We Know What Motherhood Does to The Body, But Nobody Tells You What It Does to the Heart

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I'm Eschewing the Machismo, Homophobia & Other Toxicities of My Cultura & Raising My Kids Differently

Nobody pointed out how I’d feel when I was all out of babies. I had no clue that the simple act of going from “Mommy” to “Mom” could set off so many shockwaves of emotion. The surprise of realization. The wonder at how fast those years have gone, colored with the grief of letting them go. And there I am in the middle of it, silently screaming, “Wait! No one asked me if I was okay with this!”

I had no idea I’d take the teenage mood swings so personally — that eye rolls and short tempers could actually hurt my feelings. Or how disheartening it can be to see them grow apart from friends, or watch them start to socialize and date and realize that the time when I was the center of their universe is long past. Or how hard it feels to stand back and let them make their own mistakes, no matter how important, because they’re turning into adults and the best way to do that is through experience. But oh, man, is it hard to let go.

The books never told me any of this. Nor did they tell me that motherhood is, in turn, both the best and the hardest thing I’d ever do. That there are days when those motherly duties are like nails on the chalkboard of your soul, and other days when you can’t imagine being anywhere else than right here with your babies (whether they’re little or big). That it is a journey that’s both indescribably beautiful and utterly heart-wrenching. That it’s not only possible for those two feelings to coexist — it’s guaranteed.

But hey, at least I know what to do about those stretch marks.

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