It's just after 8pm, both kids have been sleeping for a while and Jeremy is working late so I am really appreciating the peace at the house right now.
It's been a day.
I contemplated calling Jeremy today and telling him I was done being home with the kids and was going to pick up some job applications. I was feeling beaten down by the constant defiance of my 2.5 year old and the cranky, tantrum throwing of my non-verbal, frustrated one year old. Boy, oh boy it was a doozy. Even before 8am things were not going well, so I knew it would be a long day.
I am still trying to find my rhythm with having two babies, its been over a year and the constant struggle of meeting the sometimes very different but equally pressing needs of two very precious babies is still anxiety inducing. I am exhausted with the juggling act, even more so on days when it feels like I dropped every ball.
There are moments when I look at my babies and my heart just bursts with gratitude (usually when they are sleeping) but most of the waking moments are too busy for many thoughts at all beyond, "Which one of them is that smell coming from this time?" I allow myself to get absorbed too frequently, and for too long on Facebook, or Instagram or anything that takes me away from the heaviness of feeling like I am not enough. And I eat a lot of chocolate. Neither are good or productive ways to change my situation but in the moment that offer some balm.
I feel like I am failing. I want my kids to feel loved, feel known, feel protected, and sometimes I just get so frustrated that I can't do it all. In the middle of all the frustration I try to grab a moment and call out to God, "Help me!" It is usually out of those moments where I am completely out of my own resources that the most beautiful parenting moments come. Thank you, Lord!
This afternoon, after the baby melted down and fought her nap for about 45 minutes before FINALLY going to sleep, and after the non-napping toddler had his meltdown and then snuggled on the couch with Grandma and Thomas the train for a while, he and i went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. Yesterdays rain had left lots of water in buckets over in Levi's digging spot and soon the whole place became a mud pit. He stripped down and splashed and jumped to his hearts delight. After her nap, baby girl came and joined in the mud fun. It was so much fun (until I had to hose them off so that they could come inside and we could really shower them off and then bathe them!) I delighted in the simplicity of the moment. The squeals of laughter, the warm sun, being fully present; together.
After the mud we came inside. Nora spent the rest of the time before dinner sporting her "ba pa" (backpack), her new sun hat and one shoe. She was insistent that she only wanted one shoe. I loved knowing her in those ways, seeing her crazy, quirky opinions being very loudly and clearly stated despite her lack of words. Levi donned a construction helmet as a baseball helmet and became Kyle Seager from the Seattle Mariners hitting home runs and running round the house cheering himself on. He is such a goof ball at times and again, I felt as though I truly saw him tonight.
We are a simple meal and then I put the babies to bed. Read stories, snuggled them and watched them fall sweetly asleep. (Early too, so all that playing out in the mud was a win-win!)
It's not all moonlight and roses. Far from it. And with all the traveling and changes as we move into a new house it will take a while to get into routine and find our new normal but I am going to be trying hard to remember to take time and enjoy the simple moments, knowing they will be passing by so fast.
Even when days are hard, there will be a smile, or a laugh that can turn a tough day into a slightly better one.
Hang in there, mamas. We got this.