Today, I am eating humble pie like a gluttonous pig. From the moment we dropped my Mom off at the airport on Saturday morning, I knew it was coming – the end of the postpartum honeymoon phase. The end of the visitors and the constant helping hands. The end of floors swept and meals cooked. The end of me, doing all of it, with help.
My anxiety rose and I bit my lip to not fight tears or with Mike on our one day ‘off’ together as we left the departure gate. But this morning, as I split my ready-made omelette (thanks Mike!) with Marin and reheated my coffee again and again, I couldn’t believe it was only 8:05 a.m. I just wanted it to be 10 p.m. so that Mike would be home and both kids would (fingers-crossed) be sleeping. Because now this is it. This is reality – my little postpartum vacation is over. The honeymoon has ended, and the baby doesn’t sleep on me, but wants to, and the toddler doesn’t pee on the potty, but could. And it’s getting to me.
I just want to…(still?) be enough. For me. For them – together and individually. For Mike. For my friends. For my family. All with a little dignity and a lot of sleep. I want to be able to remind Marin – yes, you have to pee because you drank something at breakfast. I want to not find her with an accident after it took longer to put Isaac down. I want Isaac to not need me to nurse him to sleep or be rocked by arm in his carseat. I want for Mike to not need to work all day or study for his 7 upcoming architecture exams. I want to have lesson plans done, and crafts organized, and for the love of all things holy – I JUST WANT TO FINISH A SCRAPBOOK. I’m not trying to be Martha Stewart – but I’ll take just one aspect of her life to have and to hold. Maybe a clean kitchen wouldn’t be too much to ask for?
But yesterday, it overwhelmingly dawned on me – what if I can’t be? Or more humbling, what if I shouldn’t be? I had 2 minutes before I had to run and get Isaac after putting Marin down, and I frantically searched on my computer for (*gulp*) preschools. That’s all the buzz these days for Marin’s age group, and I had just about rolled my eyes enough over the idea, when it dawned on me – crap, what if this is what’s best for Marin?
Again – what if I can’t be enough for my little two 2 under 2?
But (inch closer and I’ll tell you a secret), I can’t be. And I couldn’t be. And I shouldn’t be – because I can’t be Jesus to my babies and that pains my heart and soul. Today, at least, it does, and it’s causing me to realize how little I’ve trusted God with my children. And (on an even grander scale) with me. But I’ve been living under a facade if I ever thought I could, and I just didn’t realize it. I’ve been eating from that humble pie today, that brings you to a place of desperation like never before, as much as I can, returning again and again as I carry one in my arms with another crying at my feet to the Good Shepherd to lead the way.
This has been my Monday, and I hope it’s not my Tuesday. Or the rest of our week for that matter. But if it is, and I come to my end of the rope each day, I hope that I come to it with prayer and greater devotion and appreciation for Jesus. I hope I love my children humbly, and that I apologize over my temper and my lack of patience because I can’t be a perfect Mom, but I can be exactly what they need – a mother who needs Jesus more and more. An example of what it looks like to serve a God, not out of my own abilities, but out of a growing need for Him this side of Heaven.
Will that mean ‘practical’ steps too? Of course, it will. Could it mean preschool? Maybe, but probably not. I’m looking into having a Mother’s Helper or something as Mike’s workload increases alongside our now doubled responsibilities. I’m prioritizing my own self-care because if I am empty, I have nothing to give my children which will mean regular workouts and daily MuTu. I’m hoping to go to bed on time and wake up early. I’m also reminding myself that I have a SEVEN WEEK OLD, and that I thought I was drowning at this point with Marin – when I didn’t also have a toddler to care for.
Because this isn’t forever and it hasn’t been, but in the moment, it sure feels like it. I’m not completely overwhelmed like this every day or every moment of a bad day – I even got to have some quality infant massage to jazz music time with Isaac today while sister slept. And I got to cuddle Marin at bedtime and read her as many books as she wanted because Chunk of Hunk fell asleep. Finally.
So for today, I have a seven-week-old that nurses so much my nipples may go on strike, and a 2-year-old that just wants to negotiate her potty rewards (because she’s well aware of my desperation), and a tired husband that didn’t come home till 10 p.m., but this isn’t everyday. It’s just today, and tomorrow will be another day, another clean slate to start from. And I really, really hope for all our sake that it’s easier because today was really, really hard.