I've always known that I'm going to love being a mom, but I have to confess: being pregnant is not what I thought it would be.
I can't emphasize this enough - this doesn't mean I'm not grateful to be pregnant. The Lord knows I am (at least I try to remember to tell Him regularly). I'm excited for what it means. I smile literally every single time I feel our girl move. I'm thankful for this time to prepare. I know what a blessing this is, and I don't mean to be flippant.
But as far as the whole 9 (10!) months of pregnancy glowing goes...it seems to skip some people. Some seem to sail through with no problem, and I arrogantly assumed that I'd be one of them. Turns out I'm more the "severe morning sickness turns straight into a list of other side effects" type. I read maternity style blogs before I was pregnant, but quickly discovered that belted cardigans (a must to show off your cute bump!) and skirts aren't the most comfortable thing to wear while laying down all day. As someone who loves to be a human thesaurus, I couldn't remember the word for what soy sauce comes in the other day (answer: a bottle. A bottle, people.).
I have friends who absolutely love being pregnant, and have said they would be all the time if they could. That's awesome, but now also kind of hard for me to imagine. But I have another friend who recently went through a complicated pregnancy, and hearing her admit that it it was sometimes hard, frustrating, and tiresome was surprisingly helpful. It also gave her words extra weight when she followed it up with "and I hope to be able to go through it many more times." That's the realistic mindset that I needed.
I've been reading (and re-reading) Pope Francis' recent interview, and this excerpt helped put everything in perspective:
“I see the holiness...in the patience of the people of God: a woman who is raising children, a man who works to bring home the bread, the sick, the elderly priests who have so many wounds but have a smile on their faces because they served the Lord, the sisters who work hard and live a hidden sanctity. This is for me the common sanctity. I often associate sanctity with patience: not only patience as hypomoné [the New Testament Greek word], taking charge of the events and circumstances of life, but also as a constancy in going forward, day by day."
My mom had a copy of the Mary Cassatt painting above by her bed when I was growing up. I used to think that the mother looked sad, but now I think maybe she's simply a little tired, but determined to go forward, day by day. I'm grateful for the reminder that there is a common sanctity in that.