Parenting is hard. Really, really hard. Like… a million trillion times harder than I ever imagined it would be. Right now, as I attempt to put my feelings into words for the first time in weeks, my A is crying in her crib, so very tired but refusing to nap. But then, no one ever said raising a little human would be easy.
(She’s finally quiet now. So I can continue…)
I love my daughter more than anything. She’s so sweet and so funny, with a big personality that emerges a little more each day. I love her little girl’s voice when she says, “Mama!” and hugs my legs. I love watching her raise her hands in the air and dance to silly songs. I love when she gives her baby doll hugs and kisses. I love when she wants to read “Llama Llama Nighty-Night” again and again at bedtime, always saying “more” as we reach the last page. I love watching her waddle around the house with a look of pure determination on her face to get to where she wants to go. My heart is so full of joy for this special little person.
Being mama is the best and the hardest thing I have ever done. Or will ever do.
But being mama is also exhausting. Absolutely exhausting. I haven’t slept well in 16 months and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. It’s a different kind of tired than when A was a newborn though. I’m worn out. I’m overwhelmed. I want to make the best decisions for her. I want her to feel happy and loved. And I want to enjoy every moment while she explores her world and learns new things all the time. But most days, I find myself counting down the hours until bedtime. And, now that A is teething again, bedtime doesn’t give me the break that I need. She’s uncomfortable, she cries, she wakes up in the night, and she only wants her mama to comfort her. I lay on her floor and rub her back at 12 am, and 2 am, and 4 am. I bring her into my bed and cuddle her close to me, hoping we can both get one more hour of sleep. Sometimes, I wish I could have a day off from being mama. Just writing that sentence floods me with guilt. But it’s the truth. I love my daughter so, so much. But sometimes I wish I wasn’t needed quite so much.
And yet, I try to tell myself, someday, I will miss this.
Every stage of parenthood will have its ups and downs. I know this. And I might never feel like I know what I’m doing. The control freak in me needs to be OK with that! One thing I do know is that I am trying my best. I just need to make more of an effort to enjoy every moment, to be present and mindful, knowing that time moves far too quickly. Life is fleeting. The tantrums and teething won’t last forever. The exhaustion will pass. I might even sleep through the night again!
I’ll remember the smiles, the giggles, the dancing, and that sweet little voice calling me “Mama!” Because, someday, I’ll miss this.