Being a mom is not a glamorous job. It often consists of late nights, earlier mornings, cold meals, and boogers on the shoulder of your shirt the morning of an important meeting. These are the things that people warn us about. These are the things that we know we are getting into. There are some things, though, that you cannot read about, research, or mentally prepare for. These are the emotions of motherhood. And, in the past week, it has become overwhelmingly apparent to me that motherhood has ruined me.
Let me explain. Clearly anything that ruins you can be perceived as negative, but not in this case. We recently received the heartbreaking news that the little boy of some friends passed away after a traumatic accident. I have always been saddened and upset after learning of such events in the past, but this one struck closer to home and on a more personal level than others. And, another new factor came into play in the scenario: I have my own child. A child who I immediately pictured going through the same sequence of events as that little boy. I pictured his little face and could barely maintain my composure because I had never realized just how much I never want my baby to suffer or know pain. I know that I cannot do this. I cannot stop that first girl from breaking his heart. I cannot stop a teacher or coach from telling him he isn’t the best fit, or his work isn’t good enough. I can’t call up an employer and tell them to change their decision and give the job to my child. I can, of course, raise him to be the best person possible, who is strong and able to stomach the blows life throws at him and use them as learning experiences. I can never prepare myself, though, for the heartbreak this family we know and care for is going through.
Motherhood ruins you, in the best and worst ways possible. To be so consumed and overwhelmed by the love you feel that the thought of losing it is too much to even think about is both a blessing and a curse. They say it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all, and I suppose that is true. Every moment with my sweet boy is a treasure and a gift. I know that God created my child so perfectly for me, and I cannot imagine any other little body and soul being the one that I call my own. The past week has included extra cuddles, setting aside the chores for play, and allowing him to sneak into our bed in the early hours of the morning so we can watch his beautiful face as he sleeps so soundly. If my only accomplishment in life is raising him to be a loving, respectable man, I will go to the grave proud of the life that I have lived, because at the end of the day he is all that matters. That little boy has ruined me, but the tradeoff of special moments and love have made every moment up to this very second worth it. I truly never knew how much life was worth living, until I was given the privilege of starting every day being greeted by his precious face.
I am ruined for life, because my entire heart and soul is in one tiny person’s hands. It eases the blow, though, to know that those are the hands that pull my hair, wrap around my neck, and gently touch my face as a little boy is drifting off to sleep. My heart is in my favorite hands in the world, and that is where it will stay, forever and always.