One minute you're waddling around, complaining that you can never get comfortable and that you've forgotten if you have feet, let alone what they look like, and then... life has changed.
You look down and there are little ones of these...
...and, while you're still marveling at the perfect little toes, something like this happens...
...and it's amazing, making you pretty sure that your heart has simply melted.
But it is also one of the most terrifying things that you can imagine.
You. You are now completely responsible for the well-being of a tiny human. If you've ever thought that you might buckle under the weight of responsibility before, it wasn't anything like this.
Because really, aside from actually giving birth, I have never done anything as difficult as motherhood.
When I was pregnant, I knew being a mom was going to be hard because, sure, of course it will be, but I had no idea just how hard.
As many other women do, I approached motherhood with my own expectations about the kind of mom I was going to be. I was pretty sure I knew both my strengths and my weaknesses when it came to children. I had a degree in elementary education, had run camps and after-school programs, had babysat, spent time around other people's babies and, most important of all, was desperately ready to have children of my own. What else could I need or do to prepare?
Fast-forward five years (five! How has my baby gotten so old so quickly?) and there is no question that my daughters are my world, my life, my everything. But that feeling of responsibility that I had that first day wasn't really anything compared to the enormity of motherhood.
There have been highs and lows and crazy mixed feelings and there isn't a mother around that can say that she hasn't made mistakes along the way. So what do we do? The same thing that our mother did and her mother did before her: we pick ourselves up and try harder next time.
Each morning we get out of bed (tired, most likely) and we hope that every choice that we make is helping mold our kids into reaching their potential and becoming the incredible adults that we know they are capable of being.
And because of that, and for all the of countless hours that moms put in loving, laughing, worrying, helping, encouraging, hugging, supporting, crying, and never wanting to stop holding onto our children, I fully believe that moms are heroes.
It doesn't matter if you're a hero in the eyes of one or many, you're a hero, Mom.
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Perhaps you know a heroic mom or see one when you look in the mirror. Share your story and be entered for a chance to win $2,500 cash from Allstate. Plus four runner-ups will receive a $100 Visa Gift Card. *The five finalists will be chosen from the entries receiving the most votes.
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