What Being a Mom Really Means

05/08/2015 01:07 pm ET | Updated May 08, 2016

Being a mom means more than having given birth to a child. It's loving and knowing a soul before you even see it. It's carrying and caring for a life completely dependant on you for survival. It's giving air to the lungs that grew within you, and sight to the eyes that will never see you as anything but mommy. It's sleepless nights, its nursing scratches and scrapes, it's being stern and protective. It's teaching them to talk, to walk and to eventually run. It's learning to hand your child to a stranger to let them teach what you cannot at times. It's bracing them for a fall, and dusting them off after they do. It's seeing them cry and not knowing how to fix it, so you sit on the floor and hold them and cry right along beside them. It's teaching them that they are smart, capable, funny and giving them the security to do great things. It's building their self-esteem, supporting their dreams and loving them unconditionally. It's letting them go, letting them fail and teaching them how to get back up. It's going without so that they don't have to, and being OK with it.

Being a mother is a gift that is unimaginable to any woman who does not have a child in their life. It's a connection that is unmatched and insurmountable in any form or other relationship. It's a love that grows continually, a love that always wants more and better. It's being terrified that you can't prevent pain, injustice, heartbreak and at times even death. It's laughing at jokes that aren't even funny, but the way they say it makes it's hilarious. It's listening to stories that go on and on without a point. It's always being available for the "Mommy watch me!" yells and "Mommy I need you" pleas. It's drowning out the word MOM repeated over and over in attempts to get your attention. Its songs sang out of tune and settling squabbles with siblings. It's being mean, and teaching hard lessons, that hurt you inside so deep you want to cry, but you must stand strong with resolve. It's being strong for them when you are weak. It's smiling when you want to cry, and crying when you're smiling with pride.

It's looking through photographs and feeling your heart swell with love and happiness when you see the beauty, the happiness and life in your child's smile and eyes. It's confusion, mistakes, uncharted territory and blindfolded guessing. It's snuggling on the couch watching a movie, braiding hair till your fingers hurt, it's being woken up early on Saturday morning because they want to crawl in bed and be close to your heart. It's having the worst day and having them hug you and tell you "mommy I love you", and needing nothing more.

It's a blessing, a gift, a relationship that never ends and a love that never dies. It's the best thing I have ever become, the greatest love I have ever felt and the best part about being me.