I had truly felt like these last five months of multi baby parenting hadn’t been that challenging.
Sure the sleepless nights leave me and Nathan a tad short tempered. And yeah maybe the addition of two more children (in daycare) and a move (to a bigger and necessary apartment) add some strain on the wallet. And ok, colicky babies who spit up 38x a day requiring daily trips to the laundry can be a bit tiresome.
But all in all, I felt like I was really rolling with it.
Then a switch flipped in my perfect little girl. Either she just turned 2 and that’s what happens. Or she wasn’t really letting on how much the new babies were affecting her. Either way she went from the poster child for why you want more children to the main reason people go on birth control.
I’ve been feeling defeated. And sad. And questioning – honestly, how am I going to do this for the next 18 years. I used to walk by people who would say “Lord, give me strength”.
I would smugly look at them and roll my eyes. Come on now. It’s not “that” bad.
Well. Now I know. It sure as shit is.
Side Note: you stay at home moms are true super heroes. I honestly believe it’s the hardest job in the world.
This past weekend took the cake, when we had no less than 11teenmillion tantrums.
Nathan came over to me one night, kissed me and said “you’re doing great.”
I cried. Because no. I’m not.
I was dreaming of beach vacations. And how THE HELL can we ever go away. Who will take 3 babies so we can go somewhere – anywhere – ever again?
I was feeling sorry for myself.
Then yesterday. On a day off from daycare. KILL ME. I decided, hey, why don’t I invite all of Harper’s BFFs over. (Mostly boys). To my apt for a party. I can totally manage this.
And you know what. I did. And Harper had THE BEST time. And she was sweet. And well behaved. And it was so special to see her so happy with her friends having fun.
Then with zero time to get there (after a Bloody Mary or two) Harper and I ran across town to catch the last showing of Sesame Street Live. Something I never thought in a million years I’d be excited by.
(And let me tell you. After seeing shows at the Garden since about 1990 – the Sesame Street experience is a shock to the system).
But when that little girl saw Elmo on the stage in front of her – the smile on her face, the look of total adoration in her eyes. The last few weeks all faded away. And in that moment absolutely nothing else mattered.
It was short, too short. If I could have simply watched her face for the whole show – that would have been enough.
On our walk home I picked up the makings for Ice Cream Sundaes and treated this girl to the surprise I had promised her weeks ago – a plan thwarted by a little incident involving a potential attempted murder.
We got home. I whipped up a sundae that we shared. And all was right in the world again.
Of course then my parents who were babysitting had to rush home. And I was left with a toddler cracked out on sugar, two babies with dirty diapers and boobs that needed to be pumped hours before. But it didn’t matter. Because these kids. My loves. Were all with me. Snot. Poop. Sugar high. And all.
Lord, give me strength, to remember that moments pass, the bad and the good – and to be present with each of these babies. Because before I know it life will look very differently.