A wise person once said that the waiting is the hardest part.
That person must have been familiar with the third trimester.
And the waiting, the waiting is hard. The anticipation! The unpredictability! The waking up in the middle of the night with horrible foot cramps! (Just me?)
But there are other hard things.
You could, say, have children with the stomach flu.
For the second time this month.
You could be up every hour all night, and still get to spend your days alternating between entertaining the toddler—as he is unimpressed with sick siblings—and reminding the older children not to breathe on each other.
Or at each other.
Or near each other.
That would not be waiting, but it would be hard.
Just as a totally theoretical example.
(Okay, that may have been how we spent all of last week.)
There’s always something harder, yes, sure. But even better than remembering that? Remembering that this is the moment you have been given, vomit and all. It doesn’t have to be compared to anything else. It doesn’t need a ranking. Nothing has to be declared the forever-and-always hardest part.
There can be contentment in this moment. There is beauty in accepting it for what it is.
It is time spent close to a middle child before the next transition begins.
It is extra rest for everyone before the baby comes.
It is extra-clean bathrooms and just-washed-again linens and—ooh!—a new air freshener.
Things could always be harder. Things could always be easier. But this is now, and now is a gift.
I was going to write all that at the end of last week, so that I would remember: the waiting isn’t the hardest part.
The waiting isn’t the hardest part.
But I’m still glad our wait is over.