My spouse had shot this photo on my phone while I was sleeping, and I discovered it when I woke up.

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I spotted this image on my phone when I woke up the other morning.

Right now, I feel as though I’m in the middle of it all. These are the young trenches. But that night, my husband was the one who had to get up with the baby. He took this shot of my daughter and I after changing, nursing, and putting down the baby (who eventually crept into bed with us over the night).

Normally, I don’t post a self-portrait that I haven’t “posed” for. And I usually become angry at the person who took it. But this time is different. This photo was unique.

Because the past few weeks have been really challenging. One might easily forget how demanding a newborn is. How exhausted you become on a physical, mental, and emotional level. When two more children are added to the mix, you are already exhausted. Every single time.

I change diapers, hold babies, wipe tears, clean spills, do laundry, wash dishes, and take lots of food breaks throughout the day.

I don’t usually wash my hair. Due to lack of sleep, my eyes are puffy and have bags under them. Almost certainly, food or spit is staining my clothing. My hair is always pulled back into a mother bun. My makeup is no longer there at all.

And this image depicts everything. Parenthood is one of the hardest occupations in the world, despite not being glamorous.

I’d like to reflect on this time in my life. I needed this image to act as a reminder because it’s simple to forget that you’ll eventually miss something when you’re in the thick of things.

I won’t mind the restless evenings as much as rocking and hugging my newborns to sleep. I can feel their small chests breathing in and out as their tiny fingers wrap around mine.

The ability to soothe my kids down with only a hug and a peck on the forehead will disturb me more than the crying fits.

I’ll miss cleaning up their messes with just soap and water more than I’ll miss cleaning up milk spills.

Sharing a bed with my children won’t cause my neck and back any pain, and I won’t miss it. However, I won’t miss waking up in the morning and seeing their faces next to mine. We’re going to miss our morning hugs.

I’d like to reflect on this time in my life.

I don’t want to forget this time of fatherhood, despite how challenging and overwhelming it can be.

So be sure to remind your spouse or other special someone. Remind them that they need to snap these photos of you.

“Be happy with these photos.”