Motherhood isn’t what I expected

Just a few days before the early birth of Googie - 35 weeks pregnant - Photo by IttyBittyFoodies.com

Motherhood isn’t’ what I expected. A surprising birth that involved a 911 call at 35 weeks pregnant – Photo by IttyBittyFoodies.com

I was never one of those little girls who dreamed of being a mother. While some girls idolized Lady Madonna, mine looked more like Coco Chanel. Even after I got married, my husband and I weren’t sure about going on the parent trip or parent trap as we viewed it back then. It wasn’t until one day we searched our hearts and asked ourselves “Would we regret not having children 30 years on?” There was never the ‘right time’ to start a family, so we just jumped into the deep end except nothing happened for years. Motherhood isn’t what I expected.


Beautiful baby - photo by Carissa Byers Photography

We give thanks for this beautiful baby – photo by Carissa Byers Photography

It took a long time to conceive and once we received the happy news, I didn’t expect the worry to start at conception. Thoughts start racing through our heads. Am I eating healthily enough? What about the drinks I had when I didn’t know I was pregnant? Then the day comes when the baby arrives. In my case, all of mine were unexpectedly early, but my last one was a horrible, heartbreaking birth that nearly killed both of us. We spent the first two years of Googie’s life holding our breaths and wondering if he would be a ‘normal’ baby. Now as our firstborn turns 13 years old in a few months, new worries come to mind. I don’t think a mother ever stops worrying about their child, no matter how old they are. Motherhood isn’t what I expected


I must admit, I naively believed the Hallmark images of calm and peace of newborns. However, I never truly understood the phrase “Labor of love” till we brought home Pikelet. We read all the ‘right books’ like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting“, “What To Expect, Baby’s First Year” and “The Baby Whisperer” but nothing prepared us for the onslaught of torturous 3-hourly feeding intervals and 10 diaper changes a day.

Somehow nature plays a trick on our mind because we forgot quickly how bad the first year was and started yearning for more kids. And now the thing I enjoy the least is the constant bickering from the 3 children in the house and reminisce about those ‘quiet newborn moments’. Oh yeah… Motherhood isn’t what I expected.


Author, Elizabeth Stone once said “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” I didn’t realize how much power, children held over their parents.

The look of recognition newborns give or a smile as if to say “you are my mama” makes your heart swell and forget about the sleep deprivation. The pride you feel when they start reading their first words. The hurt in your heart when you learn your child is being bullied or excluded as they navigate through playground politics. And the conflict you feel when you want to fix things but hold yourself back because you read “How to Raise an Adult: Break free from the overparenting trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success” or “Grit“. The tingle of happiness when you see your child on stage searching the audience to find you and your eyes finally meet. Or when they beam at you simply because they think you’re the greatest mom a kid could ever have. Motherhood isn’t what I expected.


Motherhood with the IttyBittyFoodies has been surprising. Photo by Erin Blinn Photography

Motherhood with this boys has been surprising. Photo by Erin Blinn Photography

The most surprising thing about motherhood for a non-maternal type like me is how much I truly love motherhood. Life with my boys is chaotic and messy. It’s energetic and knee high in smelly socks. It’s full of deep belly laughs, the type that makes you snort or fart. And it’s full of incredulous moments of “How on earth did you think of that?” Motherhood isn’t what I expected at all. It’s not perfect but for me, it’s better.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those who joined the crazy M Club. To my own Mum, you were right about so many things. For those lost your mother, we want to offer comfort. For those who are hoping to be mothers, we send you strength. For those who lost a child, we send you courage. For those estranged from their mothers or children, we send you much hope. For those filling in motherhood roles to other people’s children, we applaud you.

Lastly to my husband, I love you. Thank you for going on this crazy journey with us.

Was motherhood what you expected? Tell me in the comments or send this to your favorite mother.

X Cheryl




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