I don't have any cute pictures to post (because we haven't been doing anything fun). I don't even really have any funny stories to tell. It's February in New England and I'm longing for Spring like I never thought was possible. Everyone, everywhere has been sick and though we've been spared the really nasty stuff, it's been enough to make getting out the door (which was hard anyway) impossible. So instead of funny cute stuff tonight, I decided to share my latest thoughts with you. Who knows where this may lead!
The babies have both been cutting molars and it's been brutal. Last night was the first time in a few weeks that all 3 kids slept all night long. Lucky me though, I still got up a couple times out of habit. Anyway, a few days ago they had all woken up really early and since they're all in the same room it's often impossible to get them to go back to sleep without some trickery. On this particular morning I failed and they were up early. Both babies were losing it and clinging to my legs crying "mama, mama". I don't know what I was trying to do but I couldn't do it holding them. It had been such a long morning and I was losing it fast! I kept thinking how nice it would be to live next to my parents on days like this. A grandma can come in handy sometimes and I feel like we're all getting gypped a little because ours are so far away. I digress. So the babies were clinging and crying and I felt like crying. There was so much to do and so many people who needed me. I was exhausted and thought that I just wanted my mom! In that moment it hit me, that's all they want too. They just want their mom... and it's me! With a deep sigh, I stopped what I was doing, picked them both up and held them (which didn't completely stop their crying-or mine- but it made us all feel a little better.)
I've been trying so hard to focus on what's really important in life since these two little babies, who are now crazy-into-everything kids, came into our lives. There have been LOTS of days (who am I kidding... uhm, every day) where my laundry/dishes/cooking etc. doesn't get done. I feel like I've been in survival mode for a long time and now that I'm starting to come out of the fog, the weather is so nasty that we can't do anything. Being cooped up in this little house isn't good for any of us.
I think being a mom is harder than I realized it was going to be and harder than most of us will admit to each other. I love blogging but I think it gives us all a rosy/perfect view of our lives. You see my projects and my kids looking perfect in pictures and think, man... she's good. What you don't see is me questioning my decisions, wondering if I'm doing things right. You don't see me giving up on making them eat whatever it is they've decided is yucky today. You don't hear me yell (when did I start yelling???) You don't see (unless you look closely at the background of my pictures!) my huge pile of laundry and messy floors. You don't know that I've traded make-up, cute clothes, and hairdos for my yoga pants, sweatshirt and ponytail.
One of my very best friends told me once that she feels like motherhood has brought out the worst in her. At the time I was surprised and disagreed (both about her and about me). Now I hate to admit that I think she might be right! It's just the demands and craziness of the day combined with exhaustion (will I ever again sleep for more than a 3 hour stretch?) seem to get the better of me and catch me off guard. Let's just say that some of my proudest moments don't come after sleeping a choppy 4 hours a night.
I wish sometimes I could slow the clock down and savor these times when the kids are so little and innocent. I wish I could spend more time holding and kissing and playing. The other day I was getting worked out about something and Lila took my face in her little hands and said in a very motherly tone, "Mommy, you're just getting stressed. Calm down."
Tonight when I put everyone to bed they were all so sweet that I forgot about the stresses of the day. I was holding the babies trying to sing to them before I put them in their cribs and they started trying to kiss each other. Abby was giggling so hard. Oh, how I LOVE the sound of her little laugh! I finally just left them laughing and playing together in their cribs.
Then when I put Lila to bed she was so in love with me she could barely stand it. She kept looking at me all googely-eyed, kissing me and telling me how much she loves me. I don't know what I did to deserve this, but I'll take it! Apparently she doesn't care about all the millions of ways I come up short. Truth is, she probably doesn't even notice!
My favorite moment of the day is usually right before I go to bed. I sneak in and look at them all while they're asleep. Johnny thinks I'm nuts and that the risk of waking them up isn't worth it. I disagree. Watching them there sleeping, Abby twisting her hair, Zack sucking his finger, and Lila snuggled up to her "squeezy blankie"... it just melts my heart. I'm always more in love with them than ever at those moments and I remember why I get up every morning at an hour that feels intensely unnatural. I remember why I wipe noses and bottoms and tears all day long. I remember why most days I decide that the time spent doing my hair could be better spent playing, tickling, or talking. These are the moments that make it all worthwhile. These are the ones that I'll remember when I'm old. My mom always reminds me about the poem that says, "quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep... I'm rocking my babies and babies don't keep."It's true I guess. Before I know it they'll be grown.
So tomorrow I'm going to do better than I did today. I won't be perfect, but I can be better. I'm going to take those sweet moments and store them up for when things get hard. I'm going to take deep breaths and some time for myself. I'm going to allow myself to mess up and sometimes I'll have to say I'm sorry. Most of the time though, I'm going to try to cut myself a little slack and realize that for the most part, especially the important parts, I'm probably doing a pretty good job. That's the best part of being a mom. You never get fired, released, or laid off. They're yours forever! And tomorrow, I'm going to love mine, and enjoy mine a little more!