Today, is part IV in my “Tidbits of Me” series. We are finally caught up to “present day.” If you missed the first three parts of this series, you can read them by starting with my post “1 of 9” or skip to the last post which was “The Early Bliss Years.” I had the hardest time sitting down to write this post. I wish I could give you some good DIY tips on the best ways to raise kids but since I am still very much in the middle of raising kids I am going to share a bit of our story and this season and hopefully you can relate!
We were so excited when we found out we were pregnant with Caleb. The timing was perfect. I was able to graduate college, work for a few months, and then become a stay at home mom. It really was the ideal situation. I feel so blessed that we got pregnant with a healthy boy right when we wanted too without any problems. Caleb was such an easy baby and I often referred to him as a “dream baby” because he was just that.
We then got pregnant again a little over a year after Caleb was born. Caleb and Jeremiah are 21 months apart. We were excited and thought we were ready. Little did we know that Jeremiah was going to be a hard baby. He didn’t sleep. He cried…a lot. He fussed through all his feedings. It was close to his 1st birthday before he started to sleep through the night. We found out when we he was seven months old that he had severe allergies and thus began a path that we are still on with him today. He has grown out of a ton of his struggle. We are constantly amazed and so grateful that he is developmentally caught up and a really fun kid.
Because Jeremiah was so hard, I was not ready when we found out we were pregnant with Reagan. She and J are 26 months apart. It took me a while to accept the idea of another baby coming, but God was so faithful in knowing what I needed more than I thought I did. We needed her. She has brought so much joy to our lives.
We are very blessed as parents of three awesome kids. I wake up everyday and thank God for another day in the life I live.
Although we are very happy and love our kids, it does not mean everyday is glorious and beautiful pictures out of a magazine or (in my case) off a blog. We have hard days. I lose my crap at moments where I am humbled and need to apologize to my kids for losing it. I have selfish moments and put my desires or wants before my kids and need forgiveness.
Remember the day where you didn’t have to wipe anyone else’s butt? Or the times that the cry of “MOM!” wasn’t the soundtrack of the day? I miss those days. Moments where I can go to the bathroom with out the door opening. Or times that I’m not having to decipher which tattle-tail is actually telling the truth. There are lots of hard exhausting times. I was just processing with three of my best friends at lunch yesterday how this is a hard season.
It’s easy to feel down and like we are messing our kids up. My mom has told me that her goal when we were little was that if we had some fun in our day and went to bed without any tears, she counted it as a good day. Some days that goal is really hard.
One thing I have found is that I must protect “me” time in order to reenergize and regain needed perspective. I heard someone once say, “Follow the instructions of the stewardess! Put the oxygen mask on you first so that you’ll be able to help those around you.” So, although we might feel guilty for making time in our lives for our hobbies, friends, or self, it is needed and ultimately makes us better moms. Granted I don’t see some people in my life that I love nearly as much as I want. But, there will be a day where I can have lunches with friends everyday and craft till the wee hours of the morning, AND sleep in the next day. That day is not today, and I know when that day happens I will long for these days.
When my husband was a youth pastor working with middle school students we would often bang our heads against the wall over the insanity of those kids. Whenever a kid would do something really stupid Matt would say, “We are investing in this kid envisioning the 21-yr-old, the mom, the dad, the influencer they will one day become.” A lot of our old students are now in college and in their early 20’s. I’m amazed as I see and talk to them. The majority of them are really solid adults heading in an amazing direction. So all of that to say, today, as I wipe runny noses and dirty butts I realize these three little ones will one day stand on their own. The work I’m doing today will help to set them on that path and hopefully instill in them that they are loved, accepted, and never alone.
I recently heard Andy and Sandra Stanley give a talk on parenting where Sandra said, “These days are long but the years are short.” In everything, the good days and the hard, I just try to remember these years are going to fly by. They already have – my “baby boy” is going to turn 6 in a few months!? With a long term perspective on the investment we make as parents I realize these long days are so worth it. I really am living out my dream and know I am living the best days of my life. I’m home with three beautiful miracles of life and I get the privilege to speak encouragement, truth, and love into their little hearts.
I love being a mom and I feel like I learn something new every single day. What is something you’ve learned along the way as you raise your kids? What are things you do to keep perspective?