No one tells you how you are going to feel when your baby stops breathing. Or when your child is bullied. Or when he achieves a goal. Or leaves for college. There is no way to truly prepare for the milestones of motherhood.
Health Life Parenting

No One Tells You How You Are Going to Feel When…

No one tells you how you are going to feel when your baby stops breathing. Or when your child is bullied. Or when he achieves a goal. Or leaves for college. There is no way to truly prepare for the milestones of motherhood.

By Shelby Spear of

Your eyes connect with your newborn’s for the first time, allowing you to see through the gateway into the pure innocent heart of your newborn — an inconceivable creation between you and your spouse.

Without warning or protocol, the magnetic bond opens a door of knowing in your soul. A knowing that breathes, “You are a mother now,” into your spirit.

A beautiful ache, though foreign only moments before, suddenly morphs through your bones and settles in every hollow cavity and crevice in your being. The organ pounding inside your chest immediately synchronizes with the ebb and flow of the tiny heart in your child. Although profound, the energy feels familiar, peaceful.

This human being, who was God-nurtured in your womb for nine months — internally kept safe and healthy by innate systems, functions, and natural nutrients — now requires mom-nurturing — externally protected by conscious choices, organic care, and steadfast faithfulness.

How could anyone prepare you for this metamorphosis of purpose, responsibility, and cavernous insight into love? No one outside you is able. The phenomenon is your experience, your moment to breathe in the miracle and compare your inner compass with God’s wonder.

It’s just one of those moments.

No one tells you how you are going to react when…

Your five-day-old infant stops breathing, causing a blueish tint to haze through his translucent skin.

There is no caveat for how you will lose yourself in a paralyzing state of distress as your child lay helpless in the arms of your spouse. The ability to think rationally and call 9-1-1 dissipates in the numbness. Only the frantic screams from your husband to dial the phone push you through the caustic nausea.

You don’t know how to avoid choking on your stomach as it lunges into your cinched throat in the ER upon hearing words like spinal tap, EKG, possible surgery. Or how to stop your twenty-something self, less than a decade into adulthood, from staring comatose at your baby while a sea of people dressed in scrubs scramble like displaced ants.

And you are unable to fathom the misery of your insides twisting in on themselves; a malrotation of all things bearable. You scream in silence, hoping someone will hear you, while drowning in tears of angst. The merry-go-round of worst case scenarios circulating in your mind causes vertigo to set in, undermining the emotional symmetry of motherhood.

If someone tried to tell you ahead of time how to prepare for such an emergency, the warning would be futile because it’s detached from raw emotion. Fear isn’t genuine until it snarls in your face.

It’s just one of those moments.

No one tells you how rage can consume you when…

You witness your grade-schooler being bullied, picked on, and made fun of.

Out of nowhere, a hellish force unleashes, slamming goodness against the proverbial wall of proper behavior. And the reverberation thrusts your momma bear through her cocoon, along with pre-packaged, child-protecting mom hormones.

The shift in pH sears anger through your cells, lighting a fire in your backside which aims to blast through your front side like a tempest of vindictive “How dare yous!”s.

You are taken aback by your fury, weary of its strength. But God equips you to win the war of containment. He provides the necessary armor to keep the wiry wrath inside, preventing you from ripping off the limbs or scratching the eyes out of the perpetrator. Thank God.

The question, “I wonder how a mom can lose her kak like that?” is one you have asked yourself countless times when observing those out-of-control mothers. Suddenly, reality flashes before your eyes. Now you know.

It’s just one of those moments.

No one tells you what real pride feels like…

Not false pride or arrogance, but parent pride.

The gripping hold delight will have on your soul as you watch a human that you brought into this world come alive. And by come alive, I mean excel, get in the flow, use their talents, share their creativity, master a skill, accomplish something extraordinary.

Pride swells the exact moment your child uses, calls upon, acts out a gift God has given them. You know this as a parent because your heartstrings are attached to your child, giving you an uncanny ability to feel the connection point where parent, child, and God stand as one in perfect harmony.

Big accomplishments like singing the National Anthem, attending a prestigious leadership program, winning a basketball championship, and earning a valedictorian medal cause you to bask in pride. But it’s the little things that move you to tears:

Loving a friend

Showing mercy

Praying for an enemy

Helping a neighbor

Saying sorry

Being kind to the outcast

Going to church alone

Sending a letter of encouragement to a stranger

Making a homemade sympathy card for a neighbor

Giving up a weekend with friends for time with a grandparent

Owning up to a mistake

Returning money when change received is too much

Turning the other cheek

Choosing love

Making the scary phone call

Standing up for a sibling

These are the actions that swell a mother’s heart, a heart unique to the offspring she bears. Only she can capture the feeling.

It’s just one of those moments.

No one tells you how debilitating fear and worry can be when…

Your season of mothering reaches empty nest.

Raising your child for eighteen years consumes you on all levels — emotional, physical, spiritual. The act of caring for those you birthed is akin to breathing; subconscious, but necessary for survival. You don’t realize this until you have to let go.

If control is your middle name (it’s obviously not mine), the unease of watching your kids from a distance as they acquiesce to the world of independence can siphon your ability to think rationally; you can suffocate under a blanket of fretfulness.

Being removed from the inner workings of your child’s life unearths emotions from within your soul you never knew existed. There are no Cliffs Notes for how to maneuver through the fear for their safety, the concern over their emotional health, the anxiety over their choices.

Whoever says freedom comes from passing the baton to your children, enabling them to run the rest of the race on their own is indeed accurate. The problem is, you aren’t prepared for the elephant that remains on your chest, leaving you gasping for air and bent over with your hands on your knees.

But eventually, you must stand up and let the endorphins of trepidation escape through your pores and breathe in the fresh air of trust. You learn to hold on to the same faith you have worked tirelessly to build up in your children. And, if you’re lucky, your child won’t point out the log of hypocrisy in your eye until you do so.

Nothing prepares you for this radical transformation of parental responsibility. You learn as you go.

It’s just one of those moments.

But what you do learn along the way is… 

That wisdom escapes into your soul with each joy and trial of motherhood.  Somewhere inside of you a flower buds beneath the elation, pain, fury, pride, and fear. It’s called maturity. As you evolve and get your feet wet in the winding river of parenthood, you come to learn who you are and what makes you tick and tock.

The importance of pressing the miracle of childbirth into a hidden chamber within your heart to serve as a reminder of God’s all-surpassing power. A gift to call upon when life becomes tainted with doubt or fear invades your consciousness.

That the meanie hurting your kid is hurting, too. His behaviors are an acting out of something that isn’t right in his little, mucked up world. You learn compassion and patience by gazing into your own littered past, recognizing that certain behaviors you are not proud of stem from battle wounds, too. This realization gives you strength to handle situations with grace.

Pride for your children is a wink from God. They are His kids anyway, generously on loan for you to love, guide, appreciate, and enjoy.

The palliative whisper in your ear from the universe saying, “Breathe in, breathe out. Pray. Be strong. Trust,” will keep your lungs inhaling and exhaling as you give your children wings to fly.

And every minute of every day along the journey is worth it…

Carry on, crazy mommas!

This post was originally published on


About the Author

Shelby is a blessed wife, proud mom, work-in-process Christian, sarcasm aficionado, sappy soul whisperer and sports nut. Her three beautiful knuckleheads have left her with an empty nest in which to ponder what the mom thing has (done to her) meant over the past twenty-two years. You can read her open book of revelations, screw-ups, gaffs, and joys at Her writing has been featured on, Blunt Moms, For Every Mom. Follow Shelby on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.