Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Everyday Bliss of being a Mom

Today I celebrated my 5th Mother’s Day. How lucky I am. Over four years of basking in the bliss of motherhood; over four years of watching my precious girl cross off milestones on her journey through life.

Being a mother means everything to me. The role has forever redefined me, I've learned patience, understanding, self-sacrifice and I've discovered a capacity for love which I never could have imagined.

While there are wonderful, memorable milestones that happen throughout a child's life, the joy of being a mom does not reside so much in these as in the simple everyday events that we take for granted.

Here are some of my favorite moments: Her furrowed brow as she concentrates on brushing her teeth each morning; the way she scolds our kitty cat for some real or imagined transgression; the range of emotions playing across her face as she watches a movie; the care she takes getting dressed/'getting beautiful', (skirts and dresses are paired together, every bracelet, every necklace, every hairband is needed for the outfit - less is never more when you’re four); her insistence on wearing mismatched socks; the way she tries (unsuccessfully) to let myself or her dad have a turn at winning a board game; her excitement at finally (kind of) learning to hula; the adorable way she ‘mothers’ her dolls; the way she loves to execute random ballet moves, (because she is a 'very good dancer'); the way she rifles through my make up drawer, in spite of my protests, and pretends to apply it herself; and, most of all, her sweet and never-ending supply of hugs.

The much-anticipated arrival of Pudding Pie was the high point of my life. But, as much as that day was filled with joy and wonderment, it was also the day I had my first panic attack.

Nobody told me about the cold hand of fear that would grip my heart when I held my newborn and suddenly understood the value of her life to me.

The idea that anything might happen to harm her nauseated me. I felt my chest constrict, I had difficulty breathing and I trembled so violently that I couldn’t lift her off my chest. I had to press the buzzer and tearfully call for assistance. And, when several nurses galloped into my room, gently lifted my child out of my arms, placed her back in the safety of her bassinette and attempted to calm me, I wept uncontrollably.

I had begun to comprehend the weight of the responsibility I bore as her mother, and I felt ill-prepared. More than that, I finally understood how my happiness was forever entwined with her well-being, and I felt achingly vulnerable. I felt as if I’d never be able to sleep again - my journey into motherhood had begun.

After the flood of emotions that accompanied the birth of Pudding Pie, I did find peace within my new role and my anxieties subsided. I still fret about her safety, her health, her diet, her sense of self-worth, the list is endless…

But, I understand now that this worrying is the lot of every mother, and, while we will be anxious no matter what, it shouldn't be all-consuming. Instead, the focus should be on the immense happiness that our children bring to our lives, and the joyful adventure that is motherhood.

Each year, on the second Sunday in May, I thank God for the gift he has given me - the role of mother, and I pray, I pray so hard that my child will live a long, happy, healthy life filled with love and peace – for her sake as well as my own.

I wrote this post as part of Johnson’s ‘Treasuring Everyday Joy” campaign, in honor of Mother’s Day. Johnson's, trusted partner to moms for over 100 years, is also currently running the following Facebook campaigns:

With every “promise” (“like”) made at, Johnson’s will donate $1 to the March of Dimes. Do click over for this worthwhile cause.

Beginning this month, Johnson’s is hosting a series of photo contests on its Facebook page. Selected monthly winners will receive one of a variety of prizes - and be eligible for the $25,000 Grand Prize, to be announced in January 2012!

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Johnson’s and received Johnson’s Baby products and a promotional item and to facilitate my review.

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