The Roller Coaster of Motherhood


I just couldn’t shake the nagging nausea. I hoped it wasn’t the flu that was going around. The surprise I felt when a fellow teacher suggested I might be pregnant led me to a pregnancy test which brought even more surprise – and delight! The mixture of nagging nausea and surprise and joy should have tipped me off to what was ahead. However I was much too young and inexperienced at life in general to understand that the journey into motherhood would forever change everything about me.

Now some 30+ years later, my four children continue to stretch me and delight me and scare me and change me.

When they were babies, I pretty much felt like a perfect mom. I tried to do all the right stuff. I breast fed them forever so they’d be immune to disease (and mostly so that I could feel incredibly close to them.) I made their own baby food so it’d be fresh and free of chemicals. I read them a thousand books and rocked them a million miles and kissed their tiny faces and sang songs to them in the night. I comforted them when they were sick or hurt or afraid and cheered for them when they took their first steps and said their first words.

I longed to be a perfect mommy. Desperately longed.

It was far more complicated than I thought.

The motherhood journey has exposed my darkest fears and triggered my craziest reactions and kept me awake more nights than I care to admit. And yet, my kids have made me prouder than a peacock and delighted my heart with their strength and courage and love.

I am way past the days of believing I could be a perfect mommy. I am now content to be a good mother who is pretty imperfect but loves well. And that feels right.

The journey still stretches me. The last season has brought more changes. My “baby” called to tell me he had found the love of his life and has since become engaged. My daughter is expecting her firstborn. My journey has my nest more empty than full and that challenges me yet again. After all, who am I if I am not a mom who is desperately needed by her kids to make their breakfast and wash their clothes and take them to practice and wipe their tears and make everything okay?

Motherhood has made me better. Wiser. More patient. More complete. More confident that imperfect moments and tough days are a part of this life and have the capacity to birth good in both mother and child.

I suppose that the motherhood journey is a bit like climbing a mountain- at the base of the mountain one can’t even begin to see all the ups and downs and plateaus and sharp edges, and cliff-hanging moments but then there is the sheer delight of it all. The breath-taking moments. The thrill of the journey that is like none other.

I love and adore my kids, my grandkids, my daughter-in-law and son-in-law, my daughter-in-law to be. They all add joy to my life in ways I could never have imagined and the motherhood journey continues to expand my heart and delight my soul and stretch me in new ways. As the old hymn says, “I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”


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