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If I had Known…

Motherhood is never what we expect and no-one else, no matter how experienced they are, can ever prepare us for it. We have highs and lows but nothing comes close to the wonder we experience with the unique love we have for our children.

I love this piece and I am sure it will resonate with many mothers…

By Annie Reneau.

If I had known what sleep deprivation really felt like before I had kids…

If I had known the full measure of bodily fluids I’d have to clean up throughout my children’s childhoods…

If I had known how much the sound of “Mama? Mama? Mama?” could grate on my last nerve after hearing it every day for a decade…

If I had known that sometimes I’d take an extra long time on the toilet, just to have a few minutes to myself…

If I had known that those few stolen toilet moments would almost always be interrupted by tiny fists knocking on the door anyway…

If I had known how often I would have to repeat the same directions and corrections over and over and over and over…

If I had known that every “expert” remedy for whining, crying, moping, disobedience, disrespect, and laziness would be completely ineffectual half the time…

If I had known that loving your children doesn’t mean liking them all the time…

If I had known that I would sometimes cry in the shower because there was no other place to vent alone…

If I had known that I’d be so “touched out” by the end of some days that the thought of getting busy with the hubby would repulse me…

If I had known that I would never be able to truly, fully concentrate on anything ever again…

If I had known that it doesn’t get easier as they get older, just hard in different ways…

If I had known I would feel terrified almost every day that I am failing at motherhood in some way…

If I had known how truly unrelenting parenting was going to be…

I would have had my children anyway.

Because if I hadn’t…

I wouldn’t know how miraculous it feels to have a human being grow from a tiny speck to an entire person inside my own body.

I wouldn’t know that the smell of a newborn’s head is all the evidence I need that there’s a heaven.

I wouldn’t know the magic of having a baby fall asleep in my arms and never wanting to put them down.

I wouldn’t know the unmatchable thrill of watching a child walk, use the potty, ride a bike, or read a whole book for the first time.

I wouldn’t know how the sound of my child’s laughter could lighten even the heaviest of days.

I wouldn’t know how an innocent, wide-eyed stare could melt me right into the floor.

I wouldn’t know how awesome it is to witness the daily, gradual unfolding of a person I helped bring into the world.

I wouldn’t know the pride of seeing my children navigate difficult situations using the tools and qualities I’ve helped instill in them.

I wouldn’t know how much pure, unbridled joy there could be in seeing my child triumph.

I wouldn’t know how much unexpected, humbling grace there could be in the constant struggle of trying to be a better parent.

I wouldn’t know how the act of parenting my own kids could help heal my own childhood hurts.

I wouldn’t know how losing myself in motherhood would result in finding a deeper, stronger, realer version of myself.

I wouldn’t know the warm, sweet fullness of being loved as only a mother can be loved.

I wouldn’t know the raw, fierce power of loving as only a mother can love.

And I wouldn’t know that the pain and pitfalls of the path are ultimately outweighed by beauty, joy, and wonder of the journey.

If I had known what motherhood really was like, I’d have had my children all over again.

(I’d just have slept more when I had the chance.)

This post was originally published as a guest post on Scary Mommy.

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