Viral Post About The Early Days Of Motherhood Will Make You Ugly Cry

Image via Facebook/Jen Hatmaker

“Look at her snuggled into her mom. I could bawl and never stop.”

Jen Hatmaker, author, speaker, and mom of five, wrote possibly the most tear-inducing post about motherhood that you’ll ever read. She shared it on Facebook, where it went viral overnight, because it’s basically perfection.

Hope you have your tissues handy.

She writes, “This is me in a hospital bed in 2002 having delivered my third baby Caleb five hours earlier. The ‘big kids’ came to meet him and crawled in bed with me. I found this pic yesterday and shed tears upon tears for every baby in this picture.”

Hatmaker describes then two-year-old Sydney, who was convinced the new baby was her baby and upset she wasn’t allowed to hold him. “She was still in diapers. She had just been evicted from her crib because there was a new sheriff coming to town named Caleb.”

“Look at her snuggled into her mom. I could bawl and never stop.”

Ugh. So could we.

Then there’s oldest child Gavin, freshly four and “the sunniest, happiest, most delightful boy.” Hatmaker remembers his tiny size, big vocabulary, and all-around loveyness around the time when their family went from four to five. “I kissed him 300 times a day.”

“The tears for my babies come quick. I can literally feel the phantom weight of them leaning against me with their snow white hair and baby skin. I remember exactly how they felt in my arms. Exactly. My life’s joy. I can hardly look at their little faces.”

Ouch. That’s a sock in the gut to this mom of a fifth and third grader. It seems like every day their faces lose a teeny bit more of their baby look and edge ever closer to the grown-up face they’ll have for life. It hurts my heart in ways I never could’ve predicted when they were still tiny and climbing all over me. Back when I was so exhausted I would’ve done anything for a break from being the household jungle gym, but now, my heart breaks — and Hatmaker totally gets it.

“But most of my tears are for that young mama. She was 27 years old and five hours removed from delivering her third baby in four years. She was sore and tired and stitched, but she pulled those big babies into her bed to snuggle and read to them so they knew they were still her moon and stars.”

Those years in the trenches are hard to describe, but Hatmaker puts it in heartbreakingly perfect words. No matter how spent you are at the end of the day, even after literally giving birth, they need you. And though it’s so draining at the time, it’s impossible to express how precious those days were looking back through the lens of a mom with older kids.

Hatmaker describes heading home with all three of those littles and the hard work the next several years would bring for her younger self. “There was never, ever enough of her to go around, but God have mercy did she try.”

She then addresses “the young mamas.”

“I see you. I remember.”

Hatmaker recalls her years spent nursing, changing diapers, cutting grapes, and bringing three kids to Target with her — being told her hands were “full.”

But most of all, she remembers the worry.

“The world feels like a terrifying monster out to harm and steal and injure your babies, and you alone can keep them from eating pennies and avoiding bullies and obviously the onus is on you to not drive your car into a body of water with them all strapped into their carseats, a highly likely scenario I imagined no less than 7098 times. You are their guardian and protector and God help anyone who comes between a young mama and her little charges.”

As consuming as that worry can be in the early days, it’s hard to realize that you’re actually nailing this whole motherhood thing — just by loving them. And that’s what Hatmaker wants to tell her younger self and the moms going through it now. “You are doing a breathtaking, beautiful job. Your children are so loved and they know it.”

While you’re so tired you can barely stand, you’re laying the foundation for a lifetime of love. “They are safe with you, absolutely cherished. This isn’t from one big thing you do; it comes from the million minutes you love them well. That’s it. All your mistakes and meltdowns won’t change it. You are raising healthy, loved, secure kids – it will matter so much. It lasts. It sticks. It is the air they breathe from that first day in the hospital, and you can’t undo it.”

Hatmaker wraps up with words of encouragement that every mom of tiny babes needs to read. “There isn’t much down time. But all of this matters and you matter and this work is so important. I am cheering you on from the other side. I’ll hold your seat over here. You’re going to make it.”