Strong As A Parent
Last night I woke up to the worst throbbing headache. Throbbing might not be the best word for it. Stabbing? Yes, let’s go with that one. It was awful. It hurt to blink. And just as I was debating whether it was worth getting out of bed to take some Advil or just fall back asleep and hope it’d go away on its own, my baby woke up and wanted to nurse. So I nursed him. And I was so tired that as soon as he was done I fell back asleep. Headache completely forgotten.
Woke up for the day and, you guessed it. Headache was still there! But I didn’t have that much time to focus on it because my day had already begun. My toddler has a head cold and was asking why her nose was “funny”, my baby needed a fresh diaper and wanted to nurse again, and my husband’s suits were all at the dry cleaners still because I forgot to pick them up. Oops. And so a flurry of activity ensued, and when I finally was able to sit down (to read the kids a book), I remembered why I felt like my head was going to crack in two. Finally I took the dang Advil and gulped some coffee down too, while simultaneously rocking my baby to sleep (I think he either has or is catching his older sister’s cold, praying the antibodies in my breastmilk fight this!). And it got me thinking what we do everyday as moms. As parents.
We are constantly putting our children’s needs before ours. Without even a second thought. Yes, depending on the situation I will put my needs first; but it’s truly amazing what we do as parents. If someone had told me: “As a mother, you will change countless diapers, be spit up on, peed on, pooped on, thrown up on, get bitten while breastfeeding, kiss skinned knees covered in dirt, wipe a runny nose with your hand, let someone’s dirty or sticky hands wipe all over your nice clean clothes, stay up throughout the night nursing, stay up all night with a sick child, catch vomit with your hands, burp, bathe, rock, change numerous outfits etc” I would have been a tad overwhelmed. Because reading that list may sound like an exaggeration to some, but I’m sure a lot of you are nodding your heads because you have done all of those things too. And we do it without a second thought because we would do anything for our kids.
And I’m just going to say it, I think as mamas (and parents in general), we are rock stars. Before kids, could you imagine scooping someone up who just vomited? No! I know I personally would have been like “Ughhhh disgusting. Let’s just back out of here because a) the smell and b) not my problem”. And maybe it’s because that Mama instinct kicks in and we just love our children so much that comforting them no matter what trumps our own discomfort? But it truly is inspiring. And yes, granted there are times where I’m not this relaxed and inspired by it. There are times where I’ll glance down at a blow out diaper, or a crazy runny nose and be like “whhhhyyyy!?!” But that lasts for a second or two and I just do what I have to do. Do I gag sometimes? You bet. Do I laugh even though the situation certainly isn’t the time or the place? Yep. Big time. Because we’re all human. We get to cringe at changing soiled clothes or yell out during a breastfeeding nibble.
So I just want to applaud all of you hardworking parents out there. To the mom that now is walking around with poopy shirt because her baby had a crazy blow out? You’ve got this. To the dad who was raising his baby up in the air to watch him giggle, and ended up with a face full of spit up? You’ve got this. Parenting is hard and yet so very rewarding. And even after all the messy mishaps (say that three times fast! Haha) and countless sleepless nights and other selfless acts, we all just want our children to be healthy and happy. Because they are so very worth it. So pour another strong cup of coffee, and keep it up!!! You’re doing a truly amazing job.