How The Hardest Moment of Parenting Became The Most Important

After leaving my husband to tuck the kids into bed one night, I headed downstairs to indulge in my secret “me” time–walking on my treadmill at the lowest possible speed setting and watching trashy reality shows on my phone.

After about an hour of my “workout,” I heard the distinct sounds of my two-hundred-and-then-some pound husband sprinting full-speed upstairs.

Never a good sign. 

Upon relunctantly climbing the stairs from the basement to investigate, I found a disturbing scene:

My oldest daughter was screaming in the shower as my husband hosed her down, and on her bed/floor/that guard rail thing on her bed was more puke than I have ever seen in my life. I just stared at it for a few minutes, unsure of  how on earth I would ever clean it up. I literally didn't even know where to start there was so much of it.

But I did, of course. I cleaned it up and scrubbed the floor and changed the bed and pulled off that guard rail thing with the 10,000 holes that will now have petrified puke on them forever because it's impossible to clean that thing off, and we got her tucked back into bed.

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And 45 minutes later, it started all over again. 

And then two hours later, again.

And then an hour later, our second daughter peed the bed.

And then the baby woke up.

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Image via j&j brusie photography

And some point in the night, as I cradled my feverish-hot daughter and waited for my husband to switch the laundry for the 10th time, I started feeling like a martyr mom.

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Why in the world does it have to be like this? I thought despairingly. Why is having kids so hard? Why did we even have kids again? No more kids for us. I can’t take anymore of this! Motherhood is not supposed to be like this! 

And then suddenly, in what was undoubtedly one of the hardest moments of my life, I had a revelation that would change everything about how I would parent from that day forward. 

This is motherhood, I realized. This is it, and it’s supposed to be hard. And that's OK. 

So I stopped complaining and instead took a deep breath as I smoothed the hair off of my poor, sick daughter's forehead and said a prayer for myself and the day that lay ahead. 

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This motherhood thing is a never-ending job. No one ever promised that it would be easy or always joyful. 

But when I feel weak or unprepared or even despairing, I can remember—

Motherhood is hard. 

But it's the most important thing I'll ever do. 

And it's time I stopped taking that for granted. 

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How The Hardest Moment of Parenting Became The Most Important

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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