Desiree explains how motherhood has been her most profound learning experience and shares her advice to mums-to-be. From a series of Story of M.O.M. stories collected for our exhibition Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves by Christina Douyon for the Museum of Motherhood.
My name is Desiree. I've been a teacher for six years, and a mother for 20 months. I find the joy, pain, frustration, hilarity and wonder of motherhood to be the most profound teaching and learning experience I've ever had.
What do you want to say to expecting mothers?
Before deciding to have a child, there's much talk of the need to be prepared for motherhood and parenting. Other parents in our lives encourage us to make sure we've had enough life experience, that we have our professions and finances in order, that we are generally in a "good place" to have children.
When we are expecting children, the desire and need to prepare becomes more urgent, and we ask loved ones for advice on how (and how not) to raise children, and read celebrated books about how to best help our children sleep, talk, behave, and eventually attend Ivy League institutions.
But what I believe is among the most important preparations an expecting mother can make is simply to know that you cannot possibly prepare yourself for the love you will feel for your child. I say this as a mother who had a very, very challenging beginning with my daughter -- none of the sadness and difficulty that I experienced during my daughter's infancy, or the struggles that I continue to experience, can compare to how profoundly and permanently loving her has changed me. I have actually typed and deleted several sentences in attempts to do justice in its description.
Expecting mama, just know that you are about to love as you never have before, and though there is no way to truly prepare for it, you are more than up to the task.
This post was collected by the Museum of Motherhood (M.O.M) in New York, partners in our online and touring exhibition Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves. You can add your own I'm a mum and a... photo here.
And if you'd like to host a virtual exhibition tour stop on your website, we'd love to have you - just let us know!