This Mother's Day, I asked Mr. LL to just let me sleep in. That was all I wanted, to sleep for as long as I damn well wanted (which, every time I ask for this, I still end up getting up by 8 at the latest, but I was determined to sleep to 10 this time). Life had other plans. Lazy Baby woke up SCREAMING around 3:30 am, when Mr. LL was just coming to bed (we had stayed up to watch Black Panther with a friend and he had to drive the guy back home, then got distracted by his computer game when he got back). She felt like she was burning up, but she didn't have a fever. I changed her diaper and started sobbing as I changed her out of her pjs and into just a pair of shorts (because she WILL rip her diaper off). We gave her some Motrin and Mr. LL took her to the living room to watch Sesame Street to soothe her back to sleep. I slept in the bed but could hear her crying up front so I didn't sleep very well. 6:30 rolls around and I get up and relieve my very tired and frustrated husband, letting him go to bed for a couple of hours. I felt sorry for myself and my lost gift of sleep, but I had a little one who needed extra snuggles and love, and needed breakfast and a diaper change and someone to play with her.
When she finally went down for a nap (a three hour nap), I was holding her for a moment before putting her in her crib and I took the photo at the start of this post. I had been inwardly pouting about not getting the Mother's Day gift I wanted, still, and as my baby fell asleep in my arms, my brain shook me out it with the reminder: You wouldn't even be a mother if it weren't for this little one, and right now she needs you more than you need a couple extra hours of sleep.
Parenthood teaches you to be selfless. You may have thought you were pretty selfless before children, but you weren't. I'm standing by this blanket statement. You weren't. And until you destroy your body, lose your sleep and self-respect, put everything on hold until further notice so you can give your child the love, support, shelter, food and everything else she needs, you aren't as selfless as you thought you were. Having a child, you genuinely put the needs of this other person above your own and your partner's and pretty much anyone else, tbh.
I'm not saying you are selfish or that you ever were, but there is something about being a parent that really turns a switch in you and while it is very hard, you still love that little person more than anything and anyone in the world. You may feel sorry for yourself and you may feel like you can't do this or you won't make it, but that little smile, those snuggles and you are back to thinking that this is so worth it.