I had expected it to be a typical morning, but it wasn’t. A child curled up next to me in bed when I opened my eyes was a welcome sight. That evening, it was naturally my husband’s turn to wake up with the infant, and after taking care of all the customary tasks—changing diapers, feeding, and putting them to sleep—he secretly snapped this picture of the two of us.

I used to take a posed photo before uploading an image to make sure everything was in place when I shared photos online. But this time was different. The picture was unprepared and unedited, but it still had a unique quality that made it worthwhile to share.

In the same way that many other mothers have found the past few weeks challenging, I have as well. The numerous responsibilities of having a new baby in your life can quickly overwhelm you, regardless of how much you love them, and physical and mental exhaustion are real issues. Children can be demanding, and adding two more to the mix, as we recently did at our home, doesn’t help.

My husband took this photo of me while I was asleep

My daily responsibilities include changing diapers, soothing crying infants, tidying up spills and messes, washing dishes, doing laundry, and taking snack breaks. My appearance frequently reflects my long days and sleepless nights; my eyes are puffy, dark circles have developed underneath, my clothes are smeared with spit-up or baby food, and I tie my hair up in a bun to keep it out of the mess.

This image shows parenthood, which many people consider to be a less glamorous job. A reminder that even in the midst of the chaos, these are the times that will be looked back on with nostalgia.

I hardly ever have time for niceties like taking a daily shower or putting on makeup because of the demands of caring for young children. At some point, every parent’s expression of exhaustion is visible, but somehow, the days pass.

This image serves as a reminder that although it may seem like we are in a never-ending cycle, these moments will pass quickly and be fondly remembered.

My husband took this photo of me while I was asleep

A lot of people don’t realize that being a parent is one of the hardest jobs because you constantly give without expecting anything in return. You wouldn’t, however, trade it for anything else in the world. Parenting is extremely rewarding when you take the time to appreciate it all, despite its challenges. Nothing makes you happier than seeing your kids grow into interesting people who make your life more joyful and colorful.

The sheer joy of rocking and cuddling my babies to sleep, feeling their tiny fingers curl around mine as I watch their little chests steadily rise and fall with each breath, will far outweigh the exhaustion of late nights. The satisfaction of soothing them during a tantrum by simply cuddling them and giving them a tender kiss on the forehead will never compare.

All those lovely moments spent soaking up their presence while they curled up beside me in bed will never come close to being replaced by the tediousness of cleaning up every mess left by two tiny hands. Nothing compares to the feeling of waking up first thing in the morning and discovering those two cherubic faces right next to me, waiting for hugs and kisses before beginning our day, despite the fact that my neck may hurt from being hunched over all night.

Despite the difficulties that can accompany parenthood, I want to look back on this time with fondness and remember it longingly. So that they don’t forget or ignore them, you should remind your significant other how important it is to capture these moments.

For your own benefit, be proud of your photographs and feel beautiful and confident in them because they will serve as a constant reminder of how you are changing and growing alongside your children. These photos, which capture special moments throughout your parenting journey, will be treasured for many years to come.

It can be difficult to put into words the immense love that comes with being a parent, but documenting this aspect of life can also help express that love. Let these pictures serve as a constant reminder of all that you have achieved and how far you have come as a person since becoming a parent.