I'm not the kind of person who desperately wanted to be a mom from the time she was 10 years old. However, I am the kind of person who desperately wanted to be a mom from the time she was 27 years old, and when I became a mom after suffering through fives years of infertility, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of what it meant to be a mother. Turns out, there were so many things that actually surprised me about mom life that I was not, in any way, shape, or form, expecting.
When my partner and I met my daughter in the NICU when she was just 3 days old, I wasn't surprised that I instantly felt like she was my daughter and that I instantly loved her. That immediate connection felt completely and totally natural. What did surprise me, however, was the feeling of sheer panic that came when my partner and I had to leave her in the hospital that night. I wasn't at all prepared for feeling as though a piece of my body was walking around outside myself. It felt like I was missing a limb, and I had only known my daughter even existed for six hours. Perhaps that's a feeling you can only understand when you're in the thick of it, as I'm not sure any amount of explanation from other veteran moms could possibly explain it.
Mom life is full of wonderful and difficult surprises, and I'm so glad I've had the incredible opportunity to experience the whole range of them as my daughter's mom. In other words, if you're a brand spankin' new parent and you have no idea what you're doing, consider it a blessing. These surprises are more than worth that confusion.