Love, Fear and ALLLL the Other Emotions of Motherhood


As I lay awake in the early hours of the morning with my three-month-old son, my heart is so full. My mind is spinning aimlessly trying to describe the love I feel for my son and my other two children…I just can’t find the words to describe this type of love.

A mother’s love is something incredibly intense. It is an emotion that is ignited the second you see those two pink lines (or get a call from your infertility nurse in my case) that lasts a lifetime.  It’s an electric power that circulates through your body with the ability to paralyze you at the moment with a level of joy bigger than anything you’ve ever experienced. It can be so immense that it almost hurts…

Whoever thought the expression “I love you so much it hurts” actually made sense?

It’s a love that feels like permanent strings are attached to your child’s hearts and yours. You feel happy when they’re happy, you feel sad when they’re sad…you feel all of their emotions…you try to enrich and protect their emotions, and you ultimately strive to make every day of your children’s life as best as possible.

A mother’s love can also kindle a sense of fear. 

  • Fear of the “what ifs” as you wait to make it past the first thirteen weeks of pregnancy.
  • Fear of labor and delivery, and everything that comes along with this miraculous event.
  • Fear of being a new mom and learning how to care for the newest love of your life.  
  • Fear that associates with your concern of whether or not you’re engaging the right parenting techniques.
  • Fear of what the future holds as your child(ren) grow up and become their own people. Will my boys keep in touch with me once they marry and have a family of their own? Will my girl always call upon me for help and support when life challenges her?
  • Fear of the cruelty existing in this world and how it could impact them. Will they be victims of bullying? Will they be summoned by the pressure of their peers to experiment with the “trendy substance” at that time?

Maybe this is the anxiety in me, but I have also found myself staring at my children captivated by their innocence and purity, thinking about how special they are to me when all of a sudden, my heart trembles with panic in the thought of something happening to them. The fear of losing them is unfathomable…

Motherhood is lush in a variety of other emotions too.

My children define my purpose and gratitude to rise and shine every morning and also cause my eyes to grow tired and crave a nighttime meeting with the sandman by 9:00pm every night.

My children make me smile and happier than words can express, but at times, can also make me want to pull my hair out when they’re giving me the best of their “toddler-tude” and having monumental meltdowns.

My children make me so proud of their innate abilities, individual strengths, and unique traits and also cause me great frustration with their argumentativeness, defiance, and pickiness about how they want certain things done.

My children make me feel so empowered and inspired to be the best I can be, and also leave me with feelings of guilt surrounding my parenting mishaps and self-perceived parenting failures. It’s a lot of pressure knowing that they’re watching every single thing you do and listening to every single thing you say…sometimes it’s just plain hard to be “on point” and the role model you strive to be every moment of every day.

My children make me one of the silliest, fun, creative, and cheerful beings, and also an impatient, stressed, yelling “monster mama.”

My children fill me with so much excitement as I witness their milestones and achievements, and also simultaneous heartbreak as I realize they are growing up and one day closer to growing up and taking on life as their own person.

It’s a known fact that mothers’ have eyes in the back of their heads and have eight arms, but did society also know that mothers’ have the most adaptable hearts of any other species? It’s amazing that we can feel the highest of highs and the lowest of lows all in a day (or sometimes in just an hour). Nothing could have prepared me for the spectrum of emotions that I would experience as a mom, but thank God I have been blessed with this blissful roller coaster ride. My life is rich in love and saturated with constant worrying, exhaustion, happiness, guilt, pride, plus so much more, and yet I wouldn’t change a thing…being a mom is the BEST thing I’ve ever done and I’m going to embrace every side of it!!

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Melissa Butcher
Melissa recently resigned from her career in higher education and was promoted to her new title as Dr. Mom to two-under-two. Her quest to have a family involved a long road of infertility struggles. She has a son named Rowan who is 21 months old and a girl named Ildi who is 6 months old. There is never a dull moment in the Butcher house with two-under-two. Their days are fast, dirty, silly and tiring, yet also imaginative, magical and memorable. Melissa is passionate about conquering every great moment as well as the challenging moments, with love. She truly embraces the Beatle’s philosophy of “All You Need is Love” especially in moments when she finds herself gritting her teeth and taking deep breaths during the blissful chaos occurring in her home. She enjoys reading, baking, decorating cakes, walking, biking, spending time with her family and friends, and cheering on the Clemson Tigers. She also enjoys writing for infertility and adoption focused organizations, striving to serve and support families pursuing assisted reproductive technologies and adoption to achieve their dreams in becoming parents. In writing for Charleston Moms Blog, Melissa hopes to bring Moms together in enjoying and laughing about the special and comical moments of being a mom as well as providing the comfort and support that all Moms need on this journey we adoringly call Motherhood.