In the past month we’ve been to enough doctor’s appointments, hospitals, follow-ups and pharmacies that I honestly found myself saying “It’s still September?”. Finally getting through what seemed like all of the sickness and my son comes home with the nastiest green snot and horrendous diapers you could possibly imagine. Ladies and gentlemen we have a virus! As well as the start of an ear infection from all of the slime in his head. The doctor’s words, “be prepared, because siblings are likely to share sickness…” made me want to break down right there. I had just spent nearly six weeks wiping boogers, butts and being up all night with coughing fits and congestion. The last thing I wanted was to start it all over again.
Like most moms would, I found myself stressed and over-thinking. Trying to sanitize and clean everything. Trying to not be that wife who calls and cries to her husband saying “I just need a break”. Unfortunately, my husband has also been having energy and sleep issues, unrelated to having insane children; paired with my postpartum hormones, a new birth control and sick babies… a cozy home would more likely be found under a rock.
My saving grace? Wine and chocolate. Just kidding. I wish. It’s been prayer, aromatherapy and coffee. It’s in realizing that it’s not that bad and in reality, my day could be so much worse. We have a roof over our sick and achy bodies. We have food (that we may or may not be able to taste) that nurtures our over-worked and exhausted systems. We have heat, cool air, clean running water and clean clothes and blankets. We are loved by each other, no matter how irritable and impatient we may be. My essential oils may not be miracle medicine, but good heavens how they can lift your spirits. Diffusing a spice-blend Thieves, or a calming Lavender and Peppermint, or even just rubbing it on aching bodies and heads and inhaling deeply can be just enough to take the edge off. Spurting out a quick thank you Lord for giving me patience when the kids take turns having fits, the dogs knock them over or make them cry or whatever the next meltdown reason is. Taking a second to realize that I have a husband who, though tired and depleted and working, comes home and helps me take care of all of us, doesn’t complain and really doesn’t ask for much, puts the situation into perspective.
Becoming a parent changes everything you thought you knew about life. Some days you have to dig down deep and find all of that strength you’ve been questioning because you don’t have that someone to reassure you that it’s there. Some days you may need to break down and let it out, but you’ve got to pick yourself up and figure out a way to get through it. I will admit, I am always complaining about my house. I feel like it’s never clean enough, and you know what? It probably won’t be until my kids are school-aged, and by then we may still have babies making messes! I need to work on it, to find what works and do what I can to make myself satisfied with it.
Above, is how I make dinner most nights… with a toddler attached to my legs.
And, trying to clean while Jaxon’s awake usually means something else will inevitably be just as messy, somewhere else in the house.
Grocery shopping can be awesome, if they’re napping.
But days like this are my favorite… when they’re sweet, playing and being the amazing little gems they can be.
You know what gets me though? I read an article the other day (because I seem to always be reading some article about how to make my life better, or how to pep-talk myself, or parenting tips and what-have-you) that made me realize something:
- If you’re always complaining about your life, griping to your spouse, worrying about getting things perfect and ultimately setting an overwhelmed tone for your family, you will never be happy. Your spouse will start to feel helpless and may resent you, your standards will never be met because you hold them on an unrealistic pedestal - side note, we all know the best cleaning you will ever do, is always the hour before someone’s to arrive, right? Nobody’s house is really as perfect all the time, as it looks when you arrive - and your children will ultimately think that it is okay to be negative, stressed, ungrateful and act just as you do when such situations arise.
I’ve been trying to be more positive. Trying to not complain. Trying to be happy and find the positives in things. Someone once made the comment to me “Oh you’re just now starting dinner? You know you won’t be eating til midnight…” and though they truly meant it as a joke, it made me realize that nobody knows what goes on in your house except the people in it. Everyone has an idea and a plan for their days and their lives and some families have kids who stay up until ten-eleven even eleven thirty at night and that’s what works for them. Some families have that story-book kind of family where they actually do eat at six, bathe at seven and kids are down by eight. Our house? We often don’t eat til eight and kids go down when they’re tired. Truthfully, evenings are not my thing. Well, mornings aren’t my thing either but that’s because evenings are supposed to be for sleeping and with two kids under two, they’re just not. These are what I’m going to say are the beautifully rough years. Things will rarely go as planned, days with any type of timeline may go askew but you will never get these years back. They are only babies once, and with two under two, you’ve got to do twice the lovin’ that you would have to do with one. And that’s what I have to remember… No matter what time they get up, they nap, they eat, they go to bed, you have to try to make the most out of every day because you won’t get these years back.
I know I’ll look back on these days and miss these adorable faces and remember only the good times (and maybe some of the absolutely terrible times, too). Everyone needs a reminder that it’s okay to do your own thing, because as we’ve all found out… that’s really the only thing that works anyway. It’s okay if you sit down for dinner at 8 o’clock, it’s okay if they’re up til midnight, it’s okay if your house looks well lived in, it’s okay if you cry. Being a parent isn’t easy, but you’ve got to remember why you’re doing it and know that when you raise that amazing young woman and respectable young man, these long days and nights were so worth it.