The Person That’s Done More

“When you have a child of your own, you’ll understand.”

During my childhood, my mom would say that to me again and again when I would be embarrassed by her affection, exasperated at her endless worry or irritated at her rules.

“When you have a child of your own, you’ll understand.”

Now in adulthood, my friends have said that to me when I come over and their cute matching decorations have been replaced by colorful toys covering every square inch of the house, their child’s clothes don’t match and their kitchen looks like a war zone.

“When you have a child of your own, you’ll understand.”

And now with a one-year-old of my own, oh how I do. I now know what I thought I knew (but never had a clue about) before. I understand.

I understand feeling like your body has been hijacked from the first days of pregnancy. I understand what it’s like to feel simultaneously thrilled, resentful and guilty with every new incredible, miraculous and unattractive change.

I understand new depths of a painful and beautiful vulnerability that comes with having a child. I understand now a mother’s love—a love that will mess you up and bring you to your knees. I now know the meaning of the old saying, “Having children is like having your heart walk around outside of your body.”

I understand why women so quickly and effortlessly lose their entire former identity and sense of self into motherhood, because despite anything I have achieved in my lifetime, nothing has instilled this level of pride and purpose as much as simply being my son’s mom.

Nothing makes you appreciate the incredible love and sacrifice of your mother like having a child of your own. I understand now.

I love how Ann Jarvis, the mother of the founder of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, describes a mother as “the person that has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Amen to that.

So for Mother’s Day, I would like to thank and honor every woman that has given birth to every human on this planet.

Thank you for your sacrifice—for giving up your right to yourself and your body, for the sick mornings, sleepless nights, scars and stretched-out skin that you endured in order for another human life to be created in you.

Thank you for your strength—for smiling through the struggle, for pushing through the pain, and for holding on to hope that it will all turn out okay year after year, even when things may be falling apart around you.

Thank you for your love—for the fierce, protective, unwavering, unconditional relentless love that you offer every single day of your life.

Thank you to all of the mothers for not only all that you do, but even more than that, for who you are. Thank you for being the person “that has done more for us than anyone in the world.”