Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Best Years

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Temporary Joys

My days start with morning breathed diaper changes for 2 babies, followed by the endless cycle of nursing sessions, the preparation of food that will be thrown on the floor by my toddler, and the cleaning up of said food. When my best friend Daniel Tiger holds everyone's attention long enough for me to sprint to the restroom, I come back with my toothbrush and practice oral hygiene in the kitchen so that I can confirm from my station that the baby's eyes will not be poked out by the time I spit and rinse. 

Big woop, right? Pretty much everyone I interact with on social media is living the same life. We lament together over things that have been peed on, and I laugh out loud visualizing their kids embarrassing them at the grocery store. Also- I LOVE seeing picture of my friends kids so yall need to keep on posting, ya heard? 

On day one of flying solo with two under two my husband told me to just survive until five. That quickly became my motto in those early weeks when the tempo picked up and I was feeling overwhelmed by everyone's simultaneous need to USE THE BATHROOM all at once. I just needed to keep everyone fed and in a somewhat fresh diaper until backup arrived at 5 PM. 

Then I realized that I was made to do more than just survive. My days should be filled with more than time killers until daddy could get home and relieve me. I wanted to be present with my babies and soak them up. 

Something else my husband said on his first day back at work after number 2: 

"Who knows Hayley? This could be this first day of the best years of your life." 

How did he know? Lately, I've been trying (imperfectly, of course) to be completely present with my babies. To not wish away challenging days but to lean into scripture and pray even harder for  my kids. (Especially the big one- Lord help us! ) I kiss them and linger a little longer in the rocking chair with them because I know these days are going fast and one day I'll have to take her to school and we all know what a mascara covered wreck I'm going to be.... right before I skip happily to morning coffee with friends. 

I think, as people, but as mamas especially with lots of little eyes watching, we have to be careful where we get our fuel. On our (rare) breaks, do we run to mindless phone scrolling or to the  word of God that gives life? Facebook culture is exhausting and honestly just makes me funky most of the time. 

I've been challenging myself and others to seek first His Kingdom. To put down our phones and play on the floor with our toddlers. To sniff our newborn's head and praise the Lord for such new life. I'm not a super Christian. I don't have long passages memorized and I don't attend 5 AM Bible studies. (Yall are crazy!) But I want to keep striving towards godliness in the season that I'm in right now full of bodily fluids, Minnie Mouse, and endless loads of laundry. I'm writing to remind myself: soak up these gifts and be thankful. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

On doing a good job

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Tonight I made a solo all by myself trip to walmart for cookies because I do a lot of food sharing around here and sometimes everyone just needs to eat some cookies not covered in someone else's slobber.

As I was checking out, my ears perked up at the sound of a little baby cry. I'm like one of those dogs that hears things no one else hears. (Is that a specific breed? I obviously know nothing about wildlife.) I looked behind me and saw a sweet mama who looked like she had had some high stress today. She was desperately shushing the baby. I told her about how I have babies coming out my ears at home. Really, I just have two little blessings but sometimes it feels like 10. I told her she was doing a good job and that she was a GOOD MAMA.

She started crying and telling me about how the baby's daddy had gone to the ER today and the baby hadn't had a nap and yes he looks just like his daddy with that red hair. I told her I couldn't imagine if something happened to my baby's daddy... who also happens to be my husband... and that I was really sorry about her boyfriend? husband? (Trying desperately not to say something that would make her day worse right now...) Yes. Husband. He's going to be okay. Just a long day.

I told her again that she was doing a really good job. And to hang in there. And then I hugged her in the middle of wal-mart and the cashier thought we were together and started ringing her up and I said "oh no... we don't know each other..." Read: I'm not actually buying her groceries right now.

When I walked away I started thinking about how often we just need someone to acknowledge that what we're doing is hard and that we're doing a good job.

We're all desperately fighting to defend and protect what we think is the very most important thing. Sometimes that comes out in hateful social media debate, or insensitively saying stupid things while trying to fight for what we love.

Lets just stop and tell each other "good job" sometimes. Work is hard. Babies are hard. Life is incredibly beautiful and OH MY GOSH so draining sometimes. Give yourself grace, mama. You are doing a really good job. Your babies love you so much. They cling to YOUR legs and want YOU to carry them out to the car. Even though sometimes your toddler is a little pudgy and it wouldn't hurt her to walk off those daily cheese sticks while you ALSO carry an infant carseat. (Maybe that's just me though... ) They think YOU are hilarious, and that YOU do all the voices in all the books the best.

Tonight, I'm choosing to sit back, eat a cookie(s), and remember how much fun I had with my sidekicks today. We all need to remember to give and receive a little more grace sometimes. Also, if you see a mama with a tiny infant, ALWAYS comment on how cute that baby's hair is. They will eat. that. up. Speaking from experience here.