Nothing can prepare you for parenthood. Nothing.

I knew this before. I had been told this before and I believed it but I didn’t understand it until my daughter was born.

Nothing is as sweet as the first time you meet your child. Nothing. Nothing can prepare you for this moment either.

We are four months in. It feels like I met her just yesterday and yet, I (and my husband) know her better than anyone else on this planet, including herself. There’s something incredibly special about that. 

Four months in and it was at three months I finally realized I cannot solve motherhood. Up until that point, that is what I had been trying to do: master a plan. Cause and effect. No, not entirely. Not with motherhood. Unless you mean that the effect will vary greatly, regardless of whether it’s the same cause or not. 

It’s beautiful, being a mother, but nothing, truly, could have ever prepared me for this journey. It comes in waves. Waves of feeling like I’ve got this to waves of feeling utterly desperate, confused and full of self-doubt and guilt. It’s a mix of the highest highs–hearing her first bouts of laughter and having tears run down my eyes from how beautiful she sounds–to the lowest of lows–seeing actual pain in her eyes or postpartum depression. 

Motherhood is entirely unsolvable which makes it beautiful and mysterious and the craziest, hardest thing I have ever done. I have to offer myself grace, over and over again, because I will never get this right. 

And sometimes I just have to stop, stop the thoughts or the folding of laundry and just sit with her and see things from her perspective. Things are new and exciting and bright. We took her to a kids activity at the library yesterday and my daughter, the one who is so quiet and hardly makes a peep (ever), was the loudest one there. All of the babies quieted down for story time and Row, seeing all of these tiny humans just like her, was squealing and chatting and screaming in complete joy. The quiet one became loud and expressive.

So at the end of the day, when I’m so tired I can barely form a sentence, or in the early morning, where I have to force my eyes open and my body out of bed to pick up her stirring body, I am reminded of love. Love that circles between her and I. Love that circles between my husband and I. Love that I should offer a stranger more often. Love that I should show those hardest to love.

Perhaps it’s not only motherhood that’s unsolvable, perhaps it’s life. 

And that’s okay. 

You + I. 

We float through this life together. We fall, we bruise, we laugh, we cry, we kiss, we cuddle, we wonder why and how things could ever be this way.

And that’s okay.

You + I. We’re all in this together.