1. This made my day! Such a cute little poem. I think some generic advices might be helpful. But you and your child, both are different and your experiences would be too.

  2. agnes says...

    So beautiful. One of the things I love about this blog, is your love for poetry. Your place is really special, thank you so much for taking such good care of it. When I read you, I always feel I’m having a cup of Lapsang Souchong (my favourite) in a very delicate tea set, in a English garden with funny, witty and kind women (sometimes it’s 3 am, sometimes, it 8pm, nevermind).

  3. Bekah says...

    Kate has a book coming out?!! Happy day! Also she has a whole bunch of kids, and is still obviously killing it. Makes me want to step up my game. Go Kate, go!

  4. Elizabeth George says...

    This love’s suffering. Couldn’t find better words to describe the fears and anxieties in bringing a child up in 2019.

  5. Bonnie says...

    Love this so much. When I was a new mom in Jackson Heights, Queens older women were constantly coming up to me when my infant was crying. “She’s hungry!”, “She’s tired!” I wish I’d had “Birds sing. Babies cry” in my back pocket.

    • Bonnie says...

      Happy t know another Bonnie is reading this blog…there aren’t too many of us! :)

  6. allyson says...

    ‘Babies be babies’ is eternal CoJ wisdom. This poem is going in the canon, too.

    • Lindsey Sanner says...

      When I read that post initially, I misread it as “babies be crazy”, which has also stuck in my mind and floats to the surface in moments of “whhhyyyyyyy??”

    • Heather says...

      Yes. Also this: “A very useful phrase to repeat when you find yourself turning to your spouse blamefully: Your spouse is not the enemy.The baby is the enemy.” Another COJ classic that I’ve passed on to many other new parents.

  7. Heather D says...

    My sister threw me a beautiful adoption shower when we got our 3 year old son last summer. The advice I received was eyeroll inducing! So many of my older relatives wrote comments about when to spank, how often to spank and what to spank with! I saved them for a laugh.

  8. Ruth says...

    I love Kate’s work so so much! I’m not a big poetry person but hers really speak to me. Can’t wait for her book!

  9. Jackie says...

    I liked the part that “every morning is new.” We get a chance to do better, be better, to love and connect more, every day. So lucky. Because this is a really hard job/role and I need lots of opportunities to figure it out.

    • Angela says...

      Yes! One of my mantras when my babies were new was- I’m the mom, I can hit the reset button. Missed our nap because we had a doctor’s appointment- nap now. XYZ happened and I couldn’t pump- pump later.

  10. Jeri says...

    Love this. Also most advice isn’t relevant because all children are so different. What worked for one mum may not work for another.

    Although – the advice I do give new mums is to take as much video of the first couple of months as possible! They stop being so teeny so quickly that you forget what it’s like to watch them wiggle and gurgle. My daughter is now 4 and I spend SO MUCH TIME watching videos of her little newborn phase when I was so over tired I basically missed it when it was happening. I’m so happy I have those videos now.

    • Katie H says...

      So true! I wish I had taken more. :)

    • M says...

      Yes! Even when the get to be 1 or 2 years old, their voices are so small and sweet. Love watching those videos.

  11. Jen says...

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s just what I needed on a Tuesday morning.

  12. Elise says...

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I realized two weeks ago that I’m ready to have kids and such nuggets of wisdom pave the way to a possible motherhood. Will the book be released soon? It would be such a great present for my friends and myself.

  13. Cait says...

    I’ve had so much anxiety about being the mom who occasionally allows my children to go up the literal and metaphorical slide.
    How did she know?
    This poem was such a little gift to me today!

  14. Kate says...

    So beautiful. Thank you, Kate. 33 weeks pregnant with my fourth baby and this poem drew me in. No matter the weather, every morning is new. Love that.
    Also, I am a geriatrician, and somehow at first glance I read the one line as “nothing in this world can prepare you for this life’s suffering” and thought of my dying patients and my patients with dementia and their family members grief. Then realized it says “this love’s suffering” and thought that fit even more. So much heartbreak, and yet, also, so much joy in this life.

  15. Stacey says...

    I am a new mom to my beautiful 13 week old daughter and while it has been wildly wonderful, I am also already exhausted by the amount of second guessing I do, and comparing of my baby’s behavior and progress to other babies. This is so, so perfect in its timing. Just this weekend I finally had an epiphany that IT WILL ALL BE OKAY. It’s just about my baby and the little family that my husband and I have created, and right now not much else matters. Thank you for this.

    • Laura says...

      That’s really beautiful Stacey! As a mom with a now eight year old boy and 5 year old girl, I endured very severe post-partum depression with both and thought I was a bad mom (even thought I was a freak at times compared to other moms) but I got through it. No mom is perfect. Sometimes when you are in the thick of something you wonder if it will ever get better. IT WILL BE OKAY. Family and love is so important. I don’t know why but your reply struck a note with me. Sending much love your way :)

  16. Carrington says...

    you are the mother. so simple but so empowering!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Agreed!!!!

  17. Michelle says...

    Kate has inspired me in so many ways. Jo, thanks for sharing her work with us. Kate, thanks for sharing you.

  18. Kelsey says...

    Really tearing up on a deep instagram dive of Kate’s poems just as I heard my husband say (from the bathroom) “there she sits broken hearted tried to….” Face palm.

  19. Anna says...

    and here come the tears.

    kate has turned the everyday moments and raw emotion all mothers experience into art. she’s inspired me to write my own poems (bad ones, but that’s OK!) because her work has shown me my thoughts and impressions around motherhood Matter. the fact that i felt they didn’t seem to Matter so much before her poetry just shows how much of a need there is in the world for her voice.

    thank you for sharing this one with us, kate and joanna.

    • mali says...

      I love her work, and like you, I’ve also been inspired to write my own poems, something I haven’t done for many many years.

    • Jess says...

      Another way to say this might have been, “I recommend the work of Rachel Zucker for more poetry on motherhood: .”

      It feels so breezy to appreciate without having to compare. Kate doesn’t have to be your favorite but you can maybe feel that way without writing it in a place she is sure to see it. Sorry about my zeal but the world can be cruel, and for a lot of us, this page is one of the bright spots! I am desperate to see it stay kind.

    • Emily says...

      This poem/poet really don’t do it for me either. And the comment below? I mean, can’t anybody have any difference of opinion anymore and share it? So what if the poet reads ONE negative comment? There are plenty of positive ones here, too. I think any writer/artist etc. ought to be able to take a little criticism and I think readers are allowed to not like something and to express it. It’s like —does everyone who visits this site have to like all the same things all the time? It seems really hive-like. I like some of the content on cupofjo, but sometimes the extreme positivity can seem forced and phony.

    • Jess says...

      I do get this, Emily. I think dismissing someone’s entire body of work as “not doing it for you” is more of a hurtful burn though, than an actual critique that might provide an artist with insight. I also didn’t mean to indicate that I think all coj readers should love the same things. I perceive it to be a fairly diverse group of folks, and I come here for that exposure! I am just advocating a kind of difference of opinion that doesn’t have to dismiss one person or idea to lift up another. But as Kristen said, to each his own. ;)

  20. Quinn says...

    Love this. So excited for her book!

  21. meg says...

    I love her. and this. thank you.

  22. Julia says...

    I’m sobbing! My baby is eleven months old and I constantly feel like I’m failing him and always making the wrong decisions for him. I identify so much with the line “nothing will prepare you for this love’s suffering” – I knew being a mom would be hard, but never expected the emotional pain that goes along with it. This experience makes me love my mom all the more. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful poem, Joanna.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      You sound like a wonderful, incredibly loving and thoughtful mother, Julia. You’re doing a great job. Xoxoxo

  23. Julia says...

    So true. One thing that being a parent has taught me is to never pass judgement on another parent. You never know the full story and we are all just trying to do our best.

  24. laurel hammond says...

    Cue the Tears. I love Kate. She is in the same corner of the internet as CUP of Jo. My happy corner.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      <3

  25. Mo says...

    5/5 stars. Thanks for sharing her work!!!

  26. Kacy says...

    That’s just one thing that I can’t let go of. Going up the slide. I really don’t want to pay for my kids teeth to get fixed when they get them knocked back in their head by another kid going down the slide. I’m game for almost anything else, too. Hang upside down on the monkey bars, try the climbing wall, go to the store in your jammies or yesterdays clothes, cereal for dinner, skipping bath time…AGAIN. Now, are we alone at the park? YES! CLIMB UP! One new friend joins us? Game over.

    Otherwise, yes. :) You do you.

    • Sandra says...

      LOL. As I was reading that I was thinking that going up the slide is kind of a d*ck move. I mean, I let my son do it when we are the only ones at the park, but if other kids are using the slide he knows better.

    • Pamela says...

      same here. only thing that made me go, “no way. not that.”

    • Allison says...

      I recently saw a playground that had two slides side by side – one marked up and the other marked down! I got a good laugh out of that.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so cute, allison!

  27. Kristen says...

    I have loved reading Kate’s poems here!

    I didn’t read much poetry before having kids, but there’s something about distilling a huge, profound emotion into a short paragraph that really reflects the emotional whiplash of parenthood for me. That line, “this love’s suffering,” reminded me of another one of my favorites:

    For the Child’s Mole by Geffrey Davis

    we won’t tell you where it lies, as in time
    we might need the minor intimacy
    of that secret. just creatures, heavy with hope
    & begging against the grave song inside
    our living, we have agreed his death is
    the one cold chord we refuse to endure

    from the sorry endlessness of the blues.
    & if ever we fail to bear the rate at which
    we feel the world pining for the body
    of our boy, we can conjure that mole—the small
    brown presence of it tucked where only tenderness
    would think to look—& recall when it seemed

    nothing about our child could drift beyond
    the terrible certainty of love’s reach.

    • Amy says...

      Kristen, I have never, ever been moved to tears by any kind of poetry. They are streaming down my face now. I really felt that one. Thank you for sharing. Oh my heart.

  28. Kelli says...

    When I had my first baby I phoned my Mom with every question/concern/worry. Eventually she said, ‘you aren’t going to like this….but you are the expert on this baby. No one else can give you the right answers. I am here to help and guide you but you already know what to do. Trust that.’

    • Eliza says...

      I love that! “You are the expert on *this* baby”! It sounds like, since you sought her advice, you thought your own mother was quite wonderful/capable which is a wonderful tribute to her. It also sounds like, based on her advice, she is a wonderful mother and she thinks you are too. What a lovely experience!

    • Erin says...

      With my first baby, I said (weeks or months in, I can’t remember) “Mom, I don’t have the patience for this!” My mother, a family therapist, replied quite cheerfully, “Oh, don’t worry, nobody does.” Somehow it made me feel much better, maybe because I had always perceived my mom as being very patient with me.

    • Tasha says...

      What a good mom!

    • Amy says...

      Your mom <3 What wonderful advice.

  29. EJ says...

    Her work is the thing I never knew I needed! But I have been enamored with her words ever since I started following her. I have never purchased a book of poetry before, but I will be getting hers the day it comes out! And I’m proud to say I knew about her before Cup of Jo posted about her. (This never happens.) :)

    Thank you, Kate, for your beautiful words and wisdom.

  30. Libbynan says...

    Went to a fifth birthday party last evening….so fun….lots of parents and children five to fourteen. One young mom asked me how it felt to look back on my parenting years. You have to laugh. I pointed out that I could now see every mistake I had made, but I could also see every mistake that everyone else had made and just had to be glad that no one had wound up pregnant or in jail. My daughter remarked that I was setting the bar kind of low and I replied that I thought I was setting it pretty high, all things considered. All you can do is your best and make sure they know they are loved and that they have good manners. Everything else is pretty much up to who they are.

    • Tara says...

      I love this. Not pregnant or in jail is just about where I’m aiming right now too, ha!

  31. Louisa says...

    Amen.

  32. Bridget says...

    This made me cry. I’m a struggling mom of 10 month old delicious twins. Thanks!

    • Anonygirl says...

      Hugs to you! You’re doing great!

    • Lucy says...

      It gets easier! Keep up the great work!

    • Eve says...

      Bridget, I have 15 month old delicious twins (love that you called them that, because it is so true!) but you’re right, twins are HARD!! And it IS a struggle to meet both of their needs every day. And it is lonely, because it is hard to get out with two babies. And you get so sore from doing everything twice – the lifting, the changing, the carrying – day after day after day. But there is something so special about seeing twins together – doing the same thing, but in their own way. I do think it has gotten easier (at least in some ways) and I hope you experience the same. Thinking of you <3

    • Lesley says...

      Hello from a struggling mom of 15 week old delicious twins. This also made me cry – we are the mothers. Whenever I feel exhausted or overwhelmed or worried that I’m not giving them enough of myself, I remind myself that they have each other and all I need to teach them is how to love. Glad to hear it gets easier ;-)

    • Angela says...

      Ahhh, so timely! As I was walking out of preschool drop off, a fellow twin mom told me I gave her hope that one day, she too would have it all together and have well-behaved children. Hahaha, I’m so proud that was her impression, but we all know it is just the impression, not the reality. I called my husband to laugh over how we were really pulling one on people! My advice back to her, and to you, “you will survive this.” As the mother of delicious 4 year old twins, just keep making it through the days and eventually they will become the years. You will survive! I am crying thinking about how delicious they were at 10 months (and 15 months, and 15 weeks!) old. Love to you all!

  33. Abbie says...

    Love this. Love her work. So much.