January 19, 2014 was the first day of the rest of my life. This was the day my son was born, and the first day that I could officially say that I have 3 kids under 2.5 years old (and no twins, mind you). John and I have heard all the lame remarks in the last couple years that you could possibly imagine, such as “Do you know how that happens?!” and “You should put a TV in your bedroom,” and “Yes, they HAVE been busy…” Ha. Ha. Ha. Yeah… Soooo funny. As it turns out, true love, attraction, and fertility are an ironic mixture for a life where good times don’t come as easy as everyone else likes to think. Because let me tell you, my life is INSANITY right now.
What I endure on a constant daily basis as a stay at home mom of a 2.5 year old, 1.5 year old, and a newborn is no laughing matter. Sure, I do get a good laugh out of the hilarious things my 2 year old comes up with, and yeah, I do love to giggle with both of my girls about silly things like dancing their hearts out to Abba, and of course I love to get my newest baby to coo, and yes, I LOL on the inside at 5am when my baby sharts so hard that it scares the dog… but dear God am I exhausted, overwhelmed, and feeling like a failure more times in my daily life than not. This is HARD!!!
If I have less than 5 times a day where my stress level isn’t spiking up to the red danger zone, it’s been a great day. Nervous breakdowns have been a weekly regular for me. It took me much longer to heal from my last birth (still not quite 100% there yet) because I have had to chase 2 toddlers around when I should have been curled up in bed with my infant son. My middle child started sleeping through the night 2 weeks before my newest was born. I haven’t even really touched on the mental struggles I have with maintaining my house. Oh and did I mention I have 3 in diapers??
Do you believe me when I tell you that my life is insanity right now? Being perpetually nauscious for 4 months, 3 separate times through my pregnancies was hard. Having 3 completely natural labors/births was hard. But this… this is a whole new level up. And it happens to be my new norm for the next 5 years or so.
What I have gathered in my very brief chances to ponder what all this means for me in the long run is that I am earning my PhD in multitasking 50 things at one time. My mind is busier than downtown New York. My planning and preparation skills have become absolutely remarkable. Out of necessity, I have become a decent cook of the meals I enjoy the most. I am more confident than ever before, because I am realizing what I am really capable of. It’s no wonder to me why Moms get sad decades down the road and miss these golden early days even though they were yearning for easier days at the time- though I feel inadequate sometimes, I ultimately believe that what I am managing to accomplish is a true feat, and a testimony of my maximum potential- which I hope will never just be “a thing of the past.” While I long for more sleep and have become hysterical more than once after only a few hours of it (broken up), I can only pray that I will continue to exercise my potential self to do great things long after my kids are “easier” or grown and gone. I know what I’m truly capable of managing now. It’s really just the beginning. And I must, I WILL use this training to manage amazing things in the future alongside of and outside of motherhood.
I love, cherish, and adore being a mother to 3 incredible, beautiful children. But in my heart and soul I know that in addition to raising a best friends trio of critical thinking, compassionate, hard working, artistic, world changers, I still have work to do as a wife, a writer, and a philosopher of life whose desire is to do great things and leave an imprint on this earth and the people in it that lasts beyond my lifespan.
With my mental sanity and even my physical body being challenged constantly, let this be a reminder to myself that these days will pass more quickly than I can fathom and that I cannot let myself slow down and become sad, longing for the early days when I operated at my full potential at some far date in the future. My babies are so precious, and I do successfully make many conscious efforts to maintain peace and gratitude for my exhausting blessings (those are the truly beautiful moments of my life). So for now, I will keep on keeping on, until one day I wake up and realize that things really are getting easier. And then I will have graduated to the next chapter of raising kids. And I can never let the perseverance that I learned from raising 3 babies under 2.5 waste away only to memories and photographs. To my dearest husband and closest family and friends: please keep me accountable to never let this struggle be in vain. I am woman, I am wife, I am daughter, I am mother. And I can conquer anything through the power and glory, and blessing of The Lord.