No One Ever Told Me

no one On Sunday, we'll mark a milestone in this house. My older daughter turns 13.

As we approach the day when we turn the page from child to teenager, I've been reflecting on how much our lives have changed in the past 13 years.

At this time 13 years ago, I was big, uncomfortable and nearly a week overdue. i was so ready to meet this new little person who would change our lives forever. I thought I knew what motherhood was. I thought I was ready. But I really had no idea what motherhood truly meant. I had no idea how radically my life would change.

There are so many things that no one tells you about becoming a mother when you're pregnant. In your head, you create this picture of a peaceful baby, happy playtimes and children who grow up to be confident, Christ-following adults.

But the reality is so very different. So, today, as we stand on the cusp of closing the book on my older daughter's childhood, I want to share with you the list of things that no one ever told me about motherhood.

No one ever told me:

My kids would make me laugh harder than I have ever laughed and shed more tears than I have ever shed.

Holding onto my temper would be so very difficult.

I would look at a messy house and still choose to go play in the yard with my kids.

Those parenting books don't hold all the answers.

I would learn to storm the gates of heaven with prayer in ways I had never done before.

Watching my children leave home for school the first time would make me proud and heart-broken at the same time.

When my kids feel pain I would feel pain, too.

There would be days when I would have no idea what to do.

I would see the behaviors I most dislike in myself mirrored in my kids.

I would have to apologize to my kids.

My kids wouldn't always blindly follow what I told them.

I would have to make decisions I never even dreamed existed.

My kids would make me prouder than I ever thought I could be and angrier than I ever thought I could be.

This kind of love existed.