Since becoming a parent 16 months ago, I have done many things that I thought I would NEVER do. I have nonchalantly wiped my daughter’s poop from my forehead, licked a kleenex and then used it to wipe her face, picked up a cracker that she threw on the floor and then gave it back to her to eat (hey, it was the last one!), let her run around with a watermelon-stained shirt for hours because I was too tired to change it and knew it would only get dirty again, and let myself run around in a vomit-stained shirt for hours because I was too tired to change it and knew it would only get dirty again… just to name a few NEVERs.
Although I have learned to never say never, the truth is that before becoming a parent, I have never been so tired. I have never been so ungroomed, disorganized, forgetful, weepy, or tired… did I mention tired? I have never gone so long without seeing or at least talking to many of my friends. I have never gone so long without seeing an adult-sized human. I have never gone so long without getting my hair highlighted, shaving my legs, putting on make-up or even showering. I have never gone so long while sleeping so little. That is the truth.
But I have never, ever laughed so much, loved so hard, or felt so happy. And somehow (in a way that I think you have to be a parent to understand) this love and laughter far outweighs a little vomit and sleep deprivation.
The truth about parenting is that it is a math equation that doesn’t add up, but somehow works anyway.