What You Don’t Tell Your Friends about Parenting

His little eyes stared straight ahead even though he knew I was looking at him. I nuzzled his face with my nose then kissed his cheek. In return, he giggled and licked the end of my nose. Bedtime is often the balm for my soul. Spending just a few minutes with each boy giggling on his bed about his own personal funny reminds me of all the good parts of motherhood. They’ve been easy to forget lately.
 
I called Micah’s doctor late Tuesday afternoon last week and told him sick day regime wasn’t going to cut it. Micah was ok right that moment, might be ok hours later at bedtime, but most certainly would not be ok in the morning. After a brief conversation about fluid intake, how often he peed (the glorious things you discuss as a parent), and how he was acting, we decided to take him to the ER for fluids.
 
One of the few good things about having done this before is that we’ve streamlined the process. His doctor called the ER. Justin came home to stay with the little boys. I packed a bag and changed my clothes. We hit the doors of the ER and they ushered us on back, no triage thankfully because no problem would have been registering yet.

IVA is a rare disease. Few people have heard of it and when we see a new doctor we have to start the beginning. What is IVA? What complications does he have? What does he eat? What does this have to do with why he’s here? (Um, it’s the reason.) So when our favorite PA walked through the door I could have kissed him. I didn’t- seemed like it would be weird.
 
what you don't tell your friends about parenting
 
We made the decision to keep him overnight since he was still not wanting to eat and drink on his own after a few hours of fluids. He came home the next afternoon tired but full of stories about his IV. That night about midnight Caleb started throwing up. Wake up to screaming, puking toddler. Change his clothes, wash him, clean the bed, find new clothes and sheets and blankies. Console the toddler and everyone’s asleep. Rinse and repeat.
 
With three kids it takes a while for a virus to circulate through everyone. By the time I’m good and tired of everyone being sick, the kids are in the recovering grumpy stage and Justin gets sick.
 
Long days and long nights can actually make me envy the single people I see in my facebook newsfeed. Not because I don’t love my family but because those single folks aren’t dealing with sick kids and sick husbands and canceled plans because of vomit. (Not to worry, I got to reminding myself that those single people have problems too- just different ones.)
 
Sometimes motherhood is hard. Nobody tells you that when you start talking about having a baby, just like we don’t talk about having miscarriages or babies with health problems. We picture the Carter ads life: beaming baby and rested mama with no vomit, no tantrums, and certainly no hospitals visits.
 
That picture of motherhood is fake like most pictures. It’s not real life and all of us with kids know it. Yet we happily encourage our friends to embark on this journey of parenthood, not because we don’t like our friends, but because we have those bedtime moments. We have the moments where the three-year-old says, “You’re my favorite in the world.”
 
Parenting is hard. But it’s worth it.