I know that in time we will find a routine. I trust that in time things that feel impossible today will become second nature. But just in case the struggle of these early days become a blur as the days ad weeks pass it feels important to have some record of them.
Today, before 9am I had multiple moments of yelling at Levi to stop doing something, or to get out of the bathtub with his clothes on or get away from the fireplace. Ok, so the fireplace one was maybe warranted but the others were simply times of frustration on my part. He laughed. Which is infuriating! Especially when I know I am simply overtired and raising my voice feels like my last resort but still doesn't work. In those moments I felt overwhelmed by the task of parenting my boy - and then I remember I have an infant too and I want to cry. Sometimes I do, I can't help it, the tears just come. Suddenly I am flooded with thoughts of failure and "how am I ever going to get this kid to behave the way I want him to when he just doesn't listen?"
In saner moments I know h is only 19 months old (almost), and can look rationally at how his acting out is a mix of adjusting to life with a baby in the house; his cry for attention, and simply his age and level of development leading him to explore the world and push boundaries. But boy, in the moment it felt overwhelming and like I had ruined him.
Since Jeremy went back to work and my parents left I have had a week of solo parenting
(with a weekend reprieve) Some days life has felt do-able but I have certainly have more that have felt impossible.
How do people do this?! Two babies 18 months apart?! Are we crazy?!
I set high standards for myself generally, and when it comes to parenting, my standards are especially that way. I want to be the best for my children. This does not include yelling at them like I did today. Granted with daylight savings and a nursing baby I was functioning on about 4 hours sleep. I need to cut myself some slack but I want to keep a standard of care that I can be proud of.
I sat Levi down and apologised. He told me "hold you mummy" and gave me hugs. I think despite the laughing it had rocked him to hear me shout, especially in his direction. He needed reassurance but I hope that it also meant he forgave me. hate that he took my shouting voice into his little spirit.
In this season of Lent I am more and more aware of my own sin and my need for God and his forgiveness. Without His strength and grace I have no hope of being the parent I so want to be.
So tonight as I spend time googling methods and strategy for getting Levi to put himself to sleep, (A very necessary change we need to enforce) and with Nora sleeping soundly on my chest, I choose to believe that tomorrow will be better. I choose to forgive myself and to strive to try again with God's mercies, new every morning.
These precious babies are a gift and I believe they were uniquely designed to be in our family. I am uniquely equipped to raise them. I can do this. I am doing it. And in time I will do it better and with more grace, and less pulling my hair out.