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The Heartache and the Joys of Motherhood.

Updated on October 26, 2017

Family Photos

Meeting Lil' brother for the first time
Meeting Lil' brother for the first time | Source
First Day Of School
First Day Of School | Source

At the birth of my first child, my Mother's advice was this: “Take a good look at that tiny little baby in your arms and know this: She will break your heart a thousand times”. Doesn’t that seem like horrible advice for a mother to give? She was right, though.

As the years have passed I have learned exactly what my mother was trying to warn me of. The inevitable.

It starts in the hospital when they are born. A heart so full of joy that it feels like it's breaking. As nurses come in and handle your newborn, sticking them with needles, your baby will cry and the pain your heart feels is unbearable. For me, It took a lot to keep myself from tackling the nurses!

The first time I had to leave my child with a sitter, she was only 6 weeks old. I have never cried so much in my entire life and I was late for work that day because I had to pull the car over several times not being able to see through the tears in my eyes. I called to check on her every hour on the hour. Preschool should have been easier by age two, but when she cried for me as I left her in the classroom; I felt my heart shatter to a thousand pieces. The teachers urged me to go and not look back because I would make it worse for both of us. Oh it got worse! By the end of the week, she didn’t even look back to wave bye bye. I cried again because she didn’t miss me.

Her first day of big school, she was so brave. She was talkative and excited until we got to the hallway and she sat in line with the other kids. I tried to stay, but again, the teachers urged parents not to linger. I looked back at her quivering lips and glistening eyes, knowing she was trying so hard not to cry. Whether she wanted to cry for herself, or for me, I'll never know. I waved and she waved back. I was so proud of her.

My son did not attend a preschool or stay with a sitter until he was four and on his first day of pre-kindergarten, he didn’t bat an eye. “Bye Mom!” Of course, I bawled all the way home. At age seven, I was not allowed to hug or kiss him in front of his friends. They are growing up and my heart breaks every first day of school for the both of them.

Of course, my children don’t mean to break my heart, but I believe a mother’s heart is strong enough to break.

I’ve heard, “I hate you” on several occasions. (and you will too if you haven't already) Once because I said they couldn’t have a cell phone yet! (at age nine!)They also hate me because they don’t like being grounded, but it’s our job as parents to discipline them so that they will learn. The first time it was said, it hurt and I cried. Where did they learn this word, "hate?" It scared me, but as time went by and I recalled my own childhood, it deemed normal behavior and only gave me insight to the teenage years when boundaries will be tested, rebellion will happen, and my heart will break many times more.

Teenagers! Well, they break your heart weekly. However, by now, Mom, you are probably used to it. If it's not the usual teenage rebellion or hateful words, then it's going to be your longing for that little innocent baby they once were. You'll look at them and you'll try to see the child, but it will break your heart when all you can see is the man or woman they are becoming. You'll wish for time to rewind or at least stand still.

As your bank account is drained when graduation comes along, you'll cry again. Your 'baby' is leaving the nest soon. You'll wonder whether you've done a good job as a parent or not. It will see as though they don't really "need" you anymore, but they will, Mom. You'll see. It will just be in a different way than before.

Just like I know my own mother never loved me any less for any pain that I didn’t mean to cause her, I know that my love will not fault either. I’ve sat at my Mom’s table and apologized for the things I’d done, and thanked her for all she’s done for me.

Enjoy all those moments NOW because they won't last forever. And heart break is only a little bit of it all and is just part of the job. The joy out weighs the ache by tons!!

I know that one day my children will understand it all themselves. I know that my heart will break many times more as I watch them grow and I hope it is mostly for the good things like their first school dance, first relationship and first break up, driving, graduating, and marrying. Ah, the bittersweetness of parenthood.

Just remember, if we're lucky, we'll get the joy of GRANDCHILDREN and the joy of watching our 'kids' be parents. Payback!

© 2011 Kelly Pittman


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    • Sky9106 profile image


      8 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

      I kept on saying to you that I know there was something , I always trust my spirit, after all it' been with me for quite some time.

      Congratulations on all your successes and I pray that you would continue on the only path there is for a mother, and that is the correct one. Continue to listen to your mother throughout. Experience is undoubtedly the very best teacher and your Mom have that over you, in ways that is only best when kids learn.

      Beautiful kids, great stories, and continued happiness, throughout

      bless. .

    • greatparenting profile image


      9 years ago from philadelphia, pa and corolla, nc

      Nicely done. I guess our hearts (as moms) break so much because they are so filled with love to overflowing! When I drove each of my daughters to college, I cried all the way home in the car... then I laughed because I remembered doing the same thing the first day I put each on the kindergarten bus. They're all grown now and the heartbreaks haven't ended, alas! But, it's okay because the love has grown, too.

    • djf profile image


      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      Well written Kelly. I enjoyed it.

    • Lou1842 profile image


      9 years ago

      Being a parent can bring the most joyful experiences but also the most painful. Excellent hub!

    • family2010 profile image


      9 years ago

      I know for sure that the parental love to their children is being considered as the unconditional love, so no matter what they do we 'll always love them no matter what , but they will break our hearts million times for saying No, and doing what they think they know better than us.

    • Allana Calhoun profile image

      Allana Calhoun 

      9 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      I can so relate to this! 3 children myself, 2 are teenagers now and one still in elementary school. Even as they are getting older and riding with you less, you still get these moments where you glance in the backseat fully expecting all 3 to be there. Well written! Nice job sharing those mother moments.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      It is interesting to look at different responses people give when a child is born!

      Upon the birth of her first child, my friend's grandmother said to her, "You've just slept your last peaceful night." Years later my friends was still appalled by her grandmother's comment.

      I've also heard that someone famous (perhaps Churchill, I can't remember for sure) was leaving a hospital at the same time a young couple with a new baby and a nameless woman were leaving. The woman turned to the happy new parents and proceeded to question how they could bring a baby into this awful world, detailing how awful it is. The young couple's faces fell at her comments. The man complimented the couple on their beautiful baby as they turned away, then he turned to the woman and said, "I hope you choke."

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 

      9 years ago from Idaho

      Voted up! Although my son is only 1 I knew exactly what you meant. Whoever said that having a child is like having your heart walk around outside your body was right on point.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      9 years ago from New York

      Your mother's warning was well put and gave you the warning a new mother needs. We go into having children knowing so little but learn so much. I felt your pain at each separation. Lovely hub, voted up.

      P.S. Video/song was very appropriate.

    • KellyPittman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Pittman 

      9 years ago from South Louisiana

      Aw! Tina, Thanks so much! Love and Miss you bunches. I'd love to get together soon. I'd love to meet your little ones. I've seen them in pictures only.

    • profile image

      tina dillard 

      9 years ago

      i absolutely love this and understand every bit of it, from the heartbreak of kids to the heartbreak i gave as a you kelly and so glad we are friends.

    • twoseven profile image


      9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Very beautiful! You capture this so well. It reminds me of a quote I saw not long ago, attributed to Elizabeth Stone, that gets at the very same thing - "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

      Thank you for the hub!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Your motherly love and genuine selflessness shines in every word you have written here. What a beautiful tale of love. Being a mother myself of two wonderful children, a girl and a boy, 14 and 12 respectively I can definitely relate to your writing.

      Beautiful hub!

    • KellyPittman profile imageAUTHOR

      Kelly Pittman 

      9 years ago from South Louisiana

      Thank You, both.

    • litsabd profile image


      9 years ago

      A mother’s heart is strong enough to break...that is all there is to say...beautiful hub...voted up as well!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      Beautiful account of a mother's endless love for her children. Voted up!


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