When Gil was about 5 or 6 weeks old (and at the height of his colic/fussiness), I decided to make a white hot cocoa recipe from pinterest. I picked Jack up from school, put a sleeping Gil in his swing, and Jack and I made the hot cocoa on the stovetop. I poured the coca in cups for us and warned Jack to wait for it to cool. I had about 15 seconds where I felt like a supermom. Pinterest recipe, check. Happy 3 year old, check. Sleeping baby, check.
And then Gil woke up and started screaming. I ran in the living room to comfort him, and, with me gone, Jack picked up his burning hot drink and sipped it. Then he immediately spit out the cocoa, dropped the whole cup on the floor (thank goodness it was plastic!), and started crying too. Just like that, supermom visions were dashed.
That experience is a good picture of what my fall was like. It was just really hard. There was a lot going on. I was tired and stressed. Bech was sick for part of the fall, and he had a lot of school work to do. I was at home by myself a lot, doing bedtime by myself. Gil cried and I couldn't comfort him. I had to learn to let go of doing everything and just accept grace and help.
The infamous powdered sugar spill was from about this same time.
This past Saturday, Bech was at the school for a good portion of the day. I needed to run some errands, so I loaded the boys up and headed to the store. I made four different stops and took both boys inside all four places. And you know what, it wasn't awful. In fact, it was good. Gil was sweet and smiley. Jack obeyed.
If you had told me last November that I would voluntarily take both boys shopping on a Saturday by myself, I wouldn't have believed you. That feat just seemed impossible in that period of time.
I have a friend who just had her second baby. Her two girls are 15 months apart in age. I think she is doing an amazing job thus far, but she is obviously tired and stressed. And the thought of taking her two girls anywhere alone is probably so daunting to her right now. I've been reminding her that it gets better.
I wish I could say that to every mom who is struggling with a certain age, especially to myself! Your child will grow out of this, whatever this is. He will eventually sleep through the night. She will eventually be potty trained. He will stop saying potty words. She will outgrow her biting or pushing phase. Your kids will get along someday. All of these things will happen and it will get better.
I think we are just scared to admit that to other moms, scared to admit that whatever parenting stage we are in is hard and is kicking our butt. After Jack was born, I cried a lot. It didn't take much to make me cry. I wasn't depressed; I was just hormonal and emotional. And I was bewildered. I had read so many blog posts about cloth diapers, swaddle blankets, pacifiers--where were the posts about this? Where were the posts about how hard two kids are or how hard toddlers can be?
So here you go. Here is the truth about being a mom. Some days it is really hard.
But I promise you.
It gets better.
And even the rough days have their own blessings and lessons.