Dear mom with your first baby,
I see you, at nursery pick up, in the target line looking burned out, at the park feeling lonely. I see you. I understand you. I’ve been you. I know this is the hardest thing you have ever done. I know it feels like your whole world just got flipped upside down and you don’t know which way is up. I know you wonder if your jeans will ever fit the same or if you will ever enjoy your husband again. I see you looking at me, you are asking how I manage three. You look at my load and think, one overtakes me how will I ever have more? You’re wondering if you will ever be ready for another baby or ever love another one this much?
I see your shell shocked face when I pick up gold fish off the floor and hand it to my screaming two year old because, have I never heard of germs? I know you think my son’s hair looks like it got cut by an edger instead of scissors and I don’t seem bothered by my daughter’s shirt being buttoned up the wrong way and with pants that don’t match. You wonder how I keep talking while the baby is yelling and the four year old is pelting questions at me. You think you have finally seen insanity in motion.
Oh Friend, if together was part of the equation women would have stopped having kids a long time ago. If polished was in the cards we would give birth to 20 year olds halotestin not newborns. You feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t have her act together? Well let me give you the secret recipe that all us moms of more than one know and you will too. Not one of us has it together we have just learned that, the mountains are really mole hills when it comes to life with littles and perfection is something to lay down not aim for. Just enjoy them. Breathe in the baby scent every time you hold them close and know someday soon it will turn into unbrushed teeth and stinky feet. Hold them when you want to and let them cry when they need to. We are all here to tell you not only that they survive but so do you. It’s OK to forget perfect behavior and adorable outfits both of those things only happen a fraction of the time. Expect them to put on their best behavior when no one is looking and act like the spawn of Satan in front of anyone you respect. And the fastest way to get them to each ketchup is to put them in white. Embrace the hard and don’t feel guilty that you “just” have one and are overwhelmed. Here’s another secret, we were once where you were and looked at the moms one stage ahead of us in awe and wonder like they were gorillas at the zoo.
The thing is, each child takes up 100% of you, you just add 100% more every child that comes along. I didn’t know I had 300% to give until I had three kids. God gives you another pint of that powerful love every time you bring another baby home.
Here’s what I wish I knew when I was you, one is hard and I won’t say “oh you just wait” because its hard today. That’s real. It’s also a wonderful season where you can focus on just one baby. Have fun, don’t stress if they aren’t eating anything but bananas, they will come around. Let the trivial go and lean into whatever God is trying to teach you in this season. Please remember busy is an idol not to be fooled with, enjoy being home, bond as a family, and keep your marriage as the highest priority. Get good friends and weather the weary together, listen and encourage through each trial, and have girl’s nights out where you laugh about the dumb stuff you hope your kids don’t remember.
Most of all, I promise you will make it. It all will pass hard and fast like a rainstorm that blows in strong and leaves the sun behind as it goes. And if you ever need a good pick me up go to target, get a Starbucks, and cruise the aisles listening to kids have meltdowns and feel good that it isn’t your kid….today.
A mom one small step ahead.