I remember the first morning I got all 3 kids ready by myself by 9 am. I am pretty sure I told myself I was a rockstar, out loud. Because I felt like it! I remember having the same feeling when I first did that with 2 kids. Cooper literally didn't cry for the first 3 weeks. Now he has learned that he loves to be held, about as much as I love to hold him. And so, inevitably, the crying has emerged. I've got all the gratitude in the world for my baby wrap. I didn't have one with either of my girls, but it is a lifesaver, a game changer, a peace giver. I can cook meals, do school lessons, play on the ground with my girls, go on walks, do laundry, clean, etc and ALSO hold my baby!
So at the beginning if you'd ask me how the girls are adjusting, I would've beamed and exclaimed "they are doing great!" DUH, because they had a whole other adult around to love on them. And Jeff was around a whole lot too. Jeff and I were having special time with each girl or taking them on a date almost daily. Well now my mom is gone, and paternity leave is over, and daily dates are NOT possible. I still carve out time each day for each girl to have one on one time with me, but according to their behavior, the time I am giving them is NOT enough.
In all my spare seconds I've been listening to mom podcasts (power of moms, 3 in 30, about progress, and extraordinary moms are a few of my faves.) that help me to keep a good perspective and remain calm (on the outside). Despite my best efforts, my girls have spent a lot of time yelling at each other, having tantrums, regressing in potty training, and Jane has taken it upon herself to be the "mommy button pusher"....via questions like "Mom, why don't you love me?" (*serious eye roll) And can someone just explain to me WHY my 2 year old spends an entire 3 hours begging for apple sauce and I say no because she never EVER eats it. Then I give it to her finally and she doesn't eat it, but she DOES smear it all over herself and the table, and the freshly mopped floor. (this just happened as I was typing. I should've done this during nap time. I know better.) DEEP BREATHS.
Having a sweet baby to snuggle is a great solace for when those buttons are so forcefully pushed.
I know the biggest problem is I haven't been filling my cup, at all, whatsoever. I will forever and ever be the greatest advocate of mommas filling their cups because i've experienced motherhood with a full cup, and I've experienced it with a completely drained out and dried up cup. The difference is cleaning up a mess through gritted teeth vs. cleaning up a mess with my child with a smile and a teaching moment. So this blog post is my first official attempt at filling my cup back up.
SO here is to more running by myself, exercising, dates with jeff (+baby), quiet scripture study ALONE, and all the other things that fill my cup. I want to be my best self.
OK so its obvious it hasn't been smooth sailing, but there has been a whole lot of joy around these parts. You can't help being happy with a fresh from heaven little boy. The girls resent the time I give to him, but they certainly don't resent him. They both beg to hold him multiple times a day and have been wonderful helpers. Eager to pop in his pacifier when they can tell he is getting fussy, eager to run a burp rag to me when Im burping him and once again forgot to get one before I sat down. Eager to come and stare intently as I change Cooper's diaper, when Lyla has asks things like "Mom, you cleanin' his balloon?!" We've read a lot of books and had a lot of dance parties. We've even been able to venture outside more the past week since spring time is happily emerging! And going on walks is Lyla's love language. Bless the sunshine. And bless my husband. Another difficulty has been trying to be the wife he needs and make time to connect with each other. He has been a champion at helping with the kids and with chores, and has really stepped up to the plate.
My prayers will remain fervent that I can know how to best help the girls through this transition. I've felt physical and emotional strength come to me when I've prayed, and I've felt so grateful. I love my 3 kids, and this is the phase of life that I know I will miss so much one day. Also the phase of life I dreamed about all growing up. These are the days, and I am so determined to LOVE them. I really do love it most of the time, but my goodness, I can't expect to have zero struggles as a parent, especially as I transition from 2 kids to 3. More often than feeling frustration, I feel absolutely humbled flat that I have the privilege and responsibility to teach these sweet children how to live happily and productively in this world, and just complete joy. Because more than anything, thats what they give me. JOY. Joy doesn't come without sorrow, struggle, and a whole lotta learning ;)
^^ picked out their own outfits