Did you miss me yesterday? I couldn't publish anything because I had a tiny human who only wanted cuddles all day long. My kid often forgets I am a human - let alone his mother - and treats me like his own personal jungle gym. I'm sure this is a way for him to say he loves me - by literally crawling all over me so much that I want to fling him through a window. But yesterday was different. Shep was sweet, gentle, and just wanted hugs. And why was that? Because he had turned into a disease vector.
Somewhere over the weekend, Shep picked up a viral fever with no other notable symptoms. I noticed he felt very hot - and when I took his temperature, he was already close to 103. This poor guy felt terrible - I could see it on his face - and he didn't want to eat either. He just wanted to cuddle on mommy and watch movies all day.
And you know what? It was heaven. I've never been so happy to have my son crawling up my butt all day. To be fair, the gentleness was a game-changer. He's typically a bit too rough for me to feel my heart melt into a little puddle. But yesterday? Yesterday was cuddles galore.
I texted my husband - "How can I want to fling him through the window and also want to squeeze him with love until he begs me to let him go?" The answer is clear: that's exactly what motherhood is.
Kids aren't great at being consistent. Their mood varies from minute to minute - one day, they love tomatoes and the next day they are screaming and kicking their feed because you put one on their plate. It would make sense, then, that motherhood shares those ups and downs right in step with the kiddos. But it's not just them - it's me. It's us, as moms.
No one in their right mind would give up their entire life to do ONE thing, day after day, for decades on end. And yet, that's exactly what parents do. It's pretty infuriating to hear someone say, "Well you CHOSE to be a parent..." Yes, Linda, and you chose to be a bitch - so step off. Stay in your lane. I am allowed to feel however I want about my kids at the moment - that doesn't mean I'm a bad mom. It means I'm human. It means I get burnt out on doing the same thing day and day out.
Motherhood is thankless job - well, at least until your kid turns 26 and suddenly has a wake-up call. The first time someone hands you your tiny baby, you might have felt a surge of love for them. (Some people don't, and that's ok!) For months, you'd been daydreaming about what their face would look like - what kind of cute noises they'd make - and how warm it would feel to hold them snuggled to your chest. Getting to experience that is the most fulfilling part of early parenthood - stealing sweet snuggles from a little lump of love. But that bliss can quickly turn to blind rage when that sweet love nugget won't stop screaming and all you want to do is get an hour of sleep.
Guess what? That's normal. Heck, that's even boring it's so ordinary. I can love my child and want to give them to a stranger to make them stop crying - at the same time. I can be so touched out, and yet want to soak up all the sick-kid cuddles I can from my toddler tornado while he's not spinning so fast. Motherhood is a contradiction. It is selflessness and self-care, snuggles and jungle gyms, kisses and kicks to the face while you're sleeping. It is not any one thing - it's all of these things. And I wouldn't trade any of it for the world.