First off, Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there.
Motherhood is exhausting. I don't think I remember getting that warning years ago when I was pregnant with my first child. And now, 23 years later, I am honestly and truly exhausted. It's a full-time job. You don't get nights and weekends off and there are no holidays. You work 24/7, 365 days a year. And here's the most important thing that you need to remember, the job never ends. You don't get to wake up one day and say "I'm done".
Some people really should remember that.
However, in exchange for this never-ending job, there are many perks. They start out small - little smiles, a tiny fist wrapped around your finger. Then you get giggles and sloppy kisses. You move up to some of the greatest artwork known to man in the form of finger painted hand-prints and macaroni jewelry.
Then you'll go through a downward phase - the "I hate you" and "You're an idiot" phases are not easy. It's hard dealing with a know-it-all whose life hasn't nearly begun. They eventually turn it back around and actually want to spend time with you again and - if you're lucky - they will admit that yes, you were right.
The hardest part of it all? It goes too fast. One minute you're wishing they were big and in the blink of an eye, they are. You sometimes long for the days when they were small - holding your hand or just cuddling up beside you. You miss the homemade cards (they're not nearly as cute coming from a seventeen year old!), the giggles, the innocence.
And that will never, ever go away.