Nothing is more humbling as a mom than to be sitting on the floor of the kitchen at 4am with a teething baby who won't calm down for two nights in a row.
Unless you add in the disoriented and whiney toddler the screaming baby woke up, also for two nights in a row.
But, here is the deal.
I will miss these moments. They only happen once.
I hear so many mothers who are frustrated by their want for more "me" time, more sleep, more money for fun trips and mini vacays.
I get it. Well, kind of.
The past year I have taken an active role in carving out time for me. I decided running would be my hobby and I have worked hard to keep that special thing for me. I knew doing school at home on my own would overwhelm me to a degree that wasn't good for me or the kids or anyone in a 20 mile radius of my crazy, so I swallowed a ton of pride and asked for Sam to help me every day he can. I made a point of putting money aside so I could update my wardrobe as a lot of it is about a decade old and while I couldn't care less about the fashion, I do care about clothes with holes in weird spots.
It is good to remember to put the oxygen mask on yourself as a mom and take a little time a day to make sure you don't lose yourself in the blur that is mommyhood.
However, we are still the mommy and when we decided to be that person, we also decided to sacrifice other things. Sleep, much of our social life, sleep, looking perfect every day, financial frills and did I mention sleep? Those and lots of other things I didn't mention are sacrifices and it is hard, but, would any of us trade it for life without our tiny terrors? Probably not. Then, can I gently suggest we stop looking at things as sacrifices and try to look at them as merit badges in mommy badassery instead? Sounds cooler (I inserted the grown up word just for that reason, and also because I am too tired to think of a more mature word, sorry) and really, that makes it more fun.
Friends with littles who feel compelled to bemoan the lack of sleep and frustration that comes from teething and sick and just plain little babies, it ends. You will miss it. Those moments of being the only one who can help that tiny person feel okay are fleeting. Try, please try to live them with gratitude because you get the chance to be that person when so many others do not even though they dearly want to.
It is humbling and tiring and hard to be up at 4am. It is worth it. Believe me, I've done this 5 times now and it goes far too quickly. When I hold poor, inconsolable baby 5 who just wants to feel better and I am the only one who can help him, I see the face of my first baby and how sad she was when she had croup as a 1 year old. I see baby two and how he cried every night for his first 6 months unless I held him. I see number three, who had croup for an entire winter and I spent so many nights walking the halls while he coughed and coughed. I see my current toddler and how sick he was just last winter and how he just needed me to hold him. I see all of that when my baby whines at me, and I actually miss those moments now that I understand they won't happen again.
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to get back to work on a few merit badges.