I knew to expect the tired, the worn-out, and the stretched-thin. Everyone says, “It gets better,” and it does, quicker than your mind will allow you to imagine in those moments of pure exhaustion and weariness.
Many hours I spent trapped under a sleeping baby as I looked around at the chaos and mess that consumed almost every inch of our house. I could feel every dust particle and dirty dish weighing on my soul. I should be able to keep a clean house, right? I expected that one day I would be able to be cleaner and tidier.
While my arm muscles grew to accommodate lugging around a fast growing infant, my leg muscles declined from the hours spent lounging with a needy baby. Never being able to find the time to exercise, I tried not to linger too long in the mirror. I hoped one day I would be able to find the time to be a fit, healthy mom.
What I didn’t expect is that when she finally started sleeping through the night, many times I would wish for her to stir so that I could cuddle her. Instead, every night I take one last look at her on the video monitor before closing my eyes.
And when she started to prefer being laid down in her crib for naps, what I didn’t expect is that I would miss being trapped. No longer bound, I watch as she takes everything she can in, constantly learning and on the go. Oh what I would give to feel the heaviness of her sleeping head on my chest.
A million times over I would overlook the pile of dishes and dust bunnies. And now, we linger together in the mirror, inspecting each other’s facial expressions, both smiling. I have a little more time for exercise and cleaning but what I didn’t expect was that I would want those time consuming cuddles back, two-fold.
The fact that things need to get done doesn’t escape me but maybe things can go a little unkempt for this insanely brief time in our lives. Many mornings she still wakes up to eat before the sun is up. My heart swells as I shuffle sleepily to her room. A thousand moments of seeing her happy little face in the darkness as I lean over the rails of her crib wouldn’t be enough. And in the still and quiet, before the rest of the world is up, it is just us two.