Today, and every day, I am grateful for my mom.
Before I became a mom, I didn’t believe the women who said they couldn’t fully appreciate their mothers until they became a mom themselves. That notion always seemed silly to me. Even as a young adult I felt like I had a pretty good understanding of motherhood — the highs and the lows. Motherhood, as an outsider looking in, looked like a challenging but rewarding job. Raising a kid of my own didn’t seem like a necessary prerequisite for appreciating all the sacrifices my mother made to ensure I had what I needed.
I was wrong.
Five months in, I was right about the “challenging but rewarding” aspect of motherhood. What I wasn’t prepared for, is the tiny amount of space that I now have left in my brain to think about anything other than my child.
When did she eat? Is it time for her to eat? Is that normal? Is she smiling or is that gas? Should her poop look like that? Is that normal? Why hasn’t she pooped today? Didn’t I just buy diapers? Did I pack a change of clothes? Is she hungry or just tired? Am I mentally stimulating her enough? Is that normal? She just licked my arm — is my arm clean? Is she getting enough fresh air? Did I wash that teether? How can I find a babysitter I trust? Will she sleep long enough for me to finish this blog post? Why is she still sleeping? Is that normal? Why does she have to fight every single nap? Is that normal? I love naps. I miss naps.
I was somewhat prepared for the physical aspects, like the lack of sleep and packing and unpacking the car with strollers and car seats and diaper bags and toys. I was not prepared for how mentally all-consuming motherhood truly is. Every action, every motivation, every plan is weighed against what’s in the best interest of my child. My career goals have shifted. My lifestyle goals have shifted. My taste in men has (hallelujah) shifted. Everything I do, and everything I want to do, is first mentally placed on the Aevrie Scale to determine if it’s something light enough to add to my load or something I just gotta put down. Even though this weighing process will remain on repeat indefinitely, this interruption of my regularly scheduled program has made life relatively simple: Either it’s good for the kid, or it isn’t.
Those women were right.
Everything that I think, say, and do is now so important. I have two beautiful eyeballs staring at me always, needing me to make the right decisions again and again and again. I no longer have the luxury of throwing things at the wall to see what will stick. I’m needed now. My steps are more calculated. My risks, measured. The complete mental shift that is motherhood isn’t something I could fully appreciate until now. I know as Aevrie grows older, I’ll learn new aspects of motherhood that will deepen my appreciation layer by layer, milestone after milestone.
Today, and every day, I’m grateful that I was blessed with a child of my own. I now have a better understanding of how positively disrupting a new life can be, and subsequently a better understanding of what it took to stay focused and dreaming while raising me.
Thank you, mom.
Candace Alike Smith is a Las Vegas-based content creator, womb warrior, and matcha enthusiast. Candace founded this site in 2015 to help women of color reclaim their vitality. Follow Candace’s content on holistic beauty, mental wellness, herbs and essential oils, non-toxic products, healthy libations, wellness travel, and self-reflection. Green is her happy color.
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