Surviving and (Sometimes) Thriving

Oh hello friends.

After I wrote my last post about having the worst day ever with a newborn and a 2 year old, many of you reached out with some encouraging words.  THANK YOU.  It’s so nice to hear that you’re not the only mom who goes a little cray-cray when multiple children are crying at the same time or everyone seems to be fighting naptime.

And for the reader who posted something sort of rude on a post I wrote over six months ago, well, you’re formally invited to not ever read my blog again if my parenting style doesn’t jive with your parenting style.

Someone sent me a book this week called Out of the Spin Cycle by Jen Hatmaker.  If you haven’t ever read one of her books, you should really give her a try.  I’m not much of a reader (I seem to waste my time surfing my phone and halfway cleaning my house) but I do occasionally get into an author.  I really like her because she writes for a purpose, but she is also just witty and real.  This book in particular is geared toward moms, and I feel like it’s directed to those of us with younger kids.  One paragraph in particular is about the importance of friends, and loving your friends, during young motherhood.

It was hard to make room for my friends.  But I did it.  We had playdates down to a science.  We put babies to sleep at each other’s houses, bathed them together, fed them together, ate at Chick-Fil-A so often the manager knew us by name, and picnicked at every park in the greater Austin area.  I changed their babies’ diapers as often as mine.  We put each other’s kids in time out.  I administered first aid to their children, and they pulled mine out of the swimming pool.  We’ve traded kids, taken kids, borrowed kids, and dumped kids.  My friends are the reason I survived young motherhood.

Motherhood is the task that brings us together, but love is the glue that binds us together.  If we’re too busy to love each other like this, when we’re too busy.  We need our friends.  We need their counsel and companionship; they need our compassion and comic relief.  “You must love one another,” said Jesus.  We really must.

Let me just say that becoming a mom was one of the loneliest times.  When I had Poppyseed, I lived in a remote area and most of my friends lived an hour away.  My one local friend had a full time job, but when she had time to meet us for dinner or stop by the house it literally made my day.  I was just plain lonely.  When we moved to College Station it took a while for me to find some other friends, but ohmygosh I am so glad that I finally did.  This round has been so much easier and I really think it’s because I’ve had so much more support.  We’ve had at least five different families bring us a meal, which always seem to show up on the nights that I probably couldn’t put a bag of chips on the table if I tried.  And if I call or text someone because I am about to lose my mind (because the baby is gassy and can’t sleep, or the toddler is melting down because her balloon popped) then I’m in good company.  My friends understand.

So I plan to spend more time reading this and less time thumbing around on my iPhone.  If you want to order it, it is here.

Anyhoo…

This week has been a big one because Poppyseed started Mother’s Day Out.  There is a “school” (and I use that term lightly) just near our house that offers a 2 year old class.  Poppyseed began on Tuesday.  Dropping her off was possibly one of the most adorable but sad mommy moment!

Already ready for "school" at 7:30am.

Already ready for “school” at 7:30am.

She has been begging to wear that backpack for weeks.

She has been begging to wear that backpack for weeks.

She didn't hesitate a bit.  Just walked on into the building!

She didn’t hesitate a bit. Just walked on into the building!

I made her stop and say cheese.  And almost cried.

I made her stop and say cheese. And almost cried.

Today, Mother's Day Out.  Tomorrow, college.  Ugh.

Today, Mother’s Day Out. Tomorrow, college. Ugh.

Getting right to business!

Getting right down to business!  Didn’t even tell me bye.

It was no surprise when I picked her up at the end of the day and heard that she did great.  I was told that she was very playful, led her class in singing “Ba Ba Black Sheep” (she knew every word), and was one of the few kids who did not shed a single tear.  I never know if I should be proud as punch or sad that she doesn’t need me.

I spent the four hours without her at home with Baby Middle, nursing and nursing and nursing.  (Geez, the first month of babyhood is just one extended meal, right?)  I did get a little time while he napped to do some things around the house.  We’ve lived in our house for two years this week, and our downstairs closet was stuffed with useless belongings that we put in there when we moved in.  I decided to utilize that closet as a mini-playroom for Poppyseed, so I emptied it.

The closet under our staircase... pretty much useless until this week.

The closet under our staircase… pretty much useless until this week.

Once we had the baby, our house became completely cluttered with kid stuff.  It was already getting a little out of hand with just Poppyseed’s toys, but then we pulled out the swing, bouncer, and play mats when the baby was due.  You couldn’t even walk without having to step over or around a toy or contraption.  Now I’m not claiming to be a very organized person, but I was starting to feel a little crazy with all of the clutter.  This little project made me feel much better, because now 90% of Poppyseed’s toys are in one space!  And at the end of the day we just put everything back in there and shut the door.

And the best part?  She loves it!

And the best part? She loves it!

So now our new normal (a few days a week) is waking up, getting both kids dressed and fed by 8:45am, and dropping Poppyseed off at school.  I get to prep for dinner, clean up some, and maybe even get in a nap with Middle.  Then we pick her up, I do my best to get them to each take a nap when we get home, and everyone is always up by 3.  At that point I usually look at the clock and pray that the next 3 hours go smoothly until Oatmeal gets home and I have some adult company!   I’ve been trying to have little projects for Poppyseed to do by herself so that I don’t rely too heavily on the iPad, but you know how that goes.

Playdoh at the kitchen table - messy indeed but it keeps her busy!

Playdoh at the kitchen table – messy indeed but it keeps her busy!

Meanwhile Middle seems to be adjusting to this big new world.  He has changed a lot in the last few days.  I can now put him down on his mat for a few minutes after I feed him and he will just sort of wiggle and look around.  (Before he would just cry the minute his feeding was over.)  I think that he can see us clearly and recognize us now – and I can’t wait until he begins to smile and coo!

Ahhhhh... naptime.

Ahhhhh… naptime.

 

I love cuddling with this mini man.

I love cuddling with this mini man.  His forehead wrinkles crack me up.  Poppyseed had those when she was this age as well.

Look who finally decided to take a paci!

Look who finally decided to take a paci!  Thank you Jesus.

Well, that’s all I can muster for tonight!  I’m thankful that this week was easier than last week, and am relieved that I’m starting to gain a little bit of confidence with regard to living life with two kids!

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