Before we had kids, we believed we knew what it would be like to have children. It’s ok, you can laught at us.
How humbling it is to hold your first child in your arms and realize that you have no idea what you are doing.
We reflect on it now and smile at all the silly things we thought we would never do, or all the plans we made. (ie- I would never be that mom with her backend hanging out the side of her minivan door, trying to buckle children into the car, while taking up a perfectly good empty parking space because my rear-end was in the way!!) God and our children had other plans- thank goodness for that!
My point is, having children is hard. We knew it would be, but nothing anyone says can prepare you. And having a 19 month old, a 4 month old and one on the way can tear down your confidence like no other. I’m so busy all the time…it’s difficult to stop and really give yourself kudos for all your hard work.
I am at work from 7:30-4:00, then it’s dinner, laundry, cleaning, diapers, baths, and bedtime. By the time the kids are down, Barry and I both lay on the couch in silence with some trash TV show playing in the background- neither one of us actually watching it. We are totally spent.
And that’s on a day when we don’t have anything going on after work!
After weeks of this, you begin to feel weary. You begin to beat yourself up. You being to question what you are doing.
Did I spend quality time with my kids today? How was their day while I was away? Did I play with them both equally today? Is Ruby doing ok on her milestones? Am I doing a good job? Did Eli get enough therapy today? Is someone starting to look sick to you? The list goes on…the mom-guilt sets in.
Meanwhile, Wyatt is poking and kicking away- reminding me that he will be here and it will be very different in just a few short months. (Yes, Wyatt, I DO have THREE cribs in my house, thank you).
This sparked my first official freak out. I was folding laundry when I decided it was a good time to organize the kids’ closets. Which ended in me pulling everything out of Eli and Wyatt’s closet, crying, and putting it all back in. It went something like this:
Barry: Babe, what are you doing in here?
Me: (standing in a pile of junk…) I don’t know!!! (cue the crying)
Barry: It was all in there the only way it would go in there.
Me: That’s the problem!! There is no room for Wyatt!! Where is all his stuff going to go? This isn’t working! The boys have clothing in Ruby’s room!
My dear husband, he’s so sweet…he then offers to take me to the container store, measure the closet, and come up with some kind of organizational plan for the space. AND he put all the junk I had drug out of the closet back in it’s orginal spot. God bless him.
Looking back, as a first time mom, I had it easy! I mean, we all know the first year or so it tough, but Eli got all our time and attention. One baby seems like nothing now!
When he cried, I took care of his needs immediately. I was strict about his therapies, I made sure he had plenty of time to learn something new, I took pictures of or video-tapped everything he did, and I even got to snuggle with just him and I on the couch. It was hard because I was learning how to be a mom, but eventually we fell into a natural pattern. I began to feel like a good mom, and our lives adjusted to the change of having a child.
Eli was a single child for a very short time. Ruby came along and turned our world upside down. Now I have two children who need me at the exact same time for everything. We started over, had to change our perspective, had to adjust our goals and had to come up with a new plan.
And I guess that’s really the moral, huh? You have to change your perspective. As difficult as it can be sometimes, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Three years ago we were in a dark place. One that included a future with no children. We couldn’t have dreamt this life if we tired. We are beyond blessed.
New perspective, new goals, new plan, new life.
Mom-life is hard and rewarding. Next time you see a mama (or YOUR mama), hug her for me. Don’t judge her for taking up a perfectly good parking space with her hiney, or for using her cell phone while the kids play at the park, or for feeding her children GMO non-organic McDonalds, or for using a tracking device like the Buddy Tag, or for needing a night out/nap!…give her a break, love her and her children. Respect the journey because each of us are on our own path. Thank you, Lord, for that.