In a lifetime, a woman who chooses to marry and have a family of her own, will go through more changes than a chameleon walking on a rainbow wonderland. In the decades she dedicates her life nurturing and caring for her family, she will unfortunately also face more judgment than she, or any mother for that matter, deserves. A woman who once probably had the struggle to accept and build her confidence, transcends to caring for her husband to raising her children. By a blink of an eye, she’s probably rushing through traffic in a van, ready to pick up her kids from school and has to rush back home to cook dinner.

But before her success and milestone as a mother, the leap from a wife to a mother may happen in one day, but the adjustment can sometimes take years. From the changes her body undergoes, the physical warp of it, the aches of labor, birth, breastfeeding, sagging tummies and stretchmarks are the physical manifestation of her decision to love and grow her own. She also experience an utter lifestyle change, spending at least the next year waking up at wee hours trying to console her crying baby, not having the freedom to go out, or even have time to add an extra layer of mascara (if she even has time to put makeup on at all). She feels as though she walks on thin glass as she grows as a mother, because she and her husband has to make sure they are 150% certain of all the decisions she makes for their infant. From the food, the formula, the crib, the bottle, the clothes, the home, the environment, how they’ll raise their baby, is just the top of the iceberg.

A first-time mom will deal with all of this, not even just on her first year, but probably for the rest of her lifetime. And yet, when she and her husband finally has time to go out to stroll in the mall, they’d be judged for their crying baby or rattled by single friends who tell them they look like they need an extra hour of sleep. And sometimes, the worst critics become other moms, who may judge the way she cares for her baby, the way she carries her baby, the way she “isn’t attentive” enough of her baby. There’s a lot of pressure into raising a child, and aside from the constant millisecond that passes by a mother’s life which reminds her of it, it seems that everyone else can’t help but remind her though.

But why can’t we, just give first-time moms a break? Prevent ourselves from saying that its her decision and she has to deal with the hardships of it. Because nobody can really every be fully prepared to raise another human being. They can just be brave enough and prepared to the best of their existing ability to do so. A first-time mom is a woman who more than anything, needs support, needs assurance, needs an extra ounce of love and a whole lot of patience. She’s a woman who feels like puberty was a walk in the park compared to the physical changes her body is currently enduring, a woman who can’t keep a shut eye for long because she needs to tend to her baby first.

It’s the beauty of being a mom, all the pain and sacrifice, is never made truly easier despite the bundle of joy, it’s just made completely worth it. A mother’s love can never be compared, it is the kind of depth that requires an immense amount of empathy and personal experience to truly wrap one’s head around. It’s a struggle, a journey that can be scary on it’s own. It’s more than popping out a baby (because babies never arrive in the world without a mother inducing all the physical pain), it’s a struggle from the birth even until her old age. A mother, once she chooses to be one, once she becomes one, doesn’t just live her life, she lives for her children’s lives too.

So the next time you see a mom having the hardest time hushing her baby at the restaurant, or keep seeing her posts on Facebook about the tiniest most mundane things of her baby, maybe it’s best to push your annoyance aside, she’s living her life for her child too. Besides, you’ve probably had more sleep in a day than she has the past week.