I see you trudging back to the toddler’s room, assuring him there are no monsters for the fifth time tonight.

I see you pour another cup of milk.

I see you praying that tomorrow will be a better day. That you will be more patient.

I see you rocking your 4-month-old baby through the sleep regression that seems never-ending.

I see you put you hands out to catch the vomit without hesitation.

I see you sitting on the cold tile of the bathroom staring at another negative pregnancy test wishing for a baby that has not yet come to be as tears stain your face.

I see you stare at your newborn’s sweet face in the hospital with giddy exhausted joy not believing she is really yours.

I see you stare at your baby’s chest to make sure she is really breathing.

I see you calling your daughter’s phone for the 15th time because she still isn’t home and curfew was two hours ago.

I see you sob quietly wishing you weren’t a single mom having to do it all.

I see you cradle your sweet, sensitive fourth grade boy who is being bullied and doesn’t want to go to school.

I see you sitting in an empty house with children all grown up.

I see you standing in the shower telling yourself this is just a phase and you will get through it.

I see you mindlessly scrolling through your phone when you should be sleeping because it’s the only alone time you’ve had all day.

I see you bleary-eyed measuring Tylenol while holding a crying child.

I see you up late finishing school work because you don’t stop being a mom just because you’re in school.

I see you up late working on your business because you want something that is just yours.

I see you up late having a third glass of wine when you know you shouldn’t telling yourself it’s no big deal.

I see you staring at the baby monitor trying to decide if sleep training is really worth it or not.

I see you changing dirty sheets.

I see you shoving your husband and muttering your turn and then staying awake anyway because the guilt is too heavy on your heart.

I see you rock and rock and rock those babies.

I see you startle awake with a bad dream of something terrible, the kind only mamas have.

I see you driving home from the hospital without a child knowing that even if you cannot hold them physically they will be yours forever.

I see you rolling your big pregnant belly over to pee for the 10th time tonight.

I see you.

I see the sun rising.

And you will also rise.

Because you are mama.

And that’s what we do.

When that baby cries or that toddler whines in the night and we don’t think we can do it ONE MORE TIME, we still do. And in the morning we might be a little short due to lack of sleep. Our spouses or coworkers might get a sharp tongue remark or red rimmed eyes staring back at them. But coffee and the turning of time will keep us going. We dig deep and rise.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Meredith Redmon

Meredith is a former pediatric RN turned stay at home mom to two littles. She has never met a carb, Target aisle, or glass of red wine she didn't love. Join her over at www.motherhoodbymeredith.com as she finds grace in the messy side of motherhood.