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

“The other morning as I woke up, I saw this picture on my phone.”

I’m now in the trenches. That is what the baby trenches look like. But that night, it was my husband’s turn to wake up with the baby. After changing, feeding, and putting down the baby, he sneaked this photo of me and my daughter (who crawled into bed with us at some point during the night).

I typically don’t upload a picture of myself that I haven’t “posed” for. But it’s different this time. This picture was special.

“The last few weeks have been quite difficult. It’s simple to overlook how demanding a baby is. How worn out you get—physically, mentally, and emotionally. You’re already worn out when two more kids are added to the mix. Each and every time.”

“My daily tasks include changing diapers, holding infants, wiping tears, cleaning spills, doing laundry, washing dishes, and many snack breaks.”

“I don’t take a shower every day. My eyes are swollen and have bags under them from lack of sleep. My clothing is almost probably spit-up or food-stained. I always wear my hair up in a mother bun. My makeup has completely disappeared.”

“And everything is shown in this picture. Although it isn’t glamorous, it portrays one of the most challenging jobs in the world: parenthood.”

“I want to look back on this period of my life. When you’re in the trenches, it’s easy to forget that you’ll ultimately miss something, therefore I needed this picture to serve as a reminder.”

“The sleepless nights won’t bother me as much as rocking and cuddling my babies to sleep. As their tiny fingers encircle mine, I can feel their tiny chests breathing in and out.”

“The crying outbursts won’t bother me as much as the ability to calm my kids down with just a hug and a kiss on the forehead.”

“The ability to clean up their messes with with soap and water will be missed more than I will cleaning up spilled milk.”

“I won’t miss having a sore neck and back from sharing a bed with my children. However, I’ll miss seeing their faces next to mine when I get up in the morning. Those morning cuddles are going to be missed.”

“I want to look back on this period of my life.”

“Despite how hard and overwhelming this period of parenthood can be, I don’t want to forget it.”

“Therefore, don’t forget to remind your husband or romantic partner. They must take these pictures of you, so remind them to do so.”

“Be proud of these pictures.”