Monday, February 22, 2016

This Gig Called Motherhood

I must say that life has a way of getting sweeter with time.

If you think about the whole design of our lives, there's always something mourn from the past, something to cherish in the present, & then more to look forward to in the future. The more I live, the more I cry (for the good and the bad), smile, and the more I appreciate the simple joys. Joys such as a morning with just my kids, a small act of service, or the power of a written note of encouragement.

Motherhood has been the most trying, joyful, strenuous, confusing, life-giving, & rewarding experience of my life. And I am only just 2 years and 5 months into it... I can't fathom what the next decades will entail.

Being a mama for the second time, though only for 1.5 weeks now, has been quite different than I expected. I was so worried about being able to love two children as much as I loved my one, worried that I would be too exhausted to function well during the day, too in pain from labor to move, and the list goes on.

But, as many friends have counseled me, your heart just expands. There's only more love. The young baby was meant to be in your family and your hearts have made room to love them over the nine months in the womb. We've been knit together in words and in our hearts.

I now cannot imagine life without this sweet boy here. His place is forever set at our table and in our hearts.

In the beginning, Ian was hesitant about Owen... a mysterious baby who needs to be treated gently. Now, he brings him his own bear to cuddle, rubs his head while he is listening to me read, asks if he needs to eat when he's upset. It's all new to him and he is taking it in stride. It's obvious that he loves Owen.

My perspective, as a mama, is also different this time. I don't expect to get 8 hours of sleep each night. I fully expect to have interrupted sleep for a long while. I wake up feeling fairly rested and ready for coffee. I seize the opportunity to nap when both kids are napping and this has helped me to survive each day. Maybe I am learning how to take shorter naps. One can dream! My expectations of myself are also far lower. As long as I am pouring into each child when I can, nothing else needs to get done.

I was incredibly blessed and fortunate to have my mom here and then my mother-in-law here for extended periods of time (THANK YOU SO MUCH!!). They helped each child to be cared-for while I was with the opposite child and they took care of a lot of the household duties. This also encouraged rest and recovery, after a labor that was much easier to recover from, physically, than my first.

Now that I am on my own, I need to remember the things that matter most... loving the people in this house and getting food on the table. That's it!

I'm also not pouring through as many articles and books as I can trying to figure out how to ensure the best sleep environment for Owen. Or how best to care for him. I'm trusting my instincts, which I did in the end with Ian, and going with his needs and wants. It's incredibly freeing.

I realize that this is very early in my mothering journey of more than one child, but I wanted to write a little bit about this time in our lives. It's been a time of growth, joy, and amazingly, rest.

I am savoring every chest cuddle with Owen and every time Ian kisses on the top of Owen's head, or rubs his head gently, or gives him a quick hug. I know that this time is fleeting... it went so fast last time. I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to be the mother of these two amazing boys.

We are so grateful for the love and support of our own mothers and for the wonderful friends we have in our area who have brought us meals, lactation cookies, snack bites, and sent encouragement. Our boys are so fortunate to have so many lovely people surrounding them as they grow during these early years. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being our village, both near and far.

This gig called motherhood is hard. There's no doubt. But I feel so blessed to be walking this journey with some amazing women, following in the footprints of some amazing women.

This life is sweet. And gets sweeter still.

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