For most mamas, mothering is the most self-less thing you can do. You give away your body for nine months, endure childbirth, and only then do you begin the task of raising the child that you brought in to the world. Even the most uninvolved mamas have given an unbelievable amount of themselves to their children, just by virtue of bearing them. The more I flail around in the trenches of motherhood the less I believe that I will ever be myself again. I don't even know what I mean by "myself" because it's been so incredibly, painfully long since I've even felt like myself that I don't have a clue what I would look like even if I did rediscover it. Whew! You following this? If you're a mama, I bet you are. If you're not, you're probably re-reading this going "what?".
No one prepares you for motherhood. Where is the boot camp? They train soldiers to go in to the military, but no one trains mamas for the rigours that they face every day. I have talked with my friend Melissa about how no one tells you about the crying, the lack of sleep, how hard breastfeeding can be, etc etc. It's like everyone's too scared to be honest with you. Certainly no one told me that you go through pregnancy and the postpartum period more than a little bit crazy in the head and that every cell of your existence is now focused on caring for a tiny helpless being who will drain every semblence of self right out of your body.
Of course, there is the insane amounts of love and mamabear-like instincts to protect your children with your life that also kick in to place. Yes, there are moments of wanting more than anything to run for the hills and never return, but then the baby stops crying, you all finally fall asleep, and all is in perfect harmony once again.
In all honesty, I couldn't imagine not being a mother. I certainly don't ever wish to have my pre-baby life back, but I definitely look forward to the days when eventually my body will be done producing the gallons upon gallons of milk, my bed is mine again, a full night's sleep is a given, and I'll be able to take a long, hot shower whenever the heck I feel like it. I would also love to someday inhabit a body that doesn't feel like play-doh, but at this point, I won't hold my breath.