It's late. I'm tired. I really just want a cup of tea.
I could've written those words at many points in my life. I survived my first semester of college by guzzling strong black tea while sitting in front of the computer. My team at work spent many long nights tending to the reactor we were trying to get up and running, sometimes not going home until dawn. Now...now I'm a mom. Just a mom, no more and no less. With motherhood comes lateness, and tiredness, and longings for cups of tea.
Motherhood has brought great happiness. I've always loved children, loved their innocence and wonder and unfettered joy. Obviously, I think my own kids--Moose, 3 1/2, and Sprite, 10 weeks--are the most wonderful of them all. Being their mother is fulfilling in ways that it's hard to imagine of anything else requiring such sacrifice.
Motherhood has also brought resignation. Humility. Okay, make that a double dose of humility. It's hard work that never pays a cent and often doesn't even earn you a drop of gratitude or a smile. Part and parcel of that is sitting up in the kitchen at midnight, knowing that it's the only peace and quiet you'll get for the day, and knowing just as well that you really ought to be hanging the diapers to dry and folding a basket of laundry and heading off to bed.
Motherhood is about making choices. A moment's quiet vs. a chore accomplished. Spending time with your children vs. having a clean house. Moose's needs vs. Sprite's needs. My needs vs. my children's needs. A cup of tea vs. some much-needed sleep.
In the end, it's the smallest of choices that end up making the difference. As I listen to my son sleeping in the next room and watch my daughter laying quietly nearby, I try to remember that. I will pick her up in a moment, snuggle her close as a feed her, and whisper my love to her even when I'm tired. I will try to greet my son with a smile in the morning even if I wish he'd have stayed in bed a while longer. They are what make this life worth it. They are my world, and at this point, I am theirs.
That is what motherhood is.