Saturday Sidebar: What is something that surprised you about motherhood that you never expected?

Saturday Sidebar: What is something that surprised you about motherhood that you never expected?

This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Maggie Ellison. She asked our writers,

“What is something that surprised you about motherhood that you never expected?”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

Alison Lee of Malaysia writes:
“I had no idea I could function so well with so little sleep. I had no idea I could take such quick showers. I had no idea I could do so many things with one hand and not wake the baby who’s in the other arm. I had no idea my gross meter would alter so much (poop, puke, pee? No problem). I had no idea how much it hurts when my children hurt. I had no idea I could love this much”

Ana Gaby of Indonesia writes:

I never thought I could love a little person so much. I always heard about how moms would give their lives for their children and how they mean the world to them and I never understood it until now.

Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA writes:
“I thought going in that I knew my limits. But what I didn’t expect was that motherhood defined new limits for me when it came to sleep and pushing myself that extra mile. And, in turn, helped me learn the importance of taking time to rejuvenate. I have a newfound sense of strength, both physical and mental (mind over matter). I can talk matter of factly about how it has affected me, when it becomes more personal about being the mother to my daughters – they’ve shown me a new level of love that I can’t explain!”

Jennifer Clark Johns of USA writes:

I too found strength I never knew I had from the sleepless nights to the colic and the all-consuming thoughts of being responsible for another human being, etc. I agree that the love I have for my boys is unlike any other love I’ve ever felt. I mean, I LOVE my husband, but when it comes to my children: I defend them, support them, love them, protect them, fight for them and although they sometimes test this with their choice of actions, it truly is an UNCONDITIONAL love. I am always telling my sons that “although I may not love, or even like the decisions you have made, I will ALWAYS love YOU. No matter what.”

Karyn Van Der Zwet of New Zealand writes:
“It was, and still is, that I rarely get to start and finish an activity in one sitting. My life is completely syncopated and it drives me insane”

Maman Aya of New York, USA writes:
“I never though I’d be able to carry and give birth to my own children (although I hoped). I never knew how little sleep I actually need to function properly. How deeply I can sleep once I am able to get to bed. How to really appreciate quiet. How to really appreciate all the chaos in my life. And most of all how to love another with every fiber of my being twice! :-)”

Mannahattamamma of United Arab Emirates writes:
“I never expected that I would laugh so much with my babies (well, with and at, actually). So much fun. Of course, I never expected I would be so bored, either. How many rounds of “peek-a-boo” can a person play before she goes absolutely stark raving mad? Those endless hours between waking up from afternoon nap, through the dinner hour, until bedtime. That was like an entire 24 hours all by itself.”

Purnima (The Alchemist) of India writes:

I never thought I would be able to drop it all for the sake of the ‘baby.’ I never expected me to be happy, contented and blissful being a stay-at-home mom. If someone would have told me this before baby-days, I would have talked feminism, modern-woman, career goals and so much of mumbo-jumbo. And I agree to the rest of the things these wonderful ladies say, like taking a quick shower, laughing so much, sustaining on so less sleep for endless hours and unconditional love above all.

Ruth Wong of Singapore writes:
“I used to think that being a mom will be limiting, especially where career is concerned. But I discovered I was wrong. Being a mom has opened up new doors that would not have been possible if I wasn’t a mom. It has added a whole new dimension to my understanding of womanhood. More importantly, being a mom has enabled me to reach deep within me to discover inner strengths that I never knew was there.”

Tina Rodriguez of Philippines writes:
“I never thought I’d be able to “find my groove” when I became a mother, i.e. I never thought that I’d discover what it is I am really MEANT to do in this world… all because I became a mom! I also didn’t know I’d be able to give birth naturally with both kids; survive with so little sleep; breastfeed for two years plus for both kids (three now, with the youngest); enjoy babywearing and co-sleeping; homeschool; and SO MUCH MORE!”

What about you… what surprised you about motherhood that you did not expect?

And do you have a question you would like to pose to our WMB writers? If so, email us at to see what they have to say.

Don’t forget to visit us tomorrow to check out the travel itinerary for next week!

– World Moms Blog

Photo credit to This photo has a creative commons attribute license.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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The Still Untitled Column…

There is something about plunging into the ocean for the first time since giving birth. Having the waves wash over and cover your body, a kind of cleansing, and yet also, an attachment to our planet.

This week, I had the chance to dive into the Atlantic ocean. It was a 5 minute escape from my cute, sand covered 4-year old and baby. Just a quick dip, while dad was in charge.

I floated while the waves took me along. A moment to myself. It’s amazing how involved we mothers can become with our children that we get to a point that we feel selfish about taking a moment for ourselves. I know it’s not just me — I’ve heard it from other mothers, too. Do you feel the same?

(Just for the record, clasps on nursing bathing suits don’t necessarily hold up when getting up from the crashing waves. Just my luck!) (more…)

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post,, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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