There is no coffee strong enough, for some mornings as "Mom." (Some afternoons I've prayed not for world peace, but to go to the bathroom alone.)
There's also no love that so tightly hugs the inner curves of my heart like the love I have for my children. (Many days I look at my daughters and feel an indescribable amount of gratitude when their sweet voices call me "Mommy.")
Parenting is, for me, a consuming experience. The rare times when I'm alone are both giddy freedom and longing to get right back to these two tiny people who can make me feel like I'm going crazy.
And then, after a long day, they smile at each other, they smile at me, and they play. They kiss me, and I stop; I stop myself, and I really look into their eyes and take in the pretty curves of their noses and lips, and I see how bright their eyes are, and how this shine comes from within.
They are balls of vivacity. They are never-ending energy. But they are still small, and they need me and my husband for structure, discipline, love and grace.
Yet some days, when I only want to drink my coffee before it gets cold, and sit on the toilet without it being a siren's cry for someone to either fall and get hurt or need something intensely (while really needing nothing at all), it feels like I'm not cut out to be a mom at all, even though I already am one.
On days like these, I remind myself of this singular thing: It will be better tomorrow.
This isn't to wish away my life and their childhoods, or to dramatically pretend that there aren't as many glorious, awe-filled moments with these tiny girls as there are challenges, but it is to consciously remember that sometimes, when I'm tired from my insides out, and I feel like I want to quit, that I need to nurture and care for myself, too, the way I do these children.
And so I remind myself that tomorrow is a new day, filled with new smiles, new "firsts," new coffee, new difficult moments, and new opportunities to embrace this crazy, wild life that is mothering tiny kids.