Friday, February 10, 2006

'Cuz I'm the Mama

        There's a good reason why a certain small boy feels like he can traipse into my bed at all hours of the night and find sleepy arms to welcome him. And why a certain tiny girl knows that her needs will be taken care of whenever they arise. Or why, for example, after being up with both small people one night, I later found myself covered with the vomit of the boy. It's 'cuz I'm the Mama, that's why. (I must say here that Erik takes a lot of the night duty, gets up with the kids more than I do, and is winning in the who's-been-barfed-on-the-most contest. He's the best!)
        There are some parts of being a Mama that just aren't as nice as others. I'm a person who really values my sleep. If I'm well rested I feel pretty good and can usually handle my days okay. If I don't get enough sleep, I turn into an emotional, irrational being who falls apart way too easily. Kids really interfere with this whole sleeping thing. First off, when you're pregnant, you have to get up and use the bathroom about ten times a night. I think it's just to get you used to what's coming. Then, as your belly gets bigger and bigger there's no possible way to get comfortable and you just thrash about and rearrange the nest of pillows that is slowly pushing your husband off the bed. Finally, your sweet baby arrives and life becomes a blur of happy tiredness. Once you recover from labor you get used to sleeping in small spurts and caring for your tiny bundle the rest of the time. As they grow they sleep more but when you're on call 24 hours a day, you just don't sleep like you used to.
        So there are definitely some trade-offs that come along with being a Mama. Getting to be the only one who can feed your baby means a lot of cold cups of tea and less than hot meals. Being the one they want to hold them when they're sick means you might get covered in their vomit. There are a lot of sleepless nights and sleepy days that come along with all the cuddles and kisses. Potty training just wouldn't be as joyful if it weren't for the thousands of diapers you had to change leading up to it. And all those long months of pregnancy? That's when you earn the right to be called Mama for the rest of your life.

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