The only reason I know motherhood is hard is because I've done it once before. Otherwise, I might have been sitting in complete darkness, holding a fussy and still-stuffy one-year-old while bawling my eyes out and saying to myself "what have I gotten myself into?"
The only difference now is that I know what I've gotten myself into so I don't have a really great excuse for crying anymore.
It's been a harrowing week of travel, illness, restlessness, allergic reactions to crib mattresses (cripey!), more travel, and more illness. Like a drug, the highs of seeing friends and my own mother last only momentarily and then I come crashing back to reality -- a sick husband, a mischievous and snot-infested toddler, a sweet but extremely loquacious three-year-old that appears to be incredibly bored, and an impending pregnancy that has only yet caused me to want to puke and weep.
Sometimes at the same exact time.
I try to enjoy this ride with these tiny precious children because I know it will be over all too soon. My daughter won't ask to be cuddled and held. My son won't be around for me to clean up after. And in some weird way, when I drag myself out of bed for the third time to let him chew on my nipple and pull on my hair, the knowledge that this time won't last forever consoles me.
And no matter how hard it gets, I can rest assured that I won't ever give up. It's the creed of mothers everywhere. It's the one constant in our everchanging state of being.
They can wake us up ten times a night, talk us 'til we're blue in the face, and tell us they hate us or don't want us anymore, and we'll still look them straight in the eye and tell them we love them.
Every single time.
And I take comfort in knowing that that's the one thing about this crazy job that will never ever change.