15 Moms Share What Motherhood Has Taught Them
Photo Credit: Stephanie Woodward/Shutterstock
Becoming a mother is a transformative journey, one that forever changes the person you are. Motherhood provides us all with valuable life lessons — taught to us by our kids, our everyday lives as moms, and ourselves. It is a universal experience, but each mother’s experience is unique to her children, her family, and herself.
Personally, motherhood has taught me to believe in myself and my motherly abilities and instincts. I have learned just how steep the motherhood learning curve is; to love myself enough to give myself the grace I need and deserve when I make a mistake; to know that my kids are amazingly resilient during times of change, such as becoming a big sibling, or uncertainty, such as the COVID-19 pandemic; and what unconditional love is.
I asked 15 other moms, including my own, what motherhood has taught them. Their responses were relatable and insightful, and I could not help but smile as I read them all:
“Motherhood has taught me selflessness. That every morning I wake up, I get to give myself over physically, mentally, and emotionally to three other humans that I grew inside my body. It’s a privilege and a gift. Motherhood brings out the good and the ugly, but it is always filled with overflowing love. And I am so grateful for every part of this beautiful journey.” — Jackie Q., Charlotte, N.C.; children ages 10 months and 5 (twins)
Never Giving Up
“It means never giving up on what’s happening in front of you when it feels hard. In hindsight, you were just winning a battle with yourself." — Jessica L., Bergen County, N.J.; child age 10
“Motherhood is having the privileged opportunity of passing on the best pieces of me to my girls. I hope that it will make an impact for them in my lifetime and beyond.” — Nailil Ivaldi R., Houston; children ages 5 and 9
“Motherhood has taught me that I need to first learn about the beauty and intricacies that live inside my kiddos so I can step into the type of role model they each need and teach them to be their very best." — Tara A., Farmingdale, N.Y.; children ages 4 and 6
“Motherhood has taught me to be patient and scared, to love, and to be appreciative of my own mother. I'm not a perfect mom, and I think it is the most difficult and rewarding and loving experience. I live and breathe through the tough moments just to see my babies live and enjoy this life." — Denise E., Las Vegas; children ages 7 and 11
Motherhood to me means to give of yourself unconditionally whether your love, time or support.
“Motherhood is like getting on a roller coaster — you don’t know what to expect. You begin to think you’ve got this, but as your kids grow, you learn they are each different in everything they do." — Shirleen R., Philadelphia; children ages 11, 14, and 16
“Motherhood, especially during this time of quarantine, has taught me to embrace uncertainty as an opportunity to truly choose our own path each day.” — Giselle C., Matawan, N.J.; children ages 6 and 12
“Motherhood has taught me to have more patience and grace for myself. My kids don't want or need a perfect ‘Pinterest mom.’ They simply want me and what I have to offer them: a positive presence, a safe home, reassuring hugs and kisses, structure, support, and most of all, the unconditional ‘I'll always be here for you’ type of love.” — Desirae O., Auburndale, Fla.; children ages 1 1/2 and 4
“Motherhood has shown me how to give love with no effort. My boys have made me realize so much just within these few years. I’ve learned to become stronger, wiser, and more thankful.” — Kathryn M., Lincoln Park, Mich.; children ages 2 and 4
“Motherhood has taught me that there will be tons of suggestions thrown your way, but the only thing you need to be following is your intuition.” — Mari V., Teaneck, N.J.; children ages 1 and 4
Feel the Love
“Mom guilt is only a reflection of my own anxieties. My kids just feel the love.” — Ashley M., Charlotte, N.C.; children ages 1, 2, and 4
“Motherhood has taught me true perspective. Before my boys were born, I was so focused on work that I would let it spill into my personal life. After becoming a mother and experiencing the truest love I have ever known, I have realized that nothing at work is important enough to spoil my time with my family. As long as I have them, I have everything.” — Lindsay R., Chicago; children ages 1 (twins)
“Motherhood is the only selfless and unconditional love that’ll make you lay down your life without thinking twice.” — Joceline R., Miami; children ages 1, 2, and 3
No Such Thing as Perfect
“Motherhood has taught me there’s no perfect child and no perfect mom. It has taught me that it is okay if, as a mother, I make mistakes along the way because at the time I thought the choices I made were the right ones. I cherish the memories I build with them as a mother, and I’m proud of their accomplishments. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the job of a mother is never done — even when they become adults.” — Julia H. (my mom!), Brooklyn, N.Y.; children ages 25 and 31
What has motherhood taught you?
Jacqueline Hernandez Lewis is a wife and mom of two boys. Recently, she made a big career transition from attorney to work-from-home communications manager. She is also the founder and CEO of her blog and content creation brand, Moments of Musing. A Brooklyn native, she currently lives in Long Island, N.Y., with her family.