By Kelsey on May 13, 2012 17

My First Mother’s Day

I never gave much thought to Mother’s Day until this year.

I know, my selfishness amazes me, too.

But I’m learning that being a mother is not just something that you are; it’s something that you feel.

I wish I could explain it better.

It’s a feeling that from now on will never leave me. (And I am more than OK with that.)

I feel guilty for not appreciating my mother the way I should have in the past. But my mother, in her true nurturing fashion, won’t let me feel guilty for it. She just cries with me and tells me How could you have known? Another reason why I love her.

And it’s true. Because even if I had a list of everything she has done for me, it is not the same as knowing how it feels.

How big the love is.

It amazes me to think that 28 years ago my mother sat on a couch in her home, held me in her arms, studied my body and thought I was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.

This is how I feel about Rooney. She is a piece of my heart that lives outside of my body. And when we’re not together…I feel a hole. (I’ve come a long way, huh?)

My first Mother’s Day was great.

Not perfect, but pretty close.

It started with my husband volunteering for the 5:30 a.m. feeding, and then bringing her in to our room and laying her between us in bed. This is Rooney’s most-happy hour and it doesn’t take much to get a few heart-melting smiles. I got a shower and we went to church. It’s amazing how I looked at every woman differently on this day. The new moms who were maybe going through the same tough journey as me. The old ones who have so much wisdom. The childless ones who may be hurting inside.

Last year at this time I was wanting to be a mother, so I’ve been there.

We love our church, and our head pastor is awesome. He emailed me Friday night to see if he could share my story of new motherhood. I excitedly agreed and we shot a video Saturday morning. It turned out better than I imagined (thanks, Ryan!). You’d never know it was shot and edited in less than five hours, if I didn’t just tell you.

At church we learned the history of Mother’s Day. That the founder herself ached to be a mother but was never able. Now that’s a person who has better insight than myself. Who knows that motherly love does not just come from those who have birthed or raised children, but also those who are aunts or teachers or mentors.

I know some great moms who have zero children.

After church we went out for lunch and fro-yo with my parents. My favorite part of the day was when I held Rooney in my arms in a noisy restaurant and soothed her to sleep. Feeling her lungs expand against my chest. Seeing her cheek smashed against my shoulder bone. It’s such an intimate thing, getting a baby to sleep. So accomplishing.

My least favorite part of the day was that our agenda–church, lunch, ice cream–was not conducive to a baby’s sleep schedule. It makes my heart heavy when I realize that her fussiness is a result of things I’ve done. But we learn as we go.

After she went to sleep tonight I went in to check on her multiple times, and just stared at her peaceful little body in her crib. And then I thought This must be how God looks upon me each night when I’m asleep. I made sure that her chest was rising with each breath, shocked that for the next 10+ hours she will lay there without needing me, without needing food.

I feel like a mom. A good mom, even. It doesn’t even feel wrong to say that. Because if you knew how much love was in my heart–the love that makes your body ache with guilt when she doesn’t get a good nap–you’d think I was a good mom, too.

Not perfect, just good.


Facebook Discussion

Facebook Discussion


I love my husband, my daughter and the Internet.

  1. Great video, Kelsey! Happy first Mother’s Day to you. I’m so glad that you enjoyed (the vast majority of) it!

  2. ugh…such great stuff…just LOVE you guys so much! virtual HUGS from me to you…hope to see you again very soon :-)

  3. I know EXACTLY how you feel! My daughter Stella is 12 weeks old and I could not feel more priveleged to be her mom. I follow you and your husband because of the similarities we share, our girls were born within two weeks of each other, my first too. And I’m pretty sure we’re the same age–28? Anyway, my first mother’s day was profoundly emotional and great for me, thank you for posting about yours! Happy mother’s day to you!

  4. Hi Kelsey, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your vulnerability in sharing both hard times and good times. And I love this style of writing too – the tone of sincerity and openness. Thanks for sharing your heart with such powerful simplicity. Rachel

  5. Thank you for sharing that video. I love how honest you are about the tough stuff.

    I had to laugh at the ‘we pray for poop’ part.

  6. Happy first Mother’s Day, Kelsey! Thanks for sharing that video.

  7. Aww! The video made me teary eyed. Thank you for sharing.

  8. “She is a piece of my heart that lives outside of my body.” -This is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing. And, Happy (belated) Mother’s Day!

  9. happy belated mothers day kelsey! thank you for sharing your thoughts and being so open.

  10. I am so proud of you (shown by the tears running down my cheeks right now). The love of a mother is so amazing and whole and unconditional. I get to be at home today with Mylie and I just watch her and how big she is and how much she understands. A year ago, she was tiny and depended on me for every little thing. Now, she walks, does some talking, entertains herself, and really only needs me to oversee her and make sure she’s safe, fed, and put to sleep when needed. Her wide open mouth kisses are sloppy and the most wonderful thing. The way she initiates a game of hide and seek is hilarious. Don’t even get me started on those 5 year-olds and how grown up they are. They can get by without much from me each day, but gladly I know the truth that we never outgrow our moms and that we always need them no matter how old we are.

  11. Amen!!! Welcome to the amazing world of motherhood! God is great!

  12. Great video! And wonderfully written reflection.

  13. So proud of you my dear! You are a beautiful woman and continue to amaze me with your motherly gifts! Love you!

  14. Great video and post! as an expecting mother who was once a woman who hoped to be a mother, mothers day was not always my favorite holiday. But it is cool to know it started with a woman who was not a mother herself. I also really appreciate your honesty about the first weeks of motherhood. I feel like so many people hush up the struggles of the first week because they are afraid to ‘look bad’ or that it isn’t ‘normal’ but I really love how open and honest you have been. It helps me to prepare for what might be and pray for strength as I anticipate the first days of motherhood.

  15. I’m a 37 year old teacher who is dying to become a mom. Unfortunately, I haven’t met the right person to parent with. Having loved and cared for children through my job, I’ve had a glimpse into this role I’ve always wanted to play. And, although, I’ve read enough to know motherhood isn’t easy, there isn’t an ounce of blood pumping through my heart that doesn’t want to experience it. Thank you for acknowledging someone like me in your blog. Mother’s day is becoming increasingly hard on me as the years slip by and the reality of being a mom slips away with them.

    • Aimee, thank you so much for sharing. I pray that you will experience motherhood and salute you for the important and amazing mothering you undoubtedly already do. I always fear that sharing my struggles as a new mother will not be understood by those who desire it so much. But I was there, too. Have a great day!

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