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If there comes a day when your eight glasses of water are hard to swallow, remember this post. When you dread every drop of liquid because you know it means that you will wake up five times in the night to waddle to the bathroom, remember this: it is preparation.
I heard about it when I was pregnant with my first. An older friend told me that the disrupted sleep is nature’s way of preparing a new mother for the first several months of motherhood, a sort of warm-up for those nights of broken, restless sleep. I thought it was a brilliant theory! But, after having four kids and mothering for several years, I think the frequent potty breaks get us ready for a lot more than just the first few months.
Consider this: going to the bathroom once an hour is tedious and inconvenient. You must stop what you are doing, use the restroom, readjust your lovely maternity garments, wash up, spend minutes checking out your preggo profile in the mirror to see if it’s changed in the past hour, then finally return to what you were doing. It’s not like you have a choice, either! The bladder calls; you must respond.
That’s parenting, sister. (Well, not the bladder part.) Parenthood is strewn with endless mundane, sometimes mind-numbing tasks. Through diapering and potty training, instilling good habits, tieing shoes, settling squabbles, helping with homework and always disciplining, a mother (and a father) is called to do the same thing over and over and over and over.
I know. It doesn’t sound very fun. Please keep reading!
Just as the incessant need to relieve yourself is a good thing for your body, the consistent, routine tasks of parenthood are good and necessary for your child. Yes, it gets tedious (oh believe me, it does!) But one of the wonderful things about raising a child is that they are constantly maturing. Their well-being and good health, that first smile and laugh, the first step, the first time they “help” you clean up; all of these are in great part due to your diligent care. You constantly get to experience the reward of your work!
These rewards are a sweet (and necessary) boost when you are cleaning soggy toast chunks out of their neck folds for the 273rd time.
So when you are visiting the ladies’ room for the fifth time (before noon), remember that you are a parent-in-training. Like a professional athlete conditioning their body for competition, you are getting ready for a mighty big challenge. Just remember, your reward is not the top podium, a trophy, a medal or your face on a cereal box.
It is simply the sweetest thing you will ever hold in your arms.