Eating our breakfast eggs. I am going strong on Whole30 and love it. Jeff asked me what is one thing I could eat off the plan and I said, "Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate" and he said, "Do you want to take some time to think about it?" But honestly I feel SO much better I don't miss anything that much.
Working out with me.
Face "fiming" Abbey. Janey asks to facetime Abbey and Isaac every night. One morning she woke up and said, "Did Abbey leave? Did Abbey leave?" because she was having some sort of dream about her. So sweet.
I put some chicken on the grill for lunch and went up "just to straighten upstairs really quick". Darn. I should know better.
Tea party. She asks all day long to sit with her at this little table and play.
I am going to soak up the baby cheeks and lips as long as I can.
And thankfully I don't have a picture of this (that would be weird) but we had a stomach bug (knock on wood, only one child) who drank a red Gatorade at a relative's house the night before he was sick in a nice trail from his bed to our bed. I have never been a Gatorade buyer but from this point on I have announced that red Gatorade will never be consumed by any member of my family till I am dead in the ground. I worked on that stain forever and I am now calling in professional help.
A reader sent me this lovely article. It is wonderful to read this message. My Dad worked two jobs for a long long long time so we could manage while my mom stayed home. I love how this mother is so appreciative of this. I wish a story like this would be published every month on the front page of every newspaper.
I love this. I have been thinking about this quote from the article:
"My husband and I had similar values — we talked a lot about what was best for our children and the decisions we made, we made together. It was never about what we read, what the new research showed, or what other parents were doing. It was about our own children and what we thought was best."
I will link to this article also, because it's one of my favorites on sticking our heads in the sand and I think it's the right message.
"We cannot properly tend to our God given duties when we are trying to solve the world’s problems by debating others online. Or shushing a 4-year-old’s joy over a newly painted picture because we are engrossed in a news article. As we fill our time with researching these disturbing world events, anxiety crowds out faith, hope and charity at an alarming rate. We grow tense, short tempered and depressed. We suddenly realize how out of control we really are. And how vulnerable. We get scared. And our family suffers."
We are doing big work and part of that big work is protecting our moods and our mental clarity and FOCUSING on the task at hand. I really feel like this is key for mothers today. There is too much exposure to experts, articles, experiences, advice. Too much advice that is NOT homegrown. Too much information in general, and not enough attention at hand.
I also understand the hypocrisy of my words as I link to two articles and type a blog. Of course we all really are "forced" in many ways also to use the internet today. But I have learned I must keep my world very small right now to feel settled and happy. Thank God I know what "normal" feels like since I didn't grow up with all this instantaneous widespread interaction-in the ancient times back then. I feel sorry for my own kid's generation who won't know what that feels like in their brains. I said in my last post I think, that I don't think our brains are meant to process so much information-even if that information is good stuff-about family updates. It's not all meant to be coming at us at once constantly.
We are in the thick of basketball season with some overlapping indoor soccer but it feels so manageable now that Janey is three. One of my New Year's Resolutions (boy I have a lot) is to do things without rushing NO MATTER WHAT. No matter if we will be late (I hate being late), I will remain calm. I have successful at this almost all the time, but I wonder if it's more just because of the time of my life.
It was SO SO difficult to be somewhere with a nursing baby or work around a nap schedule etc. I always felt such time pressure and the coordination sometimes made my head spin, and I was so so tired much of the time. I give so much credit to those families that I see in church with new babies. (I have been drooling in church as there are quite a few of chubby babies all around. I look at them coming back from Communion in their mother's arms with envy. Why are they all dressed in those one piece pajama like outfits that accentuate those chubby baby thighs? Or asleep with their little mouths open and their cheeks squished on their parent's shoulder? My mouth (and eyes) water.)
I want to remember the difficult things too. I was asked to speak at a mother's group in April and one of the things in the inquiry was that with my spread of ages I can still relate to younger mothers-it's not all this glossed over forgotten time period. But I have to tell you-it's hard not to forget the baby stuff, the little things because of a broadened perspective of it all because all those days become sweet days. I don't want to though. I want to remember how much work it was raising all these kids-teenagers AND babies. Because it was (and still is sometimes) hard. HARD. Really really draining.
I want to remember bouncing on the darn exercise ball at 3 a.m. under the bathroom heater with a baby who was colicky. I want to remember that screaming feeling in my head of stress when the baby would cry in car line and it seemed to take forever and I felt like yelling, "Move it people, don't you know what we are going through in here!" as my heart broke. I want to remember never getting a minute to myself for weeks and weeks and weeks (and months and years.). I want to remember going to the bathroom with a baby carrier on with an infant in it because God forbid I was going to put that baby down and wake him/her up after finally he/she finally fell asleep. I want to remember being so thirsty nursing a new baby that it felt like I was a dried up frog on a summer sidewalk. I want to remember never wearing a cent of makeup for a year or two or three, and if I did probably not taking it off at night, and never having a chance to exercise or even think about it. I want to remember wearing the same old black leggings (this is back in the 90's) for a year before I fit back into anything, and then every baby it was something different-the ONE thing that fit and was comfortable. This last year I have had terrible hip pain that led me to a chiropractor. After x-rays, he told me that the hip I carry babies, toddlers on is lower than the the other one. 21 years of never trading hips, who knew?, will do that. I had to laugh and you know, I don't care. Of all things to have hip pain from, carrying babies is worthy enough, and I wouldn't change a thing. It's a small price to pay.
There are definitely different emotions and duties and strains and stresses with each stage of parenting-and they are all worthy of understanding, all deserve their own validation. It's not supposed to be easy. We aren't supposed to have time to ourselves all the time, we are supposed to give, give, give. Give to the point of hurting. Every mother who has walked the floor at 3 a.m. with a baby in arms and an aching back knows this.
That's just the beginning isn't it? It's lifetime and it is truly the refiner's fire because it changes us like nothing else could and leads us to such a rich, deep life that we could never have imagined. I read a text from an old co-worker of my husband's-she sent a picture of her first, and she said, "I could never have imagined this feeling, this incredible love." That says it all. It's unimaginable but so so beautiful. It's worth giving everything to. Nothing is more important, and more rewarding than that mother love.