Monday, March 30, 2015

Reflecting: Mother of 2

Remember when you drove a car for the first time?  Maybe your experience was more comfortable than mine.  I was stressed out of my mind.  That little, blue, Echo, stick-shift was a weapon on wheels and had more moving parts than I had limbs.  The deserted streets my dad and I practiced on might as well have been teaming with semi trucks carrying land mines.

That's how having James felt. 

Only bigger.  

I'm still driving, but now I'm totally comfortable behind the wheel.  Apart from the occasional melt down over the dreaded parallel park I'm a capable driver.  

Now here comes Isaac.

I'm driving through a winter storm, at night, with bald tires.  

Only bigger.  

 So many things are easier this time around.  Midnight meltdowns are few and far between. Clipping fingernails, swaddling, bathing, blow-outs, weird rashes, rapid baby breathing don't even register on the mom-o-meter.  (Nursing is still disastrous because I'm stocked enough for three and Isaac is only one tiny baby drowning in the oversupply.  Bless him.)  However, now I'm nursing while fending off blows from a large stick that was somehow smuggled inside after our walk.  Changing a blowout while watching a very drippy nose smear onto the throw pillows. Shushing a tired infant to the soothing lullaby of screaming and thunks on the door.  Rushing to comfort the little one who was woken from peaceful slumber by a board book to the head, only to have the offender rush to the kitchen and dump dinner on the floor.  

I'm told that my capacity for patience and tolerance for chaos will increase and this will be the new normal, but for now it feels like the bald-tire blizzard fiasco.  

If I have learned anything so far it's this: Perspective and priorities.  
When I'm thinking about the fact that not a single room in the house is tidy and all I have for dinner is day old toast and a can of garbanzo beans then it's impossible.  There is no light at the end of this tunnel of diapers and sad baby faces who need me.

But let me tell you folks, when I remember how stinkin' short my time is for kissing cheeks and breathing in that precious baby skin.  When I really look into James' big blue eyes and see his wheels turning.  When I do that, there is no tunnel.  It's one glorious meadow of sunshine.  

I've been so humbled by each of these boys. I mean like the "compelled to be humble" kind of humble.  

Before James I thought I was pretty hot stuff.  I was going to be rockin' mom no sweat.  But one, ONE little baby rocked me instead.  If one was hard how was I going to have the 20 I wanted and look like a babe, cook like a champ, magnify the heck out of my callings, and run for mayor? 

Then I got cocky.  James was getting easier, I was showering again and I was so on top of the laundry we almost never ran out of clothes. ;)  2 babies?  We've got this!

The melt-downs are the same as last time.  "Everyone else is doing this? What's my problem?" "How am I ever going to handle three someday?  That's the time people claim is the hardest!" "I thought I was going to be so good at this!"  "I think I've changed my mind!!"  Sleep deprivation and hormones can really do a number on me.  

That's where perspective saves the day.  It's okay if the house is a mess.  It's okay if we eat leftover, leftovers for dinner.  It's okay if James throws tantrums and Isaac gets toughened up.  My children need my love.  That's not hard.  They need to know they are loved by the Savior.  That's not hard.  


I wrote this a couple weeks ago.  Things are already so much better and easier it's hard to believe I was that overwhelmed just days ago.  Babies sleep a lot and James is getting used to not being the center of attention.  He even plays by himself for a few minutes here and there. *gasp*

The main problem now is simply keeping Isaac safe from the unrestrained love coming from big brother.  Tickles easily turn to scratchy grabs, kisses to full on body slams, and every so often, out of the blue, James will lick him.  why???

That and the measure of my day's worth is different now.  It used to be productivity, now it's character.  How patient, loving, aware, present, etc was I, versus how many things did I check off my list.  I pick one thing to do for the day (sometimes it's as simple as folding laundry) and the rest is all extra credit.  

This crazy life of mine is SO GOOD!