Before I had children I never knew how much strength it takes to be a mom. It's strength that's needed in all its glorious forms: physical, mental and emotional. There is no amount of training that can prepare you for motherhood.
When Ryan was in the hospital with RSV, it took all the strength I had not to completely freak out. Sitting in the hospital holding my then-4-month-old son, counting his breathes and watching his chest cave in with every breath was the hardest thing I ever had to do. It took every ounce of strength not to break down in tears. I needed to remain calm, I needed to be strong for my son. I needed to project calm feelings to keep him calm. It wouldn't do anyone any good to have a screaming, tense baby and a screaming tense mom.
Before I was a mom, I never knew real fear. Sure, I've been scared, but it was nothing compared to the overwhelming emotion that takes over every thought and movement when it comes to my children.
Most importantly, before I was a mom I never really understood my own mom. Becoming a mother has given me an insight to her that I could never have know before I had children of my own.