The other night, Nick was out of town for work so it was just me, D, and Kiwi at home. And then I got food poisoning. Great timing. As I puked for the second time while my screaming baby clawed at my neck, I thought "This. This is what I wish I'd known about motherhood."
It seems so obvious now, and maybe everyone else knows it already, but you are a mom every day. All the days! Even if you have a headache, or you're puking, or you didn't sleep well (spoiler: you'll never sleep well again). This little person needs you, and those needs don't scale according to the amount of energy you have.
That's been one of the hardest things for me, and I remember when the gravity of it first hit me. D was tiny, just a couple days old. My milk hadn't come in, but in his perfect little mammal way, he was nursing constantly in anticipation. I felt like I wasn't giving him what he needed, and for the first time I realized that I was the one keeping him alive (plus Nick, of course, but I've got the boobs). Keeping him ALIVE. Holy shit. That's a lot of responsibility.
There's no vacation. No day off. No TGIF, because Saturday is interchangeable with Tuesday as far as the baby's concerned. No going to your favorite bathroom stall, the one with the burnt out light so it's nice and dark, to close your eyes, cry or relax. That bathroom stall sanctuary ceased to exist when the baby came out. Now when you need a moment, you just.... You don't get one. Moments to regroup are no longer a thing.
There are single moms out there who do everything, every day, and I'm in awe. My pregnant friend is going to be without her deployed husband for the first 3 months of their baby's life. I honestly couldn't handle that, and I know I am so fortunate to have the support system I have.
I should end on an "omg, he's sooooo worth it " note, and of course he is, but being worth it doesn't change the fact that parenthood is like Groundhog Day plus poop and screaming (and minus Sonny and Cher, because who still has a clock radio?). Tomorrow is another day. That is amazing-more smiles! more wee baby snuggles!- but it is also another day, just like today.