Amanda Gates

Why Do You Love Being a Mom?

I was having a discussion with a close friend who’s on the verge of starting a family. She’s a bit discouraged, because in recent years a majority of what moms write on the Internet or tweet about tends to be negative. Here’s what she said to me:

“I just feel like everything I've read online lately is so negative and depressing and anxiety-making and justifying decisions and not about the crazy miraculous awesome transformation (and what transformation ISN'T hard?) of mom and child. Everything seems to be about letting go and feeling like you did all this to be left and your body is destroyed and identities have been lost. Sounds like a war zone. Or self-inflicted abuse. Why are they all having kids then?”

And she’s absolutely right, in a few ways. Being a mom is hard. But also, we don’t talk enough about what we love about being moms. I compare it to customer service in a way. When we have great customer service, rarely do we call over the manager and sing praises. But when we have a bad experience? Oh hell, someone is going to hear about it!

It’s the same with our kids. We tend to talk more, tweet more, blog more when things are a struggle. Don’t get me wrong – we should! Personally, writing it out is sometimes the only way I feel better about things. And the commiseration you can get from other moms who have “been there”? Priceless.

However, my childless friend made me realize that while it’s OK to talk about the hard stuff, I don’t talk nearly enough about the wonderful stuff.

I don’t say enough to people how awesome my kid is. (He’s so awesome, by the way.)

I may complain, but then I don’t balance it out with, “Guess what? I love this life.”

Because I do. And there are people out there (my friend) who need to hear that.

So, here’s my list for Why I Love Being a Mom.

HIM

The giggles. My kid has the best laugh on the face of the planet. Our daycare provider says we need to bottle it up and sell it.

The sound of him saying “mama” makes me feel like the most important person in the world. No other being on the planet can make me feel that way.

Our conversations in the car. He’ll narrate what he sees (Truck! Car! BIG Truck!) and I’ll answer back. He’s not even two, so I can only imagine these getting better as his vocabulary expands.

That I can still rock him to sleep some nights. Holding him, rocking him in his glider, hearing his breathing slow down and him start to snore – It’s really hard to put him down that I hold him until my arms feel like they’ll fall off.

Because before we fall asleep each night, my husband always says, “He’s the best baby.” And I agree.

Jonna put it a great way in one of her posts: it’s like when you first fall in love with someone – the stomach butterflies, the falling feeling, wanting to kiss them all over all the time. With your kid, you feel that way every day for the rest of your life. (Go read her comments on that post; they’re just what we all need to say all the time.)

The cheeks. I could kiss his cheeks all day every day if he would let me. (But, that kind of gets in the way of his playing time.)

Going into his room before we go to bed to see what funny position he’s sleeping in. Sideways, diagonally, knees up, flat on his tummy. Listening to him lightly snore. And then teasing my husband because they sleep exactly the same way.

(I COULD GO ON…)

ME

Watching him learn. I look back at videos and pictures of my boy when he was a tiny baby and how amazed we were when he was cooing at the camera or learning to smile. And now we’re amazed at him for knowing his letters and numbers and colors. I’m 31 years old and I just made my dad proud the other day. THE AMAZEMENT, IT NEVER ENDS.

When you get married, you feel like, “We’re in this together; we can take on the world as our little unit!” That feeling only escalates when you have a kid. You find yourselves alone together in this challenging yet rewarding new life. We’ve never felt closer.

When I figure something out. Like how to get him to nap in his crib. Or a new food that he likes. Or how to get rid of a pesky rash. Those little tiny victories really aren’t that little or tiny.

I’ve never felt so protective about anything in my life. I would take a bullet for that kid. I would murder someone for that kid. And that feeling of protectiveness, sureness and unwavering passion makes me feel powerful.

While some things may still rile me up, I’ve found I’m more laid back about things. Because in the end, nothing matters more to me than my family. Sure, I’ll get riled up and fight for them, but as for the other bullshit out there in the world – politics, poor relationships, mean people, competitiveness – I could care less. Stuff that would make me mad before just rolls of my back. I love that new part of myself.

To go along with that, I’ve found I’m more honest with people, more willing to share my opinion, even if it’s different, because I care less what people think about me.

Finally, when I look at him, the miracle I brought into the world, I know I’ve made the world a better place.

**Now, I’ve only been at this for two years, so I need others to chime in, too. Those of you with newborns to teenagers and more than one kid. Help me out, give my friend some love, and tell us Why You Love Being a Mom.

Comments

Love this post, it brought

Love this post, it brought tears to my eyes. You have a gift for putting into words what we feel!! Being a mom is awesome, the best kept secret out there.

Yay!

Thanks Em! You're right about the priorities changing. Even if we complain about things like lack of sleep, alone time or body changes, in the end, it really doesn't matter as long as our kid is healthy and happy.

Why I Love Being a Mom

Amanda, I think you hit the nail on the head - when things are going wrong, we are more likely to want to complain/vent/commiserate with other moms, which is why you see so much negativity on the Internet. And just like with anything in life, there are days that are HARD. I have had days where I long for my old life - just for even a few hours of alone time. That being said, I can honestly say that the day my daughter was born was the happiest day of my life, despite the messiness of labor. I love my time with her, even when she is wiping her snotty nose all over my shirt, or refusing to nap. My priorities have changed, too, and while I'd like to have a flat stomach again, it just doesn't seem like as big a deal as it did before. I've felt this way about a lot of other things, too. She comes first now, and that is all there is to it. SO! Here is a list of things that I love about being a mom.
-The smile I get when I go to get Clare up in the morning or from a nap. Or, for that matter, when I get home from a long day of work. She just lights up, and it is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
-Watching her discover new things (which is almost daily) and how proud she is of herself when she accomplishes something new.
-Her joy and excitement when her dad gets home from work and how she performs for an audience.
-Seeing the development of her little personality.
-Making her laugh, which is pretty easy to do these days.
-Snuggling in the chair, reading books.
-Kissing little cheeks.
Basically, I think everything she does is wonderful. So yes, motherhood is challenging, but it is so incredibly worth it. I wouldn't give it up for the world. I love it so much, I think I'll have another one someday.

Awesome

Thanks Chrissy! You're right, the unbelievable way your heart grows and fills with love... Such an amazing benefit!

Oh, man. Why I love being a

Oh, man. Why I love being a mom ... where to begin?
Being a parent allows you to really, truly savor the simple pleasures in life. The cuddling, the bedtime stories, the kisses (the kisses!!!), the genuine hugs, those "aha!" moments when you know an important lesson is catching on.
It forces you to stop, be present, and appreciate the world in a different light. A light that lets you see the beauty in life when sometimes life doesn't seem so beautiful.
It makes you realize that your heart has a limitless capacity to love. Sometimes you are filled so full, you think, "Now how did I get so lucky?!?!" You finally understand the expression 'My heart was bursting with love.'

While my body may have changed, I also realize that it did something pretty amazing — it created two lives. And what's more impressive in the long run, having a flat stomach or having a few battle scars that prove how strong you really are? (More strong than you ever thought possible.)

And I never lost my identity when I became a mom. There are some women who forget who they were before they had kids, but I think having kids just added another layer, another interesting dimension to my life. I still have many of the same dreams, hopes, likes, dislikes, wants, and needs ... I'm just a modified version of my former self. If I wasn't a mom, I'd feel a void in my life. Being a mom completes me.

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