If you are like me, you thought the exhaustion would stop.
You thought that all the nighttime wake-ups and early morning rising was just a baby thing.
You thought you’d get a break.
But, it turns out, you do, until you don’t.
These waves of sleepless rob us of something that keeps us sane, planted firmly in a reality that does doesn’t scream, “THIS IS LIFE NOW. SUCKS, RIGHT?!?!”
I read something recently about how it’s just a bad day, not a bad life.
The same goes for mommying.
It’s not a bad life, just a bad night.
Or a series of bad nights that add up to what feels like a lifetime but may really be only two weeks.
Two weeks of torture where you start doubting everything and wanting to change even the slightest curve of light, number of stuffies, positioning of the blankets, how much she has to eat before bedtime so that you can just get some fucking sleep.
You know what works.
To let her sleep with you.
But you also know that that becomes a hostage-like situation that will take another two weeks, two months, another what-feels-like-a-lifetime to change back again.
My god, can’t she just be ten already?
Brush her teeth, comb her hair, shit in toilet and just let everybody get some goddamn rest?
And then, I look at her sweet trying-to-sleep face and have one of those idiotic realizations of how lucky I am to have her.
In my life.
I sometimes hate this experience of motherhood.
This emotional response that is in complete and direct opposition to everything that I know that is logical and good and reasonable and obvious.
It honestly has to be an evolutionary survival thing from the time that we were foragers and we just wanted to leave them behind because it would be so much easier, lighter, less exhausting to settle them in a bed of fronds and kiss them goodbye one last time.
But we never would.
The predators and the elements would see them perish before – or by – nightfall.
We would know this instinctively and keep them, our precious babies, at our bosom.
Safe and warm and so very heavy.
We keep carrying them into unknown circumstances.
New worlds of plenty or new fears of perishing.
Toward imminent challenge and loss and uncertainty.
Because we can’t help loving what we have contributed to this earth.
We can’t walk away from versions and visions of ourselves that hold all the potential in the world in the smallest little pinky fingers we’ve ever seen.
We have too much hope and too much love for them and for what magic they bring to the world to leave them.
Even though we are oh so tired.