"Relentless" is the best word I have heard used to describe parenthood. It doesn't imply hard times per se - and E is an extremely happy, easy kiddo. But from the time she wakes, to the time she snuggles down for the night in her cot, it is fairly constant. Naptimes aside, there aren't many moments of relaxation! Not much spare time to devote to myself.
You all know I'm not into matyrdom - and I don't believe that being a mother must necessarily come at the expense of all else in your life. So I make a conscious, concerted effort to take time for myself whenever it offers.
On that note, I recently headed out for a day with a girlfriend, for some actual and spiritual refreshment - absolutely loved the Dream, so good! And so good to get out and talk and laugh with a lovely person, and be me again, just Cate, not Mum. (Although I won't lie, I missed my girl when I went to pick her up from my parents!)
Here's to more oases in the sometimes-storm of parenthood.