mother before hood


This word scared the shit out of me as a child. I was legit terrified of being a mother. I was not the girl who dreamed of her wedding and being a mommy. The idea that you’re solely responsible for a human is kind of a lot to grasp right? The amount of pressure it presents is unreal. How could I know how to raise them and what if I mess up; I mean that could damage them for life.


I’m having trouble breathing right now just reliving all of this. I instead dreamt of being a businesswoman owning something of my own that kind of felt like a baby in a way.

Instead of playing house I would play work, take pretend business calls and have mail coming to my bedroom door which was my “pretend apartment”. I had visions of me on a stage with a platform to help others.

not the typical dreams of a child…….

So, let’s fast forward to when I met a boy who changed all of that for me, well actually a man since we were in our mid-twenties, (which I understand now is still a boy.) He had the dream that I didn’t, he had the vision of being a parent that I lacked.

He was sooooo sure.
He was sooooo excited.
He was sooooo CALM.
I mean weirdly calm.
The idea didn’t make him nervous or feel like he was gonna puke (like me) he was just completely ready for it.
He was so calm that he eased my anxiety about it.

Now let’s fast forward to our first pregnancy. I couldn’t believe how excited I was, how amazing it was, how wonderfully beautiful it was. To be growing a life inside of me was unexplainable and still is to this day. I embraced all of it. It was heavenly, planning the nursery and all the showers, right? The dreamy part of motherhood.

and then reality strikes

I’m in the hospital bed laying there like, “WTF is happening? I’m not ready. This can’t happen now no way. He can just stay in there forever.” The pressure settled back in, my anxiety came flushing and I panicked.

All the thoughts of actually being responsible for this person we’re there and like really there, going through my mind.

“What if I raised them wrong? What if I’m not a good Mom? What if I scar them for life? How do I teach them? How do I know they get it? How do I know they understand?”

I wanted to raise good humans. Ones that are going to be functioning people and members of society that do good and treat people well. Again with the pressure, so much pressure.

and then something happened

I heard the cry of this tiny little baby and bam the MOTHER in me was born. I’m talking about that natural instinct of a mom and a woman. No, I didn’t know everything; not even close, but I did know that I was going to be ok. I knew I could do this. It wasn’t gonna be easy but it all of a sudden wasn’t so scary.

Fast forward again to another kid down; all the reality had sunken in again! They are no longer sweet little babies that just laid there and loved you all the time! We had now entered the HOOD. The reality that these two little beings were now little beings with personalities. Little mini people that had opinions and words LOTS of words.

  • “What do I do now?”
  • “How do I guide them in life?”
  • Let’s be real no one listens to their mother. “How do I know that I’ve done my job?”
  • “How do I give them space to grow when they are struggling or hurting and know that this is a vital part of their life, lessons that they have to learn in order to grow and become who they are.”
  • “How do I let them fall flat on their face completely knowing the consequences of their decisions?”

I will tell you one thing I thought I was all prepped for the kid thing and for the baby stage hell ya I was. We made it through and we all survived, but this next chapter where words are crucial and the lessons you teach them are lifelong brings back all the pressures again all the stress, all the HOOD!

see i’ve learned that motherhood is split into two sections the mother and the hood

The “mother” is the beautiful moments of their life where you nurture and love them. Everything they do is cute. You can dress them in whatever you want and they are like a cute little accessory that goes everywhere with you. Where you dream of what they will be when they grow up. You dream of their future and how perfect it will be.

The “hood” part is the part where reality kicks in. Like hold up, they have to go through all the life lessons first before they get to that future. They have to learn from their mistakes and grow and become who they are meant to be. The hood is filled with messes, screaming, throw up, spit up and lots of poop. It’s filled with the end of the world meltdowns about nothing, except what makes sense to them. It’s about sleep training, potty training, and bikes without training wheels. It’s about coffee, lots and lots of coffee and then probably some more. It’s about sleepless nights, sicknesses and struggles. It’s about teaching them how important it is you keep the communication open. Reminding them that you’re there, and you always will be there. And prayer, oh my prayer, lots of praying.

I don’t know how my mom got through it but I know she never gave up on me and always reminded me it was my life and my choice every time I messed up or made a mistake. All while having a true unconditional love for me.

It’s critical that parents have faith that you are raising them right and giving them the foundation they need to do the right thing and make the right choices.

know that we are all in this together!

This “mother-hood” is filled with newbies and vets who all go through the same experiences. Find a battle buddy, your person, someone to lean on during the hard times and smile with during what feels like the easier times. Find comfort in knowing that this motherhood is one crazy beautiful ride. It ends so fast and the struggles become distant memories. The hard days fade and what you are left with is being a proud mama and a “hallelujah I made it!”

Published in featured, life lessons
  1. Stacia Stall 1 year ago

    @courtneysanford <3 this!!!!!

  2. sheryl slegers 1 year ago

    I laughed and cried, LOVE this!!!😍

  3. TK Dennis 1 year ago

    I’m no mother but this was a great post Courtney! Also, great advice about having a battle-buddy.


  4. Kate Louise 12 months ago

    Welcome to the hood- an eighteen year long journey of learning and re-learning… now clean up throw up and change a diaper! Loved this article!

    • Courtney Sanford 12 months ago

      Thank you Kate!
      Yes exactly! And nowadays it’s like 30 years instead of 18 😂🤦🏼‍♀️And right when you think you have things figured out it flips again and you have to start all over lol
      Glad you enjoyed it, thank you for the support!

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