Monday, May 12, 2014

thoughts on two (and parenthood, in general)

Newborn babies are hard.  I'll just start there.  They are precious and sweet and easy to hold and love on.  Then nighttime rolls around, and you remember how hard it is.  

I'll be honest and tell you that I had a pretty tough time when Hammond was a newborn.  It was only one kid, and I was home all day.  But, I'm pretty sure the fog didn't lift until after the first month (maybe two?!) of his life.  Of course, I look at him now and realize how short that season was, and how much I enjoy him now, but at the time it was hard.  
I was frozen when Hammond was a baby, but having a two-year-old, along with a newborn, means that I can't be.  Life still goes on and there is a little boy who needs me to help his world go round.  So, here are a few thoughts of what it's been like to have two kids (for just a few weeks, so far), and other reminders of having a newborn...

I can survive on much less sleep than I realized.  There's only a small window in my day where I have the choice to nap, cook, or do anything else that is hard/impossible with a two-year-old and/or baby awake.  So, most days I survive off of the little sleep I've gotten the night before.  And I'm surviving!

(I love this excerpt (apparently Hammond did, too!) when I think of the middle of the night feedings!) -->

Babies can cry.  It's ok.  And potentially better for her if I choose to let her cry sometimes now, since I'm going to let her eventually!

Mamas need a whole lot of grace (cause our hormones are nuts).  Especially these first few weeks.  It's not fair.  And I can't rest or find excuses in that, but I'll certainly take all the grace I can get.

It is a lonely, and temporary, season.  Those first few weeks, that is.  Homebound, with said hormones all over the place.   And a two-year-old to entertain.  It's just lonely.  But so short-lived.  

I am only surviving by the grace of God, and lots of prayerful friends.  An amazing husband's support and help.  And maybe some perspective.  Oh, and wine -- at least a little.  More details below.

Friendship is a sweet, sweet thing.  I'm realizing just how precious our friends are.  My friends, who are constantly checking in on me, and asking how they can help.  Hammond's friends, whose mama's are so kind to take him out for play dates.  Our family's friends who are constantly giving.  Praying.  Etc.  And to tag on…

Meals are potentially even more impactful for #2 (and I imagine #3, #4, etc).  Thank you, friends, for your meals!

My husband is my favorite.  And anytime I feel like I'm stuck or homebound or lonely, I'm reminded that I'm getting a lot of quality time (albeit stressed, tired, and hormonal) with my favorite human.  No way I could do this without him.  No way.

You have to do what works for your family.  For any baby that you have.  For any family decision, for that matter.  Otherwise, you'll drive yourself crazy.  Whether it's to nurse or not to nurse, what method of parenting to choose, or what baby items you need.  (Other moms, check yourself before you judge!)

Every season can feel like the hardest.  In high school, I thought every decision was the hardest.  Same for college.  Then, if I could just make it to a full-time job.  Or marriage. Or kids.  Now it's me thinking things will be easier when my kids are older.  I don't want to wish away their childhood.  And that's just not the truth.  Each season comes with its own set of challenges.  

Finally, raising babies is selfless.  It just is.  And when I really think about that, it's a beautiful thing.  I saw this today on instagram -->.  And it's so true.  This season is mainly so tough because it goes against my selfish nature.  I have to be the most selfless version of myself - serving helpless little people who need me.  

But I'm not having babies to better my own world (well, that's only part of the reason, cause they sure are cute).  I'm having babies to grow them into adults who love Jesus and who will be a light to this world.  So, yeah, it's hard.  But, that's not the point!  (Now if I can just remember this all day -- and night -- long!)

And wine doesn't hurt.  In small doses.  :)


Erin Walter said...

Amen, sister!

Kb_Mal said...

Hammond looks SO proud and excited - love it!