Seasoned moms reveal the sacrifices and surprises of motherhood

Photograph courtesy of Doug Morin

We are all familiar with the typical stereotypes of being a mother, especially a new one. Among other things, mothers are known for being exhausted, minivan driving, yoga pant wearing “mombies” who run on cold cups of coffee during the day, and a little too much wine in the evening. With a grand total of thirteen months of experience, I’ve realize that a lot of these cliche descriptions are true. I am tired today, I was tired yesterday, and I will likely be tired tomorrow. With a little post-baby fluff and a lot of bending, I have developed a not so secret love affair with brightly printed yoga pants. I’ve come to accept my daily dose of cold coffee; although, I have high hopes that I may eventually again sip a beverage that is still emitting steam or contains unmelted ice cubes. A glass of wine reduces my urge to whine, which is why I occasionally need to indulge in a glass (or two) in the evening, depending on the difficulty of the day. Lastly, my Subaru Forester has started to feel like a studio apartment, and I harbor more than a little jealousy for one of my friend’s newly purchased seven-seat minivan. As a watcher of many parent-themed sitcoms, none of the above revelations have surprised me. However, just when I think that I have “mastered” motherhood, if that is even possible, my daughter blows me away with a uncontrolled bodily function, a new word, or first wet smack on the lips. I asked some seasoned mothers what surprised them, and this is what they said:  

1. You’ll help a small human discover his or her identify while you discover yours as a mother.

  • “The first year is literally survival of the fittest. It is a long physical test. As it becomes less physical, it becomes more mental and emotional teaching a person to be true to themselves while navigating the world.”  Jessica Hathaway, seven-year of seasoning

2. You’ll discover new passions.

  • “At this point in their lives, I had no idea how much I would need to know about Star Wars. It’s legit and very much an important/fun part of their lives. So for moms of boys, start brushing up on all the movies – new and old.” -Giovanna Bechard, eight-years on the job

3. You’ll finally comprehend your mother’s love for you.

  • “The biggest surprise for me after having my first  was how much I loved her unconditionally and knowing that was how much my mom loved me. I never knew that kind of love until I had my daughter and never had so much appreciation for my mom.”  -Melissa Clement, nine-years of experience

4. You’ll sacrifice everything for them, and you won’t mind.

  • “What surprised me most about motherhood is how much I was willing to sacrifice for [my daughter]. Not enough food?  I’ll go hungry. That really cute top? No, she needed formula. My precious sleep? She needs a diaper change. It still surprises me to this day, and I have two more little ones. The sacrifices are many, and the acknowledgment is non-existent, but the reward is plenty.” -Heidi Penney, thirteen-year veteran

5. You’ll learn the true meaning of unconditional love.

  • “The biggest surprise of being a mom is that the love of a mother is a contract with no conditions. In your children’s great accomplishments, biggest mistakes, most annoying habits, tallest tales, sweetest smiles, sickest nights, healthiest days, proudest moments and every second in between, a mother’s love and adoration is truly limitless and unconditional. It is the fuel we run on when our gas tank is empty. Best, hardest, rewarding job ever.” -Laura Davis Rinck, on the job for 28 years
Hailee Morin

About Hailee Morin

Hailee Morin is the author of Maine Mommy Musings for the BDN blog network, an amateur photographer, and mother.