I woke up the other morning and found this picture on my phone.

You see, right now I’m in the trenches, the newborn trenches that is. That night it was my husband’s turn to get up with the baby, and after changing, feeding, and putting the baby down, he snuck this picture of me and my daughter (who crawled into bed with us at some point during the night).

Normally when I see a picture of myself that I haven’t posed for, I never post it and I generally get annoyed at whoever took it, but not this time. This picture was different.

These past few weeks have been rough. You forget how much work babies are and how exhausted you become, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Add two more kids to the mix and you just feel drained. All. The. Time.

My days are filled with changing diapers, rocking babies, wiping tears, cleaning spills, doing laundry, washing dirty dishes, and endless snack times. I don’t get a shower in every day. My eyes are puffy and have bags from the lack of sleep. My clothes most likely have some sort of spit-up or food stain on them. My hair is in a permanent mom bun. My makeup is nowhere to be seen.

This picture shows it all. It’s not glamorous, but it’s a picture of one of the hardest jobs there is: motherhood. I want to remember this phase of my life. I need this picture to remind me, because sometimes when you’re in the trenches, you forget that you’ll miss it someday.

I won’t necessarily miss the sleepless nights, but I’ll miss holding my babies and rocking them to sleep, feeling their little chests breathe in and out, while their little fingers wrap around mine. I won’t necessarily miss the crying fits, but I’ll miss the ability I have to calm my children down with just an embrace and a kiss on the forehead. I won’t necessarily miss cleaning up the spilled milk, but I’ll miss the ability clean up their messes with only soap and water. I won’t necessarily miss waking up with a sore neck and back from sharing the bed with my children, but someday, I will miss waking up to their faces next to mine. I will miss waking up to those morning cuddles.

This is the phase I want to remember. This phase of motherhood, although it can be exhausting and overwhelming, I don’t ever want to forget. So remind your spouse or your partner. Remind them to take these pictures of you. Be proud of these pictures because these are the ones you’ll want to remember.

This post was originally published here.