I wake up to his cry. I check my phone and it’s 4:40 AM. I bring him back into my bed with me and nurse him. I’m tired. He’s 7 months old, why aren’t I getting 12 full hours of sleep from him? The few nights he slept through the night was a tease.
I’m frustrated. My husband is at work. My toddler is sleeping. The room is dark and quiet. I lay there feeling sorry for myself. Thoughts of “my husband is so lucky to be at work” and “my husband is getting better sleep than I am” run through my head. I look down at my nursing baby and he is staring right at me. He’s saying “you’re so lucky too mama, because you and I share this special bond.”
I am in the trenches of motherhood. I want to be done nursing, I want my body back but I KNOW I will miss this. I will miss these moments so much. When will my life feel like mine again? Will the “old me” ever return? Will I ever like “me” again? Who even am I, now? When will it get easier?
I realize motherhood never gets easier. It just gets…different. Waking up in the middle of the night or the early mornings to nurse is hard. Feeling “needed” 24.7 is hard. But what’s also hard is the incredible feeling of grief that hits you when these moments are over.
It’s easy to want to rush the days. I count down the time until their nap. I count down the time until they go to bed. Every day feels like I’m trying to rush for it to be over. I can’t wait until I have a moment to myself. I deserve it, right? Do my kids feel this? Do they feel me rushing to get a moment to myself? Do they feel like an unwanted guest getting pushed out the door? Will the guilt ever stop?
I pick up my phone and start looking through old photos. I don’t know why I do this to myself. I am looking at photos of when my now 7 month old was a newborn. Damn time goes fast. I am looking at pictures of when my toddler was just 7 months old. I think to myself, “where did the time go?”
Eventually I will be looking back at this very moment and think “I miss that.” So all I need to do right now is sit in this moment. Be present. Sit with my nursing baby. Observe every single tiny detail. His tiny toes. His long eyelashes. Stare into his eyes and take a snapshot of this exact moment. Because it all goes too fast.