Words to a New Mother

A Speech Given at a Baby Shower

“It’ll change your life,” everyone told me. But no one would tell me how.  “It’ll change your life,” they’d offer.  Then they’d proceed to exchange those infuriating bemused and knowing glances with any other mothers present.

I knew it would change my life.  I knew we would have less money, less time, less sleep. I knew my body might be different.  I knew the labor would be long and painful (isn’t everybody’s!).  I had this gnawing fear of what it would be like when it wasn’t just the two of us anymore.  But either no one could tell me or no one would tell me what would change.

I didn’t know, for example, that nursing every two hours really meant nursing every other hour of the day for an hour.  Or that getting my body back was going to be more than a matter of will power.  I hadn’t thought about how rarely I would be able to leave the house.

I suppose that my rocky pregnancy had led me to believe that motherhood would be a smooth transition by comparison.  After all, what could be more difficult than morning sickness?  Or climbing the dunes while pregnant?  I had the vague notion that there would be a “low introductory rate” for new mothering club members; that there would be some kind of transition time, such as maternity leave, in which to slowly adjust.  I assumed that I would still be my more-or-less trendy self, up on movies, fashion, and current events.  I even planned on having a weekly date night in order to relieve what I was sure would be an inordinate amount of parenting stress. 

But what no one could have possibly told me, even if they tried, was that what would really change was me.  I could have never understood before it happened that falling in love with your baby isn’t at all like falling in love with your husband.  It doesn’t take its time, or count admirable traits one by one.  It doesn’t have to stop and re-evaluate with each new piece of information. It isn’t a languorous, purposeful love.  It isn’t a love you choose.  It is instantaneous, immediate, and gripping.  And it leaves no part of you untouched.  In the moment that your child is born, you belong to him just as much as you perceived that he belonged to you before he was born.  The forceful power and utter selflessness of motherhood brought me to a deeper understanding of God and his daily sacrifices for us.  What no one told me about motherhood is how much joy there would be in these sacrifices, and how much personal growth.  It’s left me amazed, and as any mother will tell you, I can’t remember who I was beforehand anymore.

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Comments 2 comments

Brooke sands 5 years ago

I loved this aunt courtney!!!!!! you are amazing at what you do.

And may I say You make some darn cute babies!

much love, brookie.

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Kotori 5 years ago from Chicagoland Author

Thanks, Brooke! Glad you enjoyed it.

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