Motherhood: The Sweetest Surprise

by | May 12, 2024 | life, life changes, real talk, thoughts | 0 comments

I didn’t expect to be surprised by motherhood.

I went into motherhood with a realistic view, knowing that it would be challenging and test me in more ways than I could count. After reading stories about hardships, hearing them directly from family and friends, and seeing how society treats mothers, let’s just say, I didn’t have rose-colored glasses on. I was also scared to become a mom for a multitude of reasons, which I documented in this post over 5 years ago. My fears only magnified when we found out we were pregnant with our son, James. My first thought when seeing those two lines appear was, “everything is about to change.”

Some might say it was pessimistic of me, but I prepared myself for all of the worst-case scenarios of pregnancy and beyond. In a weird way, doing that helped me feel more in control so I could approach any new feeling or experience with a can-do attitude. But what I didn’t stop to consider was what the best-case scenarios could look like.

I could have never predicted just how transformative my experience of becoming a mom would be. Looking back on the last 15 months since finding out I was pregnant, there’s been so many things that have surprised me about this journey.

Kelly reflects on motherhood while standing with her son, James, in front of a bed of tulips.

I was surprised by how much I loved and appreciated my body during pregnancy, watching it change week after week as it grew our tiny human.

I was surprised by how much I let go of my fears of childbirth and allowed my body to guide me through it.

I was surprised by how much my heart expanded with love and joy a million times more than its size.

I was surprised by how quickly my motherly instincts kicked in and how much I led with my intuition, after feeling like I wouldn’t know what to do.

I was surprised by my level of calm during the 4-day NICU stay, the (very long) reflux stage, and slew of sleepless nights.

I was surprised by how well Adam and I adapted to our role as parents, coming together and working as a team.

I was surprised by how much I took breastfeeding and pumping in stride, and for as long as I have, after initially thinking I wouldn’t do either.

I was surprised by how quickly my priorities shifted from giving it all to my career to giving it all to my son.

I was surprised by my attitude to treat every challenge Adam and I encountered as a season and to see the glimmers even in the hardest moments.

I was surprised by my patience and my ability to hold it together even when I didn’t know if I could.

I was surprised by the fact that having a baby didn’t take my drive away and instead gave me more motivation to make a bigger impact in my work.

I was surprised by how fast the time truly goes, and how you can equally love and grieve each stage and milestone of your child.

I was surprised by just how much I have loved motherhood, when just a few years ago I didn’t know if it was for me.

And I have been the most surprised by the realization that I am not losing myself in motherhood. If anything, I’m fulfilling a part of my life I didn’t know I needed. I am becoming more myself – the person I am meant to be. While I certainly still have lingering fears, it is the surprises that have kept me going and excited for what’s to come.

Thank you for choosing me and making me a mama, James. I love you always and forever.

Pink lipstick stain

Welcome to Lipstick & Ink®, your home for everything career and wellness inspired. I’m Kelly, a Chicago-based career coach, writer, speaker, and events host.

Whether we’re working together on your career aspirations, refreshing your professional documents, or keeping your mental health in check, I encourage you to own your power and make your mark.




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