to be a mother


when I was pregnant with Wolf, I knew I was madly in love with the baby inside of me.  I was SO anxious to meet him, to feel his tiny hands and kiss his sweet head.  I felt like, the second that he’d be born, I’d get butterflies in my stomach because I loved him so much, my body would swell over with indescribable emotion and that my head would virtually explode from all the love I had for him.  but to my surprise, after we brought our tiny new baby home from the hospital, it didn’t.

ok, step back a second.  yes, when Wolf was born, stars and moon beams were shooting out of my eyeballs and I could not believe that this tiny person was mine and we had created him.  I couldn’t believe that I’d given birth to him and there he was, outside my body, tiny and pink and impossibly cute.  I loved him.  but in the beginning, the hard outweighed the love and for me, love didn’t feel like it came easy.

there were nights when I’d cry because I was struggling so hard with breastfeeding or I was just plain tired.  I’d tell Levi that I wasn’t sure if I could do this, to be a good mother.  and I’d just continue to make myself more and more upset.  he’d assure me over and over again that things would get easier and indeed, they did.  I got into the swing of things and my heart started to burst with love a little more each day.

I’m writing this because I know that there are others out there like me, for whom motherhood didn’t come easy.  I always pictured myself as a mother but I never had baby fever and never dreamt of having babies.  I’d never even held a baby before Wolf was born.  but I’ve been thinking a lot about motherhood these past few days and I can’t imagine my life any other way.  I’m so dang proud of Wolf.  every day he makes me smile and laugh and just watching him learning new tasks makes my heart explode.

so the love is there.  and it’s been there all along.  it just took my body a little while to get adjusted to my new role of Mom.

p.s.  I love you Mom, more than you know.


  1. 10


    lynn said:

    This is beautiful! And honest! And so relatable. Thank you for sharing… and letting some of the rest of us know we aren’t alone.

  2. 10


    abby said:

    That last line made my eyes well full up.
    Love your honest sharing here.

  3. 10


    cathie said:

    love this post — i feel exactly the same way. and totally appreciate my mom so much more now!

  4. 10


    Erin said:

    Beautiful Alyson x

  5. 10


    Abigail said:

    You are voicing a truth that I suspect every woman feels. My daughter is 7 weeks old and the first two weeks I cried every single day, and this coming from a very stoic woman who never cries! Motherhood is by far the HARDEST challenge I’ve ever encountered.

  6. 10


    Meg said:

    You needed a post partum doula! If you have another child you should hire me :)

  7. 11


    Maia said:

    Oh, this is so real! Sometimes I felt really upset that nobody told me how hard the first few weeks were going to be, then my sister in law got pregnant and I realized why people don’t really tell you these things, she was so happy! I didn’t want to ruin it… And being pregnant for the first time you are concerned about so many things…

    Anyway, it is always nice to feel that you’re not the only one going through this. I know you are transitioning into being a stay at home mom, and well that also have its own set of difficulties. I’m not sure how old Wolf is now but for me and my boy the 1 1/2 to 2 y/o was very challenging too.

    Make sure to make time for yourself, have girlfriends and get help to go out on dates… And don’t feel guilty about taking care of yourself!!! Your whole family deserves it!

  8. 11


    Mom said:

    The feeling is mutual! Happy Mother’s Day! You are a wonderful mother. Wolf is a very lucky little boy. Love!!

  9. 11


    Mfree said:

    Thank you so much for this post, and the honesty…so wonderful.

  10. 11


    leigh said:

    You are a brave woman! Your boy is lucky to have a mom like you.

  11. 11


    Sam said:

    Thank you so much for writing this….it’s exactly what I needed to read as I’ve been an emotional wreck dealing with our 2.5 month old. I always thought that I was born to be a mother and would love every second of it from day one and never thought it would be as hard (and sucky!) as it is…

  12. 11


    Angela said:

    Alyson, thank you for this. As someone considering motherhood who also didn’t have baby fever and doesn’t have a lot of experience with kids – but wants to be a mom – I really, really appreciate your honest words. They make me feel like I could really do this.

  13. 12


    Marie-Eve said:

    Thank you so much for this post. I am actually pregnant, and it reassures me to read real things about early motherhood. I won’t have to be perfect. And it will be ok.
    I know your Unruly Things blog for a while, but just discovered Unruly Little Things. I will be for sure a reader of both!

  14. 12


    rosie said:

    honesty is so beautiful. I too went through the same thing, breastfeeding-however natural-was incredibly challenging for me (hello, 2am tears!) but we women are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. cheers to letting love take over and to all the mamas who are trying their best every single day.

  15. 12


    Lindsey said:

    Oh, mama, I just love this post. I feel very kin to the sentiments, I think it’s a little bit of the natural way of things. I know I felt love and glitter sparkles beaming from my heart to my baby’s heart in the form of kisses, pheromones, breastmilk, et. al. And I also know that the complement and too, the juxtaposition of those lovely feelings (lounging around with babe all day), comes the crying wonders if all I will ever do is lay around. I think it’s beautiful to honor those feelings and really let ourselves free the guilt that comes preying on new mothers. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of what it is like to be a mother for you. You are inspiring mothers.

  16. 14


    Darcie said:

    Hells Yeah, lady. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your honesty. In a digital world full of nothing but images of “perfect mommies” who make everyone else feel inadequate- you are a sweet summer breeze of bravery and truth.

    Thanks, mama!

  17. 16


    coral said:

    Oh, I can so relate! With all the caring for the newborn I didn’t have the time or energy to recover from the emotional and physical trauma that was her birth or the huge life change of quitting my job to be a stay-at-home mom and it overwhelmed me. Now that my daughter is 20 mths old I can’t believe how lucky I am to spend all day with her!

  18. 21


    Adam said:

    My wife linked me to this blog posting with the attached comment of “I am glad there was someone else out there that felt the same as me.” Too true. Thanks for sharing and I hope everything is going as great for you as it is now for our amazing little family. Fantastic site.

  19. 27


    auste said:

    Thank you for this honest post… We’re expecting our first child in October – and while I’m excited, there’s a very large part of me that’s completely terrified. What if I don’t feel that heart-exploding feeling of overwhelming love? What if I just feel overwhelmed and tired? Thank you for your reassurance that sometimes it takes time and I can’t expect a huge life changing event (like bringing a new person into the world) to come easily.

  20. 30


    news said:

    It appears to me that this website doesnt download in a Motorola Droid. Are other people having the exact same problem? I like this blog and dont want to have to skip it when Im away from my computer.

  21. 31


    meghan said:

    yes. i felt this way too. so so hard, but so so beautiful.

  22. 31


    jennifer said:

    So great to share these feelings. I felt the same way. With my first I just pushed on through … now he’s 4. With my second, I couldn’t deny I needed some help. I couldn’t grin and bear it again. I got diagnosed and treated for post partum depression. Two months later I felt like the mother I always wanted to be. By any measure, treating my depression was the best decision of my life.

    Too all the mamas out there … it’s okay to need some help!!

  23. 4


    jamie said:

    <3 <3 <3

    thank you for sharing, lady!

  24. 20


    andrea said:

    This is exactly what I wish someone would have told me when I had my son 20 months ago. Thank you for your honesty and bravery. I just had my daughter 10 days ago and I am amazed at how different of an experience it is the second time around. I feel so much more confident and calm. I still wish I had been that way with my son, but his, I’m sure, will be a lifetime of firsts for this mama. good luck and thanks again!