A few days ago, I was in one of the many valleys that exist on this journey. The day-to-day-to-day was getting to me. I was sleep deprived from my normally-great sleepers having abnormally awful nights. Things that cause me occasional frustration felt like they never truly change or go away (and they often don't. ha!). So, yesterday was a Groundhog Day reset button kind of day.
I canceled school (I can do that because I'mthemom!), kept everyone home, had them do homework worksheets, fold their laundry, and then we were off to pick up GG and go for a pizza picnic at their most favorite park (the "farm" park!). We had a great time, went and visited my aunt, and capped off the day with cake and ice cream. (Happy birthday to my grandma!) It was precisely the kind of hump day breather we all needed.
It's sometimes still very surreal that I'm the mother of (and responsible for!) four little children! My biggest focus right now is trying to stay sane (and trying not to yell all the time), and trying to understand each of these little people for who they are and celebrating each of them in their uniqueness. I have a lot of work to do.
L was born and M was off and the adjustment was easy. Turns out the adjustment was just delayed for when he returned to work. So, I was hit with it when L was 4.5 months old, instead of at birth. I'm only sort of just now getting used to it. I knew having R and L would be like having two babies in many ways, but one truth of life is that Knowing and Doing are often completely different beasts.
I often feel like I could be Superwoman and get All The Things done if I didn't have to stop "what I am doing" and change diapers, pump, feed people, put people down for naps, etc. All my small progress is punctuated on either side by long, stationary periods of such small (but important) mundanities. And the real truth of it is that "what I am doing" is all the small mundanities, not all the other "stuff I need to do".
It's a blessing to even be in a position to feel that frustration. I remember too well when I worked full time and used to cry because I missed C so badly and wanted to be home with him. So, I try really hard not to be in too much of a hurry to have all the "free time" to go running or go to yoga or take up painting or read a book or take a daily shower... I see my friends who've come through it a little bit and are gaining some independence back. I know there's light at the end of this long tunnel.
But there is also a bittersweetness to the fact that they HAVE to grow up. Because the thing is, this baby/little kid stage is often so exquisite in its smallness and loveliness: cuddling, kissing and rocking the baby to sleep, or hearing the ever-increasing language of the toddler (and melting every time her sweet voice calls me "mommy"), or talking the preschooler through fears of bad dreams or of the house swallowing him up or flying off into space, or trying to help the first grader express his feelings (and ideas) in ways that are healthy and helpful and remembering that he needs more hugs than anyone.
But, the other side of that coin is that the sheer physicality of this phase is an unsustainable condition. With the sweet comes the bitter...
But the sweet is pretty awesome.