Lest there be any confusion on the matter, motherhood is not always my favorite job. There are some things that are terrifically unenjoyable. Case in point: pregnancy. Who enjoys being pregnant? Not I. And then, when it's over, you either get to enjoy hours of labor pains and birth, or major abdominal surgery. Sometimes, if you're really lucky, you get BOTH. Your progeny thanks you for bringing her into the world by requiring your around-the-clock care and feeding.
At this point, it has been over a month since I have slept more than three hours at a stretch. I'm constantly being sucked on. If I'm not wolfing down a meal in the ten minutes Naomi chances to sleep, I'm juggling her on my hip while I sort laundry. Evenings are particularly ridiculous, as I usually end up holding a baby in one arm and making dinner in the other, while playing referee to late-day whining from the big kids.
At the end of the day I haven't accomplished much beyond getting to the end of the day. I haven't done anything beyond the minimum, really. As exhausting as it is, I have only done what I am expected to do, what mothers everywhere are expected to do.
Especially frustrating to me at this point is the job of breastfeeding. While I know it has innumerable benefits and I'm committed to it, I simply don't like it. I'd love to take a little vaycay and NOT be the one who has to be on-call for the baby every time she's hungry. Not be the one who is confined to the couch for each evening's four-hour marathon feeding/fussing session.
But every once in a while in these long, early-baby days, the fog clears and I am reminded that the blessings of motherhood far outweigh the inconveniences. The way Naomi has no idea who I am or what I've done for her, yet she knows it is my arm she wants to hold her, and my chest she wants to snuggle into. The fact that Lily whines and rages when I don't have enough time for her--not because I enjoy it or even because it's acceptable behavior--but because it means she needs her mommy, and nothing else will do. The way my baby's eyes slowly close and she gives a sigh of ineffable peace as she settles against me to sleep.
Being so important has its drawbacks, but I'll take them.