity for deep connection and emotion...but from that first shockingly positive pregnancy test until that last push, I didn't know the level of ferocity I could have for another human being. The level of vulnerability and fear I could feel for another human being. The mystery of carrying the echo of my ancestors and the future song of my descendants inside myself, contained in a baby carried in my womb in the present. I didn't know how wildly patient and how furiously impatient I could be at the same time. I didn't know I could be so fully consumed in my self, in the changes in my body, in every nudge and craving, and yet so fully selfless, consumed fully in the life I carried inside me.   

I didn't know I could endure that kind of pain, when the gap between the inner world and the outer one becomes the curtain of one's own flesh, and that primal ambition to shred one's own body to release another's. I didn't know that I could be stitched back together and then sit upon those stitches so as to offer my breast to my newborn. I didn't know I could laugh this hard at a child's Christmas Eve antics. I didn't know I could have my heart broken in an audiology booth. I didn't know I could hold a screaming child down while he had his lip stitched back together. I didn't know I could cheer this loud over a dance competition. I didn't know a spelling word list could bring me to furious tears. I didn't know that the words 'pediatric stroke' would try to defeat me. I didn't know that I could entirely sacrifice and that it could be simultaneously selfless and completely selfish, wanting everything good for my child.

Now I do.
This is Motherhood.

The signs were all there. It wasn't that becoming a mother completely changed me. It was that all those elements of my deepest self had not found expression in this way before. I knew what it was to be daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, friend, enemy, wife, lover, follower, leader, but I didn't know this. This mothering role. This view of myself in a mirror of womanhood that one can be told about but cannot know until she has stepped into the terrain and allowed the path to spread beneath her feet. That woman, she was new to me in a familiar way. I could see my grandmother, my mother, my mother-in-law in her. But she was a fully new and ancient creature, this exposure of the mother in me.

To know these children I have been entrusted with has become a central heartbeat. To love and launch them well has been the cadence of my years, through the freshness of my twenties, through the fatigue of my thirties, through the pragmatism of my forties, and now, having just crossed the threshold of my fifth decade with young children still at home, the wonder that I've had the honor to have had this life's work. So, yes, to know these children, this is motherhood. But it is also the mystery and the mission that I have come to know me. To know more of the why behind what drove me as a child, as a teenager, as a young woman. To know why those competing forces of fear and courage beat strong even then. To know why those enemies of drive and contentment lived in an easy peace even then. To know why more fully I chose the man I did, the man who would be their father. To see more completely that the making of me was the making of them, and the making of them was the making of this me.

This is Motherhood.

Motherhood is me."

Listen to more of Julie's wisdom on the Modern Motherhood Podcast.

"Motherhood is. . . a chance for me to become the person God knows I can be. It is a refiners fire in the most beautiful, hardest sense. There have been many times when I'm not sure how I'm going to make it through another day of morning sickness, another day of utter exhaustion, another day of so much to clean, another day of so much to teach. Yet at those same moments I'm taught the greatest truths and wisdom. I'm given a moment of clarity and insight. That combination of desperation, humility, love and truth changes me to the core bit by bit.  

There are also times when I wish that time could freeze and the kids could stay in their imaginative play, say "I love you mommy" again, snuggle in a little closer on the couch while we read together, we could sit around the table and laugh a little longer, and the magic sparkle when they discover something for the very first time would stay. The moments that bring pure joy into my heart. The moments when I think I love this life that we are building.

I cling to the hope that this time of around the clock loving and serving will result in my greatest friendships and relationships with my children, that I'm raising my very best friends. I also hope that I'm becoming a better person through all the challenges and hard that come with the joy of motherhood."

"Motherhood is. . . feelings of overwhelming excitement and fear all at the same time. From the moment you learn, “you’re going to be a mother”, motherhood is planning and preparing; but you’re never “ready”. Motherhood is the lesson and our children are our teachers. It’s a lesson in letting go. Motherhood is letting go of control; letting go of pieces of ourselves, only to learn that the person we’ve become is so much more than anyone we could have dreamed up for ourselves. Motherhood is testing every ounce of patience and confirms the power of deep breaths. Motherhood is putting someone else’s needs before your own, while realizing that you still matter. Motherhood is the reminder that while you have the great responsibility to care for others, you have an even greater responsibility to care for yourself.

Motherhood is humbling. It can be all consuming. It challenges you to be creative: with routines, with meals, with work, with how you entertain your children - and with how to find harmony in juggling all of the things. Motherhood is identifying what fuels you - what keeps you motivated and driven and inspired. Motherhood is taking a moment to pause and get completely present when life feels like it’s moving too fast to catch up. Motherhood is constantly reflective - it causes us to questions our own instincts when it’s so easy to compare our own mothering to that of others.

Motherhood is weird. Motherhood is needing space, but also feeling alone. It’s wishing that bed time comes and missing your kids once they’re asleep. It’s loving someone so much, it’s hard to imagine your heart being able to handle it. It’s both the greatest challenge and the greatest joy of my life. It causes me to question my worthiness while simultaneously making me feel like the most important person on Earth. Motherhood is something I always wanted. Motherhood is something I could never have prepared for, no matter how many books I read or experts I sought out. Motherhood is what makes me feel all the feels - a grand spectrum of emotions.

Motherhood is unconditional love."

Join Maria and her real mom guests on The Engine Mom Podcast.

"Motherhood is. . . a constant "5 more minutes".

 It's always easy to look backwards & connect the dots. After the passing of my father in 2016, I've learned that life doesn't give you coincidences; everything happens for a reason. My fiery little red head daughter was just 10 months when he passed.  My son was just shy of turning 3. Looking back at the 3 years of having kids while my dad was alive, I wholeheartedly believe that my son was his best friend. The look he got in his eye every time he saw him or brought him a surprise was the highlight to his day. Then there is my daughter's connection to my father. The last thing I heard my dad say in a clear & conscious voice was "there's my pretty little red head" with a big smile on his face.

My daughter is now 3 & has a deep profound connection to my dad. A connection that someone of her age should not be able to process. She knows of things we never told her regarding him, his illness, or his life. She sees him in her dreams. It is these talks with my daughter about my father that has brought me to wish for 5 more minutes with my dad. Every night when I take her to bed, she asks to hear her "Pawpaw song", Scotty McCreery's "5 More Minutes" & each night she learns more of the words to sing in her sweet voice.

In some ways, my daughter has allowed me to go through the five stages of grief of losing a parent. A 3-year old child has provided a 35-year old adult the wherewithal to process grief, denial, anger, depression, and acceptance. It's with this, where I truly believe that motherhood is an infinite amount of moments in which we are constantly saying "just 5 more minutes, honey".

"Can I stay up for just 5 more minutes?"

"Will you lay next to me for 5 more minutes?"

"Can I play for 5 more minutes?"

"Will you play with me for just 5 minutes?"

This one hits me the hardest. I work full-time from home for a company I've been with for 15 years. I'm lucky enough to have an amazing babysitter my kids can go to & learn, play & socialize. When they're not at the babysitter, my mom is gracious enough to spend time here. But there's always occasions when it all falls on me. Sick days. Snow days. And it's work, 2 kids, the house, my side gig of representing a direct sales company, and a dog. "Mommy, can you sit next to me for 5 minutes?" or "Can you play this game for 5 minutes". And it always comes with a response of "sure baby, in just a few minutes". And inevitably, I forget or they forget about me.

When bedtime rolls around, the tables are turned & my daughter asks to go to bed. And it's me that's asking "will you just sit with me for 5 more minutes". It's crazy how life can turn the tables on us. I give in & take her to bed as she's collecting all her "lovies": Pawpaw Bear, Mimi Bear, Wolfie, Bunny & Grinch. We climb in bed where we pass a picture on her dresser of my dad holding my niece which is just right below a clothes hook that my dad made for me as a little girl.

"Can I hear my Pawpaw song?".

It's in that moment that I think of all the things I would love to have for 5 more minutes:

-My kids falling asleep on my chest as an infant
-The moments of time my husband & I spent dating
-The Sunday breakfasts at the park with my dad when I was a little girl
-The father/daughter dances in high school
-The look on my face when my dad first saw my kids when they were born
-The 5 minutes of time before saying something to my kids or husband that I would give anything to take back.
-The look on my dad's face on my wedding day

So take the 5 minutes of holding you kids hands, playing games and being silly. Take 5 more minutes to love the people in your life who have made you the mother you are. Laugh 5 more minutes a day.

Motherhood is the most demanding, rewarding yet unrewarding, fulfilling, draining, exhausting, exhilarating, and exciting jobs you will ever have. Your boss is relentless. Never lets you sleep in. Makes you late for family gatherings. Spits-up & pukes on you. But smiles the most innocent smile at you. Will give you a hug when you are secretly crying on the stairs (which apparently wasn't so secret). They will love you with an unconditional love that knows no bounds & with a love so innocent & sweet. And with a love that is strong & pure.

When life presents you with an opportunity, take 5 more minutes & ask yourself: should I say this, should I do that, should I wait, or should I take life by the hands and run. 5 more minutes may seem like a lifetime to your little ones but it's the blink of an eye in the real world. Motherhood is 5 more minutes of me wishing I had my dad around to call & cry to when things go wrong. Motherhood is accepting your failures as accomplishments. Motherhood is selfless & humbling. It is demanding to the point of tears of frustration, exhaustion, and pain. Motherhood is 5 minutes of quiet time & a glass of wine to rejuvenate your being. Motherhood is 5 more minutes." 

"Motherhood is. . . sacred, relentless and daily. It's a lifelong holy vocation--an opportunity to daily see both miracles and flaws. It's the most exhausting and exciting journey of my life. (As an active duty military spouse, that's saying a whole heck of a lot.)  

Motherhood is my choice to pause, connect and play each day. Every single day of motherhood I mess up and reconnect with my kids and try again. Motherhood is full of laughter and moments of absolute panic. Everyday, I'm presented with a view of the most sacred that life has to offer-- a whole person unfolding-- and I'm thankful for this nearly thankless job.

It's opened my eyes to what self-care actually is, and how to be both serious and funny. Every single day motherhood gives the opportunity to practice being the type of adult I pray deep in my soul my children will become. Motherhood has taught me how to give grace to my own imperfections and love myself fully as I grow shoulder to shoulder beside my own children.

Motherhood is a verb-- a daily showing up with playfulness, attachment, kindness, and love for everyone in my house."

Listen to Christy on the Everyday Motherhood Podcast

"Motherhood is. . . the beautiful sacrifice of giving your life for another. It is both hard and it is lovely at the same time. It's a season of conversations with our kids when it feels like all we do is teach and correct and lecture- but then there are those fun conversations when our kids turn up their personalities full notch and we nearly pass out with laughter at how funny and witty they are.  

It's leading by example, yet freeing ourselves to make mistakes right in front of our kids. It's learning humility in the truest sense and realizing how inept we are to tackle motherhood without community and support. Motherhood is scary when we think of our life-long responsibility and commitment...and yet it is the biggest blessing ever when we realize we've been offered an opportunity in this lifetime to love in the biggest way possible."

Join Demetria this month at the Mompreneurs in Heels

"Motherhood is . . . rewarding, motherhood is an honor, motherhood is the most important job we will ever do.  

And while all of those answers are 100% true in their own way and their own moments, the real mom in me really just wants to say that motherhood is messy. Motherhood is hard. It takes twists and turns that I never, ever expected. Motherhood requires everything I have and some things I don’t have that suddenly I have to dig really deep to find without any notice or warning.  

I’ve learned that the role I play as a mom is one that’s not about controlling and “forming” my kids’ every move. It’s not about expecting or “training" them to have the same opinions or beliefs as me, or contribute to society in the same way that I expect of myself.  It’s more like guiding them along the way. Motherhood is being a safe place for when my kids make mistakes, not being afraid of those mistakes, and strategizing with them to help them learn from their mistakes. It looks different when they’re teenagers from when they were toddlers, but the principal remains the same.  As a mom, I feel it’s my job to be an example of freedom over fear, love instead of offense, and picking yourself back up after failure.

On the days when motherhood looks the exact opposite of what I dreamed up in my head, or the way I think it’s “supposed” to be, when I feel afraid of how I’m doing and certain that I come up short in so many ways, I remember that I was chosen to be THEIR mom, and I am the best person for the job."

Meet Kristen on the SuperMom Podcast.

"Motherhood is . . . in one word, everything. It’s the early mornings when your child is ready to start the day pulling your eyelids back asking you, “Snack?” It’s the long hours of wiping baby noses, baby tears, and baby butts, cleaning up, group bathroom trips, interrupted showers, taming tantrums, kissing boo-boos, cleaning up, chauffeuring, checking homework, making food that your children will partially eat, reading bedtime stories, and did I say cleaning up? And it’s the long nights of cluster feedings, night terrors, checking for monsters, and cleaning up accidents.    

But with all of these tasks motherhood gives back to you in ways that you can’t imagine. It teaches you patience, selflessness, humbleness, grace, humility, and unconditional love. It pushes you and molds you into the person that you were meant to be, and it’s the thing that makes you want to be a better person . . . for them.    

Motherhood is the job I always knew that I wanted. I know now that it is the hardest job and best job anyone could ever have. You don’t get paid in the traditional sense but you do get paid in snuggles, slobbery kisses, giggles and “I love you's. Motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s a “hood” that I absolutely recommend. "

Join Nina at Baby Chick.

"Motherhood is . . . a privilege. Before becoming a mother, I thought motherhood would be my purpose and define me. But honestly, as I look back, it hasn't. I had a purpose and still do separate from being a mother. What it has done, is given me that extra push I needed to truly fulfill my purpose and live out the life I am meant to live.

At times, my son drives me crazy, but he is also what drives me to go so hard at my own dreams. The privilege of having that motivation is unmatched. I want him to know that his mother is more than just a mom. I am also a woman of God, a wife, a daughter, sister, friend, motivator, podcaster, writer, and lover of eating out.

Motherhood is tiring, sometimes we are unappreciated, and it can be lonely. But, it's so worth it, because it is also full of inspiration, allows for creativity, and plenty of hugs and kisses."

Listen to Rachel's Mommifaceted Podcast

"Motherhood is . . . the the most rewarding and hardest job I've ever done. Every single day I learn more about myself as a person and the mother that I want to be. But in this motherhood journey I have learned that I have to be willing to 'fail forward'.

Every day I show up to life and motherhood with the expectation that I will learn and grow. Every single day I will fail and succeed all in the same 24 hour period. I will have wins where I am on top of the world and feel like an amazing mom and moments where the mom guilt takes over and I feel like I can't handle it.  

Motherhood is the journey that lets me be my best and try my hardest and no matter what, allows me to show more love than I ever thought possible. It allows me to be for others and give more than I have but every single day, I always seem to have enough for my kids. Because to them, I'm their superhero. To them, I'm their rock. I'm the person that is there for them no matter what.  It's challenging, amazing, crazy, messy and beautiful and allows me  love my children, succeed, fail, shine, and fall all in the same day."

"Motherhood is . . . a full-time, 24/7, 365 days per year job, and there’s simply no vacation. We love those babies more than anyone else on earth possibly could. They bring us joy and laughter and our hearts could almost burst when we see them hit a new milestone. Mothers love like no other, but we also serve like no other. The role a mom plays in a household is irreplaceable. Many moms often struggle to find time to sneak in a shower or sit down for thirty seconds, much less actually rest. And if you factor in that single moms have no reprieve offered by a spouse, it’s easy to see why single moms are exhausted. . . .  

Moms are the boo-boo kissers, chauffeurs, schedulers, advice givers, organizers, cleaning ladies, homework helpers, cooks, sock locaters, problem solvers, and defenders. We iron, wash dishes, make the phone calls, throw in a load of clothes, apply lipstick, and cook a meal – and that’s usually before the kids even wake."

"Motherhood is . . . A Long Goodbye

Once the reading switch flipped, we invested hours exploring the newly renovated library children’s section. He patiently hunted and then would lose himself in the colorful pages of books too numerous to count. I’d push his younger brother in the stroller as we wove in and out of the stacks. His book bag, crammed full of treasure, caused him to tilt to the side as he walked to the check-out line. Signing his name in big print on his very own library card marked a milestone and a day of celebration.  

Jonathan insisted he return the library books all by himself. He stood on tiptoe as he opened the mysterious metal door off to the side of the main entrance to the library. He would reach into his book bag, remove a few books and slowly close the door. When he opened the door again the chute would be empty, ready for more books. Over and over he stood peering into the chute and looking on the sides trying to unlock the mystery of the contraption that magically ate up library books. I watched from the driver seat of the minivan. Sometimes in awe at how quickly he was growing. Sometimes with impatience when he took a long time trying to figure out the door.

And then I blinked.

On his last day here in Mission Viejo before he left the next day for college, he had books to return at the library. We were running a million errands. He could have driven himself, but I happened to be in the driver’s seat as I watched him standing at the book drop. Tears formed behind my sunglasses as I flashed back to him on tiptoes. A young man twice the height of the little boy now stood in the same spot stooping down when his hands touched the handle to return the books.

We travelled clear to the other side of the country to drop Jonathan off for college. He had a reception to attend, so we drove into campus to drop him off at the Engineering quad. The clock tower bells played overhead as we jumped out of the car across the street in the parking lot under some shade. His younger Julia hugged Jonathan a long, long time. We took a quick photo under the massive trees.

I noticed when I went to hug Jonathan goodbye, it was I who was on tiptoes reaching my arms up to hug his neck on his six-foot frame.

A quick goodby and he disappeared into the crowds.

Motherhood is a goodbye both gradual and shockingly quick. It began the day he learned to crawl and take his first steps away from me, to his first attempts at tying his shoes. I watched him walk through the doors of Kindergarten, then on to the school bus for the weeklong Science Field trip in sixth grade. I looked out my bedroom window as he drove away on the day he passed his driver’s test. Each time a little longer time, a little farther distance.

He was ready for this new adventure. We did what we could with what we had for each new move away from us. And for his life up to this point.  My feelings covered the spectrum. I felt excited for him, proud of him, happy for him.

But for the first ten miles driving away from the campus toward the airport returning us home, Julia and I sat in silence in the car except for our crying."

Connect with Vivian and hire her to speak at your event: VivianMabuni.com

"Motherhood is . . . a marathon completed in baby steps, falls backward, occasional giant leaps ahead and many nights of too little sleep. It is a journey on which you think you’re raising your children but realize at some point that you’re often learning just as much as they are. Motherhood is a universal sisterhood that connects every woman and infuses her with the protectiveness, strength and ferocity of an entire army when it comes to her children. Motherhood is wisdom, intuition and a superhuman ability to survive on two hours of sleep for extended periods of time.

But yet, in our world today, motherhood isn’t respected as it once was. I’ve been asked if I’m “just a mom,” indicating that merely to grow, nurture and then let go of an entire human being (or six in my case) is somehow not an incredible achievement all in its own right.

So my answer is that motherhood is enough. And not just enough… that moms are a force of nature and one of the most powerful influences on the planet. Each journey of motherhood is different and my plea to all moms would be to respect the uniqueness of each journey and to support other moms rather than judge them. We’re all in this together."

Join Katie at Wellness Mama

"Motherhood is . . . the culmination of everything I’ve ever learned, everything I know to be true on a gut level and everything I want to be, wrapped up into one, lifetime job of keeping another human alive so that I can go on living too. Because the second I became a mother, there was an invisible string that connected me to my son and he is now a vital part of me living outside of my own body. My goal is no longer that I should live and be happy and thrive, but that WE should live and be happy and thrive and there is no other option now, whether I like it or not.

. . .It’s that and also a lot of laundry and trips to Target, but I feel like I kinda knew that was part of the deal. So that is on me."

Connect with Megahn and Ilana at Yer Mama Podcast

"Motherhood is . . . an opportunity for growth. There aren’t many experiences in life that bring you to your knees, that reveal your strengths, your weaknesses, force you to identify your values and to think through your words and actions at every turn. These tiny beings have a way of revealing our own humanity.

Becoming a mom is exactly that. . . a becoming. You develop into a new version of yourself and sometimes change isn’t easy. Motherhood for me has revealed some of my uglier sides- I can’t say that I’ve ever seen myself get so angry or frustrated until my spirited son came into my life! But he’s also taught me the great art of patience and self-compassion.Our culture is so obsessed with perfection and because of that, we often miss the fact that the very things that make motherhood difficult are the exact spaces for our growth and personal evolution." 

Connect with Randi at Beyond Mom

"Motherhood is . . .awe-full.  

There's not a day that goes by that this heart-journey of motherhood doesn't ask the very most of me, stretching me far behind what I think myself capable. The awe that comes from watching four little people grow into big people amazes me. While it's not easy watching them navigate life sometimes, I still wouldn't trade it. Who knew that when you became a mother, you're one for life? Your children never outgrow you.

Motherhood is a life full of big wins and near misses, full of learning to let go of mom-to-mom comparison and wrangling that inner critic who points the finger telling me that as a mom, I've not been good enough. It has been enough. I've been enough.  And I count myself lucky to be a part of it all."

Join Gina on her podcast Mommy Jammies

"Motherhood is . . . nothing like I expected but everything I needed to push me to become more of the woman I needed to be. No one told me how hard motherhood was going to be. I thought it would be like any other job up to that point—something that was easy to excel in and manage but nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, if was actually a job, I would have been fired or quit right from the beginning.

Being a mother has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I have never been more beaten up, spoken down to, dog tired and at rock bottom more than in parenting. I have never wanted to quit something more than parenting. It. Is. Hard. But at the same time, this hard thing, has been the exact thing I needed to push me to become more of who I needed to be. I suppose that is true about any hard thing we face. You see, I want to be someone who is vulnerable, courageous and loving. And parenting my girls has been the training ground that I needed to become that sort of woman. So even though motherhood is not what I expected, it is exactly what I needed."

Check out what Sarah does at Surviving Sarah

"Motherhood is . . . waking up at 2:30am to answer a toddlers big question. Motherhood is wiping up the the wet spots on the floor of a child that -almost- made it. Motherhood is enjoying the smiles, hugs and I-love-you’s I receive because they are content with their life.

Motherhood is dancing the Itsy Bitsy Spider song on a messy floor.

And motherhood is working hard to provide for my little ones, to wake up when I’d rather sleep in, to reschedule an appointment for the third time, to go out and buy milk just to get through the night. It’s about providing for kids, who are completely dependent on me. About trying to be a good example.

Motherhood is the all encompassing lifestyle of raising kids while providing in each and every way for my 5 unique human beings..  

Orange County Moms . . . start using Laundrylicious

"Motherhood is . . . impossible.  

In preparation of becoming a Mom, I took every class, read every book (except the chapters about c-sections because that would be not only a waste of time but also absurd), even pre-laundered her tiny clothes & bedding with the special “baby” detergent.  

Three weeks before her due date (& 4 days shy of my 25th birthday) I was watering flowers on a beautiful summer solstice. Suddenly there was “water” everywhere… even In my shoes. My husband was napping inside & groggily didn’t follow at first when I said it was time to GO. Bless. He pulled himself together (read: found his fraternity alumni hat & put it on) while I called my parents to let them know my water had broken. They grandparents to-be lived about an hour away at the time, & my father (a family physician) explained that he had scheduled time off in a few weeks for her birth - but today was just inconvenient. (My parents did make it to the hospital shortly after she was born & I eventually did forgive Dad/Dr. Papa Jack for that inconvenient comment).  

Upon arriving at the hospital an ultrasound determined the baby was breech & a c-section would be necessary. During the surgery, I remember waiting, waiting, waiting an impossibly long time to hear her cry. Eventually, she let a war whoop loose! The umbilical cord had wrapped around her little neck several times. The “regular” delivery experience I had planned for throughout the pregnancy would have resulted in the unthinkable.

I was in incredible pain for days following the c-section. I didn’t know a person could feel that bad & still be alive. Upon arriving home from the hospital, I decided the only conceivable option to keep her safe (& myself somewhat comfortable) would be to stay on the couch together. Nearly a week in our couch-surfing, I began to develop a mildly burning rash. I tried every cream & remedy I could get my hands on. Eventually through process of elimination I realized the cause of the stingy rash was the intoxicating, smelly-good, baby detergent. For the love…

16 years later it’s unfathomable that we spent my 25th birthday & the first week of her life in a 7 day snuggle fest. No seriously. I’m 5’10” & she is 6’2” now. Can you imagine? Moreover, since the day she was born she has looked IMPOSSIBLY similar to my husband. Am I even in there? Sigh. Don’t even get my started on the futile feeling of parenting a teenage girl.  

Despite all of this I love her more than I ever thought I could love another human being. Motherhood is IMPOSSIBLE because I will never ever be DONE. I will never stop being her Mom."

Meet Christy at Mother Stucker

"Motherhood is . . . an honor and privilege, accompanied by much laughter and fatigue!  Some days you wake up feeling like Mary Poppins but crawl into bed like Cruella de Vil.  As a mom, you're probably the most popular person in house. "Mom, where's my homework?"  "Mom, can you get me some milk?"  "Mommmmmmmmmy, I need you!"  I like to remember in these moments of immense popularity that the day will come when it's just my husband and me.  Someday the house will be quiet and vacuumed, with photos of the kids lining the shelves.  No one will be asking me to tie shoelaces, or help with a lunch, or sign a permission slip.  That's why I choose to enjoy all the moments of motherhood because these are seasons that will pass.  

Motherhood is about being the parent, not being my child's BFF.  It's not my job to amuse my children 24/7 with entertainment and iPads.  I'm not a cruise director but I am a character director.  As mothers, we have the awesome responsibility for training our kids for adult life.  We provide boundaries and guardrails so our kids won't go sideways. Motherhood is about putting down our phones and looking into our children's eyes.  Regularly, every day.  If they don't learn this from us, who will they learn it from?

I waited many years to become a mom because I had trouble having children.  It was totally worth the wait...and then some!"

Join Arlene at ArlenePellicane.com

"Motherhood is . . . many things to many moms. Music City Moms is an online community of moms so I asked what motherhood is to them. . ." 

"A roller coaster of highs and lows, tantrums and hugs, and some of the best laughter and silliness around. –Bonnie

The most incredible adventure of your life! –Jennifer

God's gift. –Lee Ann

Sometimes pure joy and sometimes pure heartache! –Kaye

The most important and fulfilling thing I have ever accomplished. –Dawn

Hard. –Jenifer

The greatest, hardest journey of my life. –Brenda

My greatest adventure. –Lisa

Full of the biggest life lessons I have ever learned. –Lanelle

Different every day. Heartbreaking and restoring. Draining and rewarding. Fun and hard. Tedious and surprising. Gross and full of beauty. Work and play. Most of all: worth it and full of love going both ways. –Eva"

Nashville Moms! Join up with the moms at MusicCityMoms.net.


"Motherhood is . . . like a mirror. From the first moment the nurses placed my newborn son into my arms, I could see myself reflected in his tiny features and expressions. I marveled at the mystery of it...until he began to grow.  

It was then that the “mirror of motherhood” began to reveal more than just my familiar face mixed with my little boy’s. Soon it became a reflection of all the good, bad, and the ugly parts of myself. I saw myself in his tantrums when he didn’t get his own way, in the unrelenting determination he displayed when he had his heart set on something. I found pieces of me in him when he was certain that just one more toy would satisfy his deepest need.  

Because I too, find it hard to adapt when life doesn’t go my way. I fixate on some idea or project and find myself relentlessly pursuing it at the expense of everything and everyone around me. Sometimes, my heart believes that more material things will fill the longings of my soul, just as my boy believes the latest toy or video game will fill his.  

But the mirror doesn’t always show just the quirks we share. Sometimes it reveals the best parts of me shining through my children in greater measure than it has ever reflected in my own life. It works as a magnifier, increasing my positive traits in their lives exponentially—far beyond my meager offerings to the world around me. I enjoy encouraging others, but my children have hearts the size of Mt. Everest and display the art of kindness in ways I’d never imagined.  

And it is in that mirror of motherhood that I see fingerprints of the Divine, marked on my heart and imprinted deep in the hearts of my children. Just like any other mirror in my house, it needs cleaning sometimes, as my perspective becomes clouded by the chaos of life. But underneath it all, the mirror reminds me to be thankful for the precious lives I get to influence every single day, and encourages me to grow in love as I see love reflected in the hearts of my kids."

Check out Becki's blog, Not Quite Supermoms

"Motherhood is…meaningful Motherhood is a wrecking ball destroying all of our expectations, clearing the way for construction as we become the best possible version of ourselves.

Just when you’ve built a strong foundation of preparation with every parenting book and blog, motherhood comes crashing through every expectation you had like a wrecking ball of mixed emotion, poop, comparison, confusion, a love so deep it physically hurts, and did I say poop??

We all think we know what it means to be a good mom until we are so tired and overwhelmed we pack up two of our children in the car, crank it, and then realize our friend is still inside the pool party holding our other infant. By we I mean me. I did that. Listen, the best advice I could ever give any mother is to trust yourself, do your best, love them hard, and see yourself as they see you.

Perfect.

Take a deep breath and know that you are enough for your children as you are now. Don’t allow worry and comparison rob you of another peaceful moment. You’ve got kids for that. Most important, keep a sense of humor!"
 

Join Carolanne on her Mother Crusher's Podcast

"Motherhood is…meaningful.

That might sound cliche, because you can read that sentence in almost any parenting blog or magazine, but it is true.I think that for many of us, we see motherhood as insignificant, because we spend a lot of time doing mundane chores, and because there are so many of us in the world, that we can’t possibly be special.

What most of us do everyday isn’t celebrated in the news media and we certainly aren’t given golden statues for best diaper change or medals for being fastest at washing dishes.

Nevertheless, those seemingly mundane things…packing school lunches, finding lost socks in the laundry, washing endless spoons and cups…these things that we do each day for our children are life-giving.

But it isn’t just the physical tasks that are important; the hugs, encouraging words and our mere presence are too.

Because these everyday actions build, ever so slowly…so sluggishly that you can’t see it most days…such a foundation of love and security in your children’s hearts that it turns them into grown people that are willing and able to do great things in the world.All because a mother was faithful to do the ordinary for their sakes.

That  is meaningful."

Let Erin fill you in on the Secrets of an Organized Mom

"Motherhood is . . . the perfect storm of emotions. The moment they lay that baby on your chest, a new part of your heart is instantly born. It overflows with a fierce, unwavering love that is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Knowing that this soul has been entrusted into your care is the greatest honor this side of Heaven, but with that new love that has been born, the fear of messing this little person up is born along with it. And it can be debilitating if you allow it to be.  

But do you know what I’ve found is the most beautiful thing? As you grow and change and learn together, you will come to realize that the love conquers the fear. It drives it out as you and your child find your own unique rhythm, and the fear is replaced with a quiet, yet strong confidence that is only found in the heart of a mother. It’s a holy, sacred place that is found in the up-all-nighters and the packing of lunches, in the bedtime stories and the calming of tantrums. It’s in the “I love you’s” and the “I’m sorry’s.” It’s made in the moments of pure joy when you realize that you were made for this and the nights where you find yourself on your knees wondering if you can do this another day.  

But whatever moment you find yourself in, whatever emotion you are flooded with that day, it is always, always covered in grace. And it’s grace that I’ve found, is the only calm for the perfect storm of motherhood."

"Motherhood is constant questions and endless amounts of worry. But don’t forget, dear friend, this is the price we pay for loving so hard. For being the comfort, the teacher, the safe place, and number one advocate for our children.

Motherhood is a scary love . . . 
An adventurous love. . . 
Motherhood laughs in the face of plans, and challenges our entire being. . . 
Equal parts beautiful and indescribable messy. 

Motherhood is an honor."

Join Kori on her Mother Crusher's Podcast

"Motherhood is. . . a dive into a deep ocean of unknowns. There are sharks and tempestuous waves in the form of physical pain from childbirth, sleepless nights, colic, and the fear that you aren’t doing or being enough. But as scary as those monsters are, the ocean also contains vast amounts of love, compassion, and sheer emotionality that you cannot gain access to before agreeing to subjugate your wellbeing for the care and preservation of another precious life.

A plunge into this realm will surprise you with its ferocity and immediate intensity, shake you to your core, and wash away older, lesser versions of yourself. And whether you feel like it or not, you are in fact strong enough to withstand the current and the sharks and create a space of loving kindness for you and your child now and for all the years to come."

"Motherhood is . . . life's ultimate game changer creating a perpetual paradigm shift of phenomenal proportions as it alters your reality emotionally, mentally, spiritually and oftentimes physically.  Motherhood unveils your maternal soul and creates a connection of mystery and the purest beauty."

Harrisonburg Moms, join Toni at The Macaroni Kid Harrisonburg

"Motherhood is . . . truly the greatest gift. Nothing warms my heart more than to see the joy in the eyes of my children as they want to show me something they are excited about creating. I look at the at the two of them and am so proud of who they are becoming. As their mother, my greatest influence is helping to shape them into responsible, kind and hardworking people.

It's being on demand 24/7, but knowing the time spent taking care of the kids is what I was called to do. Moms juggle so many titles as we try to do it all and are truly rockstars.

Motherhood is rewarming my coffee multiple times throughout the morning because the tasks of raising children took priority.

It's counting my blessings each night and enjoying the moment of peace because I know the chaos will begin again in the morning."

Columbus, Ohio moms, connect with Amy at Columbus Moms Blog

"Motherhood is . . . so many things it's very hard to answer this question.  When I first became a mother my answer would have probably revolved around having perfect outfits, perfect holidays, perfect photos, and perfect schedules.  Now that I have been a mother for almost 20 years and raised children from birth to adulthood my answer to this question is very different.

As much as I wanted my parenting to be perfect I have learned that nothing in life is ever perfect. Parenting, like life, is a work in progress. I lived and I learned over the years and now I feel like I understand that motherhood has many aspects. 

Motherhood is fun, rewarding, beautiful, a miracle, but also hard, a learning experience, and a roller coaster. If i could sum it all up into one thought or phrase I would say that motherhood is going to be the most significant thing you will ever do but also the most rewarding."
  

Meet Bethany at Parenting in Progress.

"Motherhood is . . .laughing so hard you can barely catch your breath, and crying so hard
you can barely do the same. 

It’s desperately wanting alone time, and then once you have it, it’s
spending most of those moments thinking about your family. 

It’s allowing the messes of paints and craft supplies with a “you’re
only little once” attitude, and then finding yourself filled with
frustration that the house is a mess. 

It’s anxiously anticipating their first steps and first words, while
simultaneously wondering where the time went, and wishing you could
hold your tiny infant once more.

It’s long nights and short years.  

It’s yearning for quiet in the early years and praying for connection
and conversation in the teen years.

It’s looking with adoration at the tiny handprint-painted masterpiece
hanging on the fridge, and it’s constantly cleaning sticky
fingerprints off of the windows and walls.

It’s a feeling of nostalgia as the first day of Kindergarten draws
near, and feeling relief when you finally get a break after a
fun-filled summer.

It’s full to overflowing, and it's so incredibly lonely.

It's holding on and letting go.

But more than all of this. More than anything else.

Motherhood is one word:

LOVE"

Learn more about Ginger at No Mama's Perfect

"Motherhood is . . . the reason I wake up early. It’s the reason I sometimes don’t get to have a shower each day. It’s the reason I drink too much coffee and maybe too much wine. Motherhood is the reason I have a never-ending basket of laundry, and have a level 100 skill at dishwashing. It’s the reason I cry, and the reason I laugh - both at the same time sometimes. Motherhood is the most challenging, and life-changing experience of my life.

I miss my life pre-kids, but at the same time I would never go back. Motherhood is realising that your life is more challenging but it is also so much more enriched with children in it - even if they do drive you insane."

Connect with Maria on Facebook at Happy Mum Happy Child

"Motherhood is . . . the hardest job in life. Yet, we don’t give up when we are completely tired and overwhelmed, and we receive no pay except for the loving little eyes smiling back at us. We don’t complain the work is too hard or can’t be done. Mothers find a way. Despite our exhaustion and frequent frustration with the task, when asked if we would do it again, we quickly respond with a sparkle in our eyes, “Always, I wouldn’t change a thing."

Join Rachel at Smart Mom Smart Ideas

"Motherhood is . . . inspiring. 

It's also exhausting, terrifying, and chaotic. 

And of course it's heartwarming, rewarding, and beautiful. 

Oh, and funny. Motherhood is hilarious!

Motherhood is somehow all of those things, every single day. Sometimes more chaotic than beautiful. Sometimes more heartwarming than exhausting. But it is all of those things. It’s because motherhood is all of those things that it is so inspiring.

Children teach us to view the world through younger eyes. When they are bouncing off the couch, they are imagining that they can fly. When they are coloring a picture, they are creating their own world. We lose some of that imagination and inspiration as we get older and settle into a life of responsibilities. But motherhood gives us the gift of recapturing some of our own childhood innocence, and allows us to experience seeing everything for the first time again.

Before becoming a mother, I had kept my own creativity locked up in a box for many years in favor of structure and order. Long gone were the days I would spend covered in drawing charcoal or stringing together words to create a rhythm. But my children cracked the lid on that box. They have inspired me to revitalize and recalibrate my own dream, to learn, grown, and fly right along with them.

Motherhood may break me down sometimes, but when I fully open myself up to it, motherhood is building me back up. Piece by piece.

Ugh, and now I’m crying. Motherhood is also emotional as all get-out… Pass the chocolate."

Learn about Becca at With Love, Becca

"Motherhood is . . . this amazing beast that you never saw coming. It is portrayed to be this beautiful and peaceful experience when in reality it is messy and chaotic. But if you as a mom if they would have it any other way, we wouldn't. Just remember, no mom is perfect and motherhood is always a learning experience. "

Meet Jennifer at Teach.Workout.Love

"Motherhood is...such a fantastic shit-show of emotions, we recorded a whole album about it. It's not safe for children but it is safe for YOU."

"Motherhood is . . . love and laughter, joy and sorrow. It’s exhausting at times, but rewarding all the time. Being a mom isn’t the hardest thing I’ve done, but it’s the most challenging, exasperating, frustrating, joyful, funny and hopeful thing in my life.  

Unfortunately, many today—men and women, young and old—view motherhood as drudgery, as not fulfilling or as somehow not as important as running a company or finding a cure for cancer. Motherhood is a calling, but what we forget is that it doesn’t have to be the only thing that defines who we are as women.  

Being a mom is a large part of me, but it’s not the only part. There’s other aspects of my life that make up the essence of me as a person. The writer, the parent coach, the reader, the dreamer. Because I take time to nurture those parts of me, I am a better mom. So motherhood isn’t only about who I’m mothering—it’s also about how I’m seamlessly integrating being a mom into my life. And the best part of this? My children see that motherhood is part of the whole, not just a slice of life."

Subscribe to Sarah's You've Got This Podcast

"Motherhood is . . .  my largest opportunity for growth.  

On the other side of all of the magic that my babies have brought into my life, I’ve found SO MANY moments of self-reflection. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve stepped away from a situation in which I lost my calmness, wondering what just happened. Why was I crying over spilled milk?  

While those moments are usually followed by a large dose of mom guilt, they are also filled with self-growth. I’m forced to sit with myself and figure it out. What did that situation trigger inside of me? What emotions can I let go? How can I better nurture my self and my littles?  

I’ll admit, sometimes the easier option is to simply give myself grace for being human and move forward, and that’s almost always necessary to some extent. But wading through those sticky, icky questions and emotions about the roots of my feelings—that’s what leads to the good stuff! That’s what opens the flood gates and lets all the upside down emotions spill away, freeing me from the source of all of that overwhelm.

Each day, the kids and I get closer to being in stride and at the same time are constantly being knocked out of it. It’s a beautiful process of the deepest kind of love and I feel honored to be in the thick of it all."

Live better with Rochelle at The NonToxShop

"Motherhood is . . . the toughest, yet BEST job in the entire world. I would not trade a single day. Even through the ups and downs and twists and turns, Motherhood is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me." 

Connect with Alexis on Instagram at MamaStoryTime

"Motherhood is . . .

-loving beyond explanation

-giving more than you have

-receiving less than you deserve

-finding parts of you that you never knew existed

-loving through pain, grief and sadness

-loving through happiness, joy and laughter

-living with expectations that are too high"

"Motherhood is . . . the greatest teacher, full of moments, that turn into lessons learned.

Motherhood is the balance of not wanting to let go but knowing you must.

Motherhood is the only place where I am content."  

"Motherhood is . . .

Live in the moment. The days may be long, but the years are short. Being with your children is what they will remember. Take advise that fits you, and don’t compare yourself to others. Only you know what’s best for your child.  

*Some of this I personally am still working on especially since I’m a single parent ~ I get A LOT of unsolicited advise and people constantly feel the need to insert their opinions as the only way to do things."

"Motherhood is . . . the hardest work you will ever do, but also the most REWARDING work you will ever do."

Meet Becky Flansburg at Up North Parent

"Motherhood is. . .  at once the greatest joy, the wisest teacher and the constant grieving of watching our precious children awaken to the world around them and slowly, surely grow their wings under our careful guidance."

Join Lisa at The Art of Joy.

"Motherhood is . . . a precious gift that continuous to get better through out your life including becoming a grandparent."

Join Gladys and Christina Moms to Grandma.

"Motherhood is . . . not a competition.

This crazy measuring up pressure on mothers? On you? Right now in the midst of motherhood? In the midst of a life of mothering and caring for children? This unwritten rule of what perfect motherhood should look like? Be like?

And does it make you tired like it makes me?

When I  am blessed to speak face to face with moms almost every time during our conversation we end up talking about the ridiculous pressure, this unwritten competition, that could/can/may/does exist between mothers. Eyes would well with tears as we’d talk about motherhood and this feeling of being out-of-breath and trying to do our best and yet feeling overwhelmed and alone in this journey where support and friendship is most needed.

There is not one perfect motherhood choice out there.

There is not a manual on how to have the perfect motherhood life and children and house. Yet, there is often this crazy unspoken about competitive world of motherhood out there where we as mothers could feel like the measuring bar of what one needs to do is so high and unattainable and we’ll never reach the top. . .  

Motherhood is brave. That’s my word. My story. And because of that belief I wrote an entire book that I want you to read called The Brave Art of Motherhood. It will motivate you, will break you out of a slump, will provide answers and will remind you of your own bravery and strength. Don’t wait to celebrate your story until you’re older. You deserve that chapter now.
So with that, get your copy of The Brave Art of Motherhood here.


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