Motherhood doesn’t give a damn about your sleep schedule.
It doesn’t care how heavy your eyes are, or how puffy
the bags beneath them have become or
how long it’s been since you’ve had a full night of sleep
Motherhood has no regard for when your child becomes ill
and you will find yourself
dozing off against a toilet splashed with sickness at 4 a.m.
while holding your child’s feverish body
over the cold ceramic bowl
Motherhood doesn’t care if your breasts are engorged and desperate for relief
or if your nipples are cracked and raw from cluster feeding—
screaming for a single hour to absorb Lanolin or an ice pack
Motherhood doesn’t pay attention to how you feel—
it doesn’t care whether your spirits are high and your
body is full of energy or if it’s ridden with illness
and you’re nursing a pounding headache. Motherhood’s
pace stays the same when you can’t stop crying
for no reason and every reason.
Motherhood is apathetic to your agenda.
It doesn’t care whether you have a meeting you
absolutely cannot miss, or if you are in the middle of a Wednesday you swore was a Friday.
You would jump at a call from school
with your get out of jail free card.
But Motherhood will drag you by the hair
out of the meeting you
couldn’t miss instead.
It’s not motherhood’s problem how much or
little you prepared for it—
whether you read all of the literature from What to Expect
or none of it; you will find that there is no room for expectations.
No literature on the planet prepares you for
having a child with special needs.
Motherhood is indifferent to your plans
and you may do all of the
research on breastfeeding versus formula feeding or
co-sleeping versus crib-sleeping.
You may vow to only breastfeed or
only put your child in a crib to sleep.
But motherhood doesn’t give a shit about your plans.
And most of all, motherhood doesn’t warn you
when it will be the last time your child nurses
or needs you to snuggle him to sleep
or asks if you can tie her shoe.
Motherhood doesn’t signal: “Create a snapshot;
this is the last time” as your babies grow into people.
Motherhood doesn’t tell you that there will come a time
when you would give anything to go back in time
to before your babies turned into people
even if only to hold your sick baby
over a cold ceramic toilet at 4 a.m.
Because motherhood is the greatest thing
you’ve ever done.