I remember the day I learned that I would become a mother. I was on the phone with my friend Noel when the second line appeared on that generic pregnancy test I’d bought on a whim.
At that moment, my heart leapt into my throat and I was excited and scared and sick and thrilled all at once. And, despite that sudden outpouring of emotions, I was completely clueless. I had no idea that my life was about to change–so profoundly that I wouldn’t recognize myself as the same person.
I had no idea that when my oldest child was born, I would understand love and even myself on a completely different level. That I would understand my own parents on a level I hadn’t before, and that with the birth of each subsequent child, my comprehension of them (and similarities to them) would become increasingly clear.
I would never have guessed that my name would change from Angie to “Cameron’s mom” and “Noah’s mom” and “Sophia’s mom,” and you couldn’t have convinced me that it wouldn’t bother me one bit, that the new title would feel like an honor instead of an insult (don’t they know my name?).
I couldn’t understand then how full my heart would feel when I first felt each of them kick in my belly, and when I saw their first smiles, roll-overs, steps. I couldn’t foresee the way I wouldn’t be able to stop smiling when they said their first words…and the way I melted when they first called me Mama.
You certainly couldn’t convince me that seeing their dad fall in love with each of them would make me fall in love with him a little more…
I had no idea what it was going to feel like the first time my babies got sick, how it would feel to hold back the tears the day I sent them to kindergarten for the first time, the first sleepover, the first sleep away summer camp…and how I would secretly miss them desperately until they arrived home, even though I’d pretend I needed the break if anyone asked.
I didn’t know what it would be like when one of my kids hurt the other…oh, the indescribable, gut wrenching feeling it causes a mother when two of the people she loves most in the world are involved in conflict…especially two of her own children.
I would never have guessed that I would check on them every night, even as they get older, before I go to bed–just to make sure they’re ok.
I would never have guessed that I could feel such a complete connection with each of my kids, each connection strong and whole, but unique from the others.
I had no idea how much it would mean to me when my own mother told me that I am a good mother.
I didn’t know that I was completely full of shit when I thought I knew “it all” before I was a mom…I thought that babysitting a lot could prepare one for motherhood.
I didn’t know how being Mom would cause me to always put my kids needs before my own–and not think twice about it.
You couldn’t have convinced me that being Mom would stir within me a strong and powerful force I call “mother-love,” something I couldn’t truly conceive of before–the kind of love that will do whatever is necessary to keep those within it safe, healthy and happy. And, y’all know I mean WHATEVER is necessary, right? 🙂 That’s right, mother-love.
I didn’t realize that I would be able to look in their faces from infancy and know that they would be amazing people one day.
I had no clue that being Mom can be a disgusting, smelly, wonderful, amazing, enlightening, scary as hell, shocking, insanity inducing, fabulous, and utterly priceless experience…one that causes your heart to swell and your stomach to drop.
I wouldn’t trade it, folks, not for one minute. I am so grateful to have three such happy, healthy and beautiful children in my life, in my home, in my heart. It is because of them and for them that I am Mom, and so this Mother’s day, I celebrate them.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.