Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A season of chaos: the beautiful mess of parenting littles

I am a 7-months-pregnant mother of two under two. I love my little girls with all of my heart and soul. We can't wait to welcome our son into the world and I wouldn't have it any other way.

But that doesn't make it any less frustrating sometimes.

Sure, the kids misbehave and test boundaries, but all of that is quickly balanced out (and then some) by their kisses, snuggles, "I love you Mommy"s, and bright faces when they see me coming to get them in the morning.

Parenthood is always full of sacrifices. It starts with sacrificing our bodies to bring these little ones into the world, then our physical and emotional stamina during the postpartum/newborn months, our and progressive restrictions on our social lives as they enter toddlerdom (especially when they're on different nap schedules). Time away at the bookstore becomes a trip to the doctor's office for a checkup (for at least one of them), romantic candlelit dinners become a panic of prepping enough food fast enough, a frenzy when it's quickly shoveled into their precious little mouths (and then onto the floor), and mornings evolve from a quiet cup of coffee and a shave-your-legs length shower to prepping a pot of coffee before changing stinky/wet/leaking diapers and quickly dumping Cheerios on the coffee table.

I promise she has more shirts than this.
Of course I knew what I signed up for when I became a parent. I knew it would be hard, taxing, exhausting, but at the same time oh so worth it. And it is, every moment of it. I am doing my best to cherish these moments while they're small because I'll just blink and they'll be picking out prom dresses. I know there are many seasons of parenthood, each with its own different triumphs and struggles.

But it's ok not to have it all together sometimes.

It's ok to drink more than the recommended amount of caffeine. It's ok to max out on your carefully-determined max of TV time for your little cherubs and then go over some, just because Mommy needs a minute.

It's ok to be a little dejected not to have any updates when asked "What's new with you?" at family gatherings and have nothing but updates on your kids' milestones. It's ok to be frustrated at declining drinks with friends because you're pregnant (again) or you know you'll have to nurse sometime in the next 1-5 hours (because the baby is unpredictable).

It's ok to be human. It's ok to have feelings. It's ok not to be the super parent. 

Because we still do love our children. We have this life now, and we're making the best of it, for all of our sakes. Because sometimes survival mode is what it takes to get to bedtime and there's nothing wrong with that. Because we can ask for help. Because we know we're not alone in this.

And most of all, because of these little faces.

I'm all right with being behind the iPhone lens most of the time, making sure they're taken care of behind the scenes and before and after they wake, etc. I don't mean for this post to be a complaint or a rant by any means. This has become a safe space with like-minded people (or, at least, I'm assuming so if you've kept up this far). I want this to be a safe place for you, too, to acknowledge that life is not always Pinterest-worthy, but the beautiful is often hidden in the coffee/spitup/juice/mac and cheese stains, covered in sticky hands, and wet from sloppy kisses (and drool). It's frustrating sometimes to make the sacrifices, but my heart has never been so full.

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