After the twins were born I wrote a blog post titled “Motherhood – One Year In” and honestly to this day it’s one of my favorite posts. I read it all the time. It’s a wonderful way to look back and remember where I was as a mother, how far I had come in one year….and then think about how far I’ve come since then.
So now that I am one year in to Motherhood x3 (I.e.: a mother of three children) I thought it was fitting to sit down and write a post reflecting on this past year. I could never have predicted what this year would bring — not in terms of life as a family of three but in terms of 2020 in general. No one could have guessed we’d be 10 months into a pandemic. So it goes without saying THAT has a been an adventure in itself, let alone navigating life as a new mom to three kids.
A lot of this past year is a blur. Aren’t all the years? I do my best to document it all – whether it’s writing things down in my journal, typing out a quick email that I send to myself, or capturing a moment on video or in a photo. But the best moments – those are the ones that are burned in my brain.
I’ll never forget the moment our doctor held Baby H up and announced “it’s a boy!” It was such a wonderful moment – meeting someone new for the first time but knowing you loved them SO much. It was love at first sight. I loved too so much seeing how excited Chris was about meeting Baby H. He had been really nervous about being in the room for my c-section (he’s not good with blood), but as soon as the baby came out he was ALL excited, like a little kid on Christmas.
I want to remember all the times that the three of them have played together this past year. The twins running in circle, and Baby H trailing behind him as fast as his little baby walk allows giggling with joy. Sitting outside on the lawn with them on a warm February is burned in my mind. We all laid on the grass – Baby H included – and watched the clouds blow by. It was so simple but so sweet. Those are the moments, and so many more, that will be with me forever.
In this past year, I’ve learned so much. And most significantly I’ve learned that I still have so much to learn. You never master being a mom. Every day is a new adventure. Some days you’ve got it all figured out, but others you’re like a new employee just trying to figure out how to empty the dishwasher with one hand while the other two hang on your legs. But after one year of motherhood x3 here’s what I do know….
I Wasn’t Busy Before…
There have been countless times over the past year that I’ve laughed and said to myself “….and to think you thought you were busy before!”. Because it’s true. L&H have always kept me busy – and I thought that adding one more to the mix would be no big deal. I kept two newborns alive, how hard could one be?! And while “just” one baby this time was a lot easier/different, I was also still chasing around those two used-to-be-newborns. I’ve moved more this year, I’ve cleaned more, I’ve done more, I’ve juggled more. I’ve brought in trashcans from the street while holding the baby and pumping at the same time. I’ve cooked dinner with three children circling me like hungry sharks. I’ve read two books at the same time – this my friends was no easy task! And don’t even get me started on the buckling and unbuckling of three car seats! It’s just a lot of carseats :). So to the old me, you did great – but you didn’t even know the world of busy you were in for!
Some Days I Thrive….and Some I Survive
This is my mantra. Somedays I’m super mom. I do it all. I have all the patience. I have all the energy. I coast through the day. Those are the days I thrive. But other days? I am counting down the minutes to bedtime. I yell – or I have to try SO hard not to yell. I am disorganized. I don’t feel like playing. I have no energy. Those are the days I survive. There’s so many ups and downs to motherhood. I’ve learned it’s natural and it’s okay! No matter if I thrive or survive I always make it through the day. And also no matter what there’s another day coming!
My Vacuum is a Workhorse
My husband is amazing – yes he is. He’s super involved, always steps up or in when I need a hand. And I would be lost without him. But my vacuum is also an MVP. My right hand man (or lady I’m not sure). I wish there was an Apple watch function that tracked how much time you spend vacuuming in a day/week/year because I feel like I’d have a lot of badges – especially since the pandemic began we are having three meals a day at home! I miss packing lunches for school!
It Isn’t All Fun. And It’s Okay to Say It.
Don’t get me wrong – I adore my kids. But I feel like a lesson I struggle with on a daily basis is that there’s so much of motherhood that just isn’t fun.
YES there are the amazing moments, and my children in general that make my heart burst with love. But things I don’t love? The 4 year old bickering, the fighting, the screaming (why are they so loud? I’ll be asking this forever, won’t I?). The never ending messes, the laundry, the constant questions. There’s so much of motherhood that is just not fun. I’m learning that, and I’m also learning that it’s OKAY to not love every single moment.
Let it Go.
I’ve learned to let go of a lot of things in the past year. I used to never let dishes pile up in the sink. As soon as the table was cleared they would go right in the dishwasher. But now? I dump them in the sink and get to them when I can. This is one small example of how I’ve had to learn to let go. I do a lot, but I can’t do it all. Despite my best efforts (and my true love vacuum’s amazing help) the house is always messy. There’s more clutter then I’d like. There’s stuff everywhere. Each room usually has something that doesn’t belong in it (like the time I found a can opener in the guest room….WHAT?!) But I’ve had to learn to let it go. My kids need me more then they need or I need my house to be perfect. There will be a day when everything is in order and everything is tidy. Now is not that time. And that’s okay.
Write Things Down.
I don’t just mean to-dos and shopping lists – but really I DO write those things down because my brain is so cluttered I tend to forget stuff. I mean I’ve learned to write moments, memories, and funny things the twins say. How does that Billy Joel song go? “This is the time to remember….these are the days to hold on to…”. I know one day I’ll love having notebooks filled with quotes, journals of our adventures, and photo albums filled with beautiful pictures to look back on.
Let the Moments Be Fleeting – Good and Bad.
I wrote about this in my motherhood year two blog post but I still stand by it. The good moments and the bad moments should be just that. They’re moments. Let them come and go like the wind. We can be having the best day, but then a sibling squabble can break out and everything just explodes. But thankfully after some deep breaths and a LOT of patience, the balance shifts back.
Don’t Wish It Away
A few weeks ago when we were at a neighborhood gathering – Chris and I were taking turns chasing after Baby H who was toddling up and down the sidewalk. And I remember thinking “It will be so much easier when he’s older….” and then it hit me. I was, in a way, wishing it away! YES it will get easier. Yes, there will again be a day when we can sip a drink at a cocktail party without having to chase a baby down. But will that also be the day when my kiddos won’t be interested in talking to me? They’d rather play video games then read books with me? They will have friends to play with, instead of asking me to play on the floor with them? Yes those days will be easier, but will they be better? Life with young kids is hard, but it’s sweet and it’s fleeting.
I’ve said many times how fast time goes. It truly is a thief. It has flown. And for that reason I’m trying to learn to cherish every single second of every day.