I had felt it coming for a long time.
Camouflaging itself as guilt.
What's wrong with you?
Suck it up.
You don't have time for that.
I thought I had fought it off.
I let my guard down a few evenings ago, and it went in for the kill.
It's sneaky. I told you.
Changing dirty diapers and feeding hungry bellies occupy a huge part of each day.
In toddler land, both of those things are very touchy subjects.
Wrestling a seal and feeding a cheeseburger to a goldfish might be comparable.
Oh and potty training? Patience. That's all I have to say about that. You don't know patience until you encounter potty training.
In baby land, it's blowouts and boobies/bottles. I would say it's a tad easier, but also more time consuming.
Having to pee while feeding a baby takes incredible skill. Using one wipe instead of 1,000 is equally as skillful.
Teaching rapidly growing and curious brains takes up another good chunk of the day.
Questions, conversations, shapes, colors, ABCs, animals, numbers.
In between changing diapers, filling bellies and teaching brains there is clean up and lovins.
Baths, messes...messes, baths.
With messes, comes laundry; and spot cleaning poop, spaghetti sauce, finger paint, marker and lots of unidentifiable stains out of carpet, rugs and tiny clothes.
Kisses for boo-boos; and then kisses for the elephant, meow-meow, bunny, spider, sheep, dinosaur, and bear...because they have boo-boos, too.
Mommy, hold me please.
Of course I will. I'll hold you as long as you'll let me. Any time, any place. I would cuddle you forever.
Cuddles turn into gymnastics. On my face.
Laughing and enjoying the moment, while also guarding myself from accidental head butts and eye pokes.
Nap time is a mythical creature these days.
When Tyler came home that day, I was excited.
Excited to see him, but also equally excited to use the bathroom in private.
Apparently I didn't look excited, though.
Babe, are you ok?
Of course I'm ok.
Why is he asking me that?
I walked to the bathroom, closed the door and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.
Typically, I don't take the time to look at myself during the day. It had been a typical day.
With that glimpse, I walked up to the mirror and took a good look.
Hair unwashed. Clothes covered in crusty things. Dark circles under my eyes.
My appearance was expressing what I had been trying to ignore.
No wonder Tyler asked me if I was ok, I thought.
My stomach growled. With that growl, I remembered something.
I only had time to lick the spoon.
The spoon I had used to make Adi's PB&J for lunch.
A spoon because all of the knives were in the dishwasher.
I hadn't eaten all day.
It wasn't new, it happens a lot.
But in that moment, alone in the bathroom, I had time to think about it.
I'm sure I am speaking for the majority of moms when I say this,
I love my babies.
I love them with all of my heart and soul.
They are my joy.
I've never laughed so hard, smiled so big or loved so much.
I remember when I heard their heartbeat for the first time. When I felt them flutter inside me for the first time. Looking into their eyes for the first time and forgetting all of the pain my body had endured to get them here.
Their first smile, laugh, roll, crawl, steps. Watching their little minds think and grow. Their hugs and kisses. Everything.
My babies make every day, the best day.
I wouldn't trade being their mommy for all of the money in the world.
I'm so thankful; but I'm also tired.
And I realized, when I saw myself in the mirror, that I need to pay a little more attention to myself.
I'm not talking anything crazy, just basic.
Trying to, at least, shower and eat daily. Take a nap when the opportunity arises. Steal a few minutes to paint my nails. Maybe throw on some mascara.
Little things can make the biggest difference.
Being a mommy is the most incredible experience; and it's also the most self-sacrificing.
There's a fine line between sacrifice and neglect.
Let's make a conscious effort to not cross that line.
Our babies deserve the best version of their mommies.
Let's do our best to give them that version.
A mommy who not only takes care of them, but also takes care of herself.
A mommy who does more than lick the spoon...and doesn't feel guilty about it.