That’s what you always wanted to be when you grew up, isn’t it? You wanted some little person to call you “mommy, mama, mom”, whichever suited them. It was about 16 years ago that you were chosen to become Mom for the first time. Remember the excitement? The anticipation? Wearing maternity clothes and reveling in the glow of a healthy pregnancy, you couldn’t wait for the arrival of your first child. You didn’t know if this little darling was going to be a boy or a girl and you couldn’t have cared either way because you were so full of joy!! Do you remember the first time that the doctor told you that the baby might not turn head down, so you might have to have a C-section? I’m sure that you wish that you would have listened more carefully when they explained all about that during your childbirth classes. It was certainly surprising that for you that you were going to require surgery and recovery in order to give birth to this precious bundle. Did it ever cross your mind that this was the first of many, many, many unexpected and painful moments of parenting? Were you ever quiet enough to hear the whispers? That even though you wouldn’t go into labor, the work was going to be hard; so hard and yet so rewarding; That the intensity of the pain you would feel for years to come, pain that was both joyous and heartbreaking, wouldn’t ever be easier to numb than it was going to be that first moment when they got that IV going for your spinal block. You wouldn’t ever get back the right to request for someone to numb the pain; to only allow you to really feel the good stuff. I know that you wouldn’t have had it any other way. Having babies teaches us that inside us we have the ability to forget about the pain and move straight to the joyful experiences. That along with birthing a baby, you also birth a new self. A self that sacrifices for another without question. A self that give and gives and gives. This new self can only emerge attached to this tiny human who looks at you with brand new eyes, trusting you and relying on you for their every need. Throughout the Years, you will feel the familiar pain that accompanies this birth of your new self as you make your way through first steps, first words, first owies, first successes, first performance, first heartbreak, first driving lesson. You will feel the need to ask for something to numb the pain when your child is mistreated or approached unfairly. You will raise the white flag of fatigue when you have chosen to forego yet another argument. You might feel failure when you engage with your child without a positive outcome. You will embrace the intense happiness that stirs within your Mothers heart when your little one sings her first solo or gives her first speech. You will celebrate all of the wonder and endure all of the defeat. This. This is MotherHood. It will be your covering, your protection. You will wear this hood with pride, with joy and then there will be times that you will want to take it off. There may even be a time that You will try to find a place to hide your hood. Don’t be alarmed by that, and please don’t allow any shame to creep into your heart. As all things go, there may be times of darkness in order for the light to be present. There must be times of hardship so that we can experience the times of joy. You will protect those that are under our hood in ways that you will not understand or expect. Your sword will be more convenient then you could have imagined, and will cut the enemy of those who are under your hood. Your mother-anger might surprise you, and will be expressed both on behalf of your child as well as to your child. It will be challenging to keep the “Big Picture” in the frame of visibility. The“Big Picture” being that the ultimate goal to MotherHood is to raise and teach your children to become adults. There will be moments where you want to overprotect and keep your kids too close to you. It will be hard to find a balance because this is where your heart and your mind will begin to conflict. Find great books to assist you, read great blogs, involve yourself in a Mother's group, cultivate good friendships with other like-minded Mamas. Most importantly of all, it will benefit you to pray. And then pray some more. And then maybe even some more. Asking for wisdom and help and peace from Your Father will be your lifeline. He will help you make it through the hard times. He will give you breath when you feel like you can't breathe. He will bless you with ALL kinds of blessings in your MotherHood. There might be times that you even need to ask for HIS Love to be your love, because the frustrations and stresses of parenting can crowd out your own Love. Don’t be alarmed by this – it won’t last long. It’s just a temporary sign that you need a break. So take one. Take a day for yourself. Read, knit, shop, sleep. Or get alone with the hubs. Have a date and don’t rehash every parenting decision that you’ve made over the week. Instead, talk about YOURselves, or your next trip or holiday. Taking a break from the hood gives you the energy to get back into the game. What a wonderful decision it is to become a mama. May you celebrate every wonderful moment, may you persevere every challenging moment and may the end result be that YOU are forever changed and forever marked by this amazing experience called MotherHood.