The other day I felt like I was just drowning in stress and exhaustion.
The toddler skipped his nap and was consequently whining the day away. The baby was just screaming every time I put her down to help the toddler, use the restroom, even change her diaper.
The sink was piled high with the day's dishes, the laundry had been sitting clean and wet in the machine for over an hour, I needed to start dinner.
And then she looked up and smiled at me. I forgot how brilliant it is to know that you are literally someone's everything. Not figuratively, like what Ryan says before working away from home for ten hours or how the toddler acts for a few scattered minutes each day. Literally.
I am the home she left behind. I am her favorite smell, her source of nourishment, her comfort and warmth. I'm where she wants to sleep, where she wants to be when she's exploring the world. I'm literally her everything... and not for long!
I lay down most nights wishing I'd done at least one part of my job as a mother differently. Very soon, sooner than it sometimes feels, she'll be running away from me and testing her boundaries. For now though, I'm her everything and that is like being given a tiny glimpse of Heaven.
*A few days after I wrote this up, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. We've been working on treating it naturally in hopes of avoiding prescription drugs. I do still have a lot of frustrations with it (stress, sadness, overwhelming feelings etc.) but in general I think things are getting better and I do feel hopeful and confident about the future again