Earlier tonight, I was snuggled up behind Mason as I lay with him in his new car bed waiting for him to fall asleep. He was facing away from me and my arms were wrapped tightly around his delicious little body. Somehow my hand inadvertently ended up perfectly wedged between the mattress and his chest, and I could feel every beat of his tiny heart on my fingertips. I usually leave shortly after I'm sure he has dozed off into dream land. But tonight, I lingered for a while longer.
I soaked in the moment.
I let the laundry and the dishes wait and lived in the Now.
Being a mom is so rewarding but it's equally difficult and exhausting! I rarely ever get a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Especially over the last few weeks because apparently 2-year-olds experience a sleep regression that nobody warned me about. Quiet moments completely to myself are fleeting. I live in a state of constant worry for my son's wellbeing. And although I'm the one that prepares Mason for school and drops him off every morning, bathes and feeds him when he gets home, takes him to all his doctors' appointments, he often gives me a harder time than anyone else. I'm the one receiving the brunt of his newly acquired "I'm two and don't need help" attitude. Let's not forget to mention that my pre-baby body hasn't exactly made its comeback - and no amount of diet or exercise will ever be able to erase some of the stamp that motherhood has left on me (i.e., stretch marks).
Sometimes I want to pull my hair out. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the verge of a total breakdown. Sometimes I lose my patience and wonder how I'll ever be able to handle another baby, which I do want so badly. Sometimes I feel inadequate and like a failure because I convince myself that I'm not living up to the image of motherhood I've created in my mind.
When I'm feeling this way, moments likes these cuddled up with my baby boy remind me of one profoundly simple truth: This is temporary - all of it.
This current phase of sleepless nights, Mason’s time as a toddler, his childhood, his youth – will all eventually come to an end. One day, I will look back on these times and miss them. I’ll long for early morning snuggle sessions on the couch when all he wanted was to be held by his mommy. I’ll forget about how absolutely exhausted I felt.
As someone who has experienced indescribable loss, I should know this. I’ve learned first-hand just how fragile and unpredictable life can be, and I wish I could say that I live with that acquired knowledge at the forefront of my mind every waking moment.
But I’m human.
I’m a working mother who is oftentimes spread too thin.
I’m a woman, who will forever grieve, doing the absolute best she can to do right by her son.
To all my fellow sleep deprived, worry-ridden, stressed out moms out there: this too shall pass. Hold tight to the happy memories and be forgiving of yourself when you lose sight of the bigger picture. The hard days we experience as parents get us from one unforgettable love-filled moment to the next.