My First Mother's Day


I never gave much thought to Mother's Day until this year. I know, my selfishness amazes me, too.

But I'm learning that being a mother is not just something that you are; it's something that you feel.

I wish I could explain it better.

It's a feeling that from now on will never leave me. (And I am more than OK with that.)

I feel guilty for not appreciating my mother the way I should have in the past. But my mother, in her true nurturing fashion, won't let me feel guilty for it. She just cries with me and tells me How could you have known? Another reason why I love her.

And it's true. Because even if I had a list of everything she has done for me, it is not the same as knowing how it feels.

How big the love is.

It amazes me to think that 28 years ago my mother sat on a couch in her home, held me in her arms, studied my body and thought I was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

This is how I feel about Rooney. She is a piece of my heart that lives outside of my body. And when we're not together...I feel a hole. (I've come a long way, huh?)

My first Mother's Day was great.

Not perfect, but pretty close.

It started with my husband volunteering for the 5:30 a.m. feeding, and then bringing her in to our room and laying her between us in bed. This is Rooney's most-happy hour and it doesn't take much to get a few heart-melting smiles. I got a shower and we went to church. It's amazing how I looked at every woman differently on this day. The new moms who were maybe going through the same tough journey as me. The old ones who have so much wisdom. The childless ones who may be hurting inside.

Last year at this time I was wanting to be a mother, so I've been there.

We love our church, and our head pastor is awesome. He emailed me Friday night to see if he could share my story of new motherhood. I excitedly agreed and we shot a video Saturday morning. It turned out better than I imagined (thanks, Ryan!). You'd never know it was shot and edited in less than five hours, if I didn't just tell you.

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At church we learned the history of Mother's Day. That the founder herself ached to be a mother but was never able. Now that's a person who has better insight than myself. Who knows that motherly love does not just come from those who have birthed or raised children, but also those who are aunts or teachers or mentors.

I know some great moms who have zero children.

After church we went out for lunch and fro-yo with my parents. My favorite part of the day was when I held Rooney in my arms in a noisy restaurant and soothed her to sleep. Feeling her lungs expand against my chest. Seeing her cheek smashed against my shoulder bone. It's such an intimate thing, getting a baby to sleep. So accomplishing.

My least favorite part of the day was that our agenda--church, lunch, ice cream--was not conducive to a baby's sleep schedule. It makes my heart heavy when I realize that her fussiness is a result of things I've done. But we learn as we go.

After she went to sleep tonight I went in to check on her multiple times, and just stared at her peaceful little body in her crib. And then I thought This must be how God looks upon me each night when I'm asleep. I made sure that her chest was rising with each breath, shocked that for the next 10+ hours she will lay there without needing me, without needing food.

I feel like a mom. A good mom, even. It doesn't even feel wrong to say that. Because if you knew how much love was in my heart--the love that makes your body ache with guilt when she doesn't get a good nap--you'd think I was a good mom, too.

Not perfect, just good.