I have a line up in the notes section of my phone of all of the blog ideas I have and in what order I want to publish them. This post is not in that line up, however after a day like yesterday, I must digress. I am now the mama of a two year old and five week old, and it is an absolute delight and also a challenge! Although this is not a “good” picture of the three of us, it’s real! Hair in my face (and usually quite unwashed and pulled back), Avery poking her eyes out, and Olivia on the move.
I now have two little people in my care who both have very real needs. Olivia’s most prominent needs are mainly emotional right now, and Avery’s most outward (and noisy) needs are mainly physical. Not to mention the fact that I have needs, too! And all day long I’m constantly thinking about whose needs are most important in the moment. It is okay that I can’t build a tower with Olivia because Avery needs to eat. It’s okay that Avery waits two minutes to eat because I need to pee. And it’s okay that Avery gets a less than ideal nap because Olivia deserves a good outdoor/playground adventure. And sometimes I try to do all the things at once, and that’s fine, too!
Yesterday morning was a rough one. Avery took longer than usual to go down for her first nap, Olivia was much antsier (and louder) than usual, and I was starting to lose my cool. She kept asking for Jason, knowing very well he was at work, and anytime I was holding Avery, Olivia wanted to be held, as well. And in the times I was patting and shhh-ing Avery, I was really trying to shhhh in Olivia’s direction and over her [intentional toddler] whines and cries. Whew! Once Avery was down, Olivia and I were both ready for some snuggles, so we sat on the bed and read some of our favorite stories over and over and over again. (Thank you, Mo Willems!) It was perfect, because Avery’s morning nap is always a long one, so I knew I could love Olivia out of her funk. Except guess what? My newborn is still a newborn, and much to our chagrin, she woke up 30 minutes later. Olivia was not happy, and this is where the melt downs really began.
I ended up carrying both girls upstairs and I knew Avery would need to nurse soon, so I was trying to anticipate what Olivia might need first. She wanted her milk, so sure, even though it’s not lunch time, let’s quiet your soul and get some milk. Well, she accidentally got a few droplets on the couch and lost her mind. So I had to clean it up while Avery hungrily hung out on a blanket on the ground. Then as I was nursing Avery, Olivia wanted nothing but to be held, and cuddling next to me was just not cutting it, so the emotions were HIGH, my friends. Our housemates came home in this window and experienced the craziness, and super graciously walked into our mess and offered help. I won’t bore you with all the details, but let’s just say Olivia’s emotions continued to sore higher and higher, and they were real, but Avery’s need to eat was also real and immediate, and I felt so stuck. Olivia then hit the climax of her breaking point which caused me to hit my breaking point not knowing what was going on with my sweet girl, so we were all crying. It was in that moment that Jason happened to Facetime us from work, and he quickly decided to leave early to come home to rescue his hot mess of a wife and daughter. I asked him to take her to the doctor right away because she’s had two ear infections in the last two weeks, and I was worried the meds weren’t cutting it again. Low and behold, ears are all clear, but she just popped a molar! A MOLAR! No wonder she was so out of sorts; popping a molar plus healing ear infections, ouch! I’d probably be losing my mind, too!
Most days aren’t nearly this crazy, but it’s always a juggling act. Most days, Olivia does her very best to whisper as we help put Avery to sleep, and she usually just hangs beside me. She likes to sing to Avery while I sing, cuddle me while I cuddle Avery, and poke her head in to shush while I do so. You can also find her hanging on my back as I lean over Avery’s pack ‘n play to calm her, or somersaulting into me while I’m soothing her. Or you might even find Olivia sitting on the potty and me trying to figure out how to help her with a going-to-sleep-newborn in tow. It is quite the circus, and although crazy, it’s our circus and I love it! Don’t you wish you could be a fly on the wall? I sure do.
All of this to say, some days are going to be great days, some days are going to be really hard, and other days will be somewhere in between. If you’re reading this on a great day, keep going! You are super parent and we notice you. If it’s a really hard day, keep going! You are still super parent and we notice you. And if it’s just an okay day, keep going. We notice you. Tomorrow is a new day, full of new messes and new wonderfuls, and we’re certainly not alone in this crazy world that is parenting.
[This post isn’t actually about sleep, I will add a little plug. Because Avery is already learning sleep skills, I get so much more time with Olivia than I would otherwise. She’s also more calm when I put her down for a few minutes (unlike her sister at this age), because she’s not used to being held the whole the day, sleep time included. Although still tired, I’m certainly more rested than I would be if Avery were waking up all hours of the night, but she thankfully just wakes up once or twice, so I have some sense of sanity and stability left in me. And although Olivia’s ear infections and teething have made falling asleep for naps and nights more of a protest recently, once she is asleep she’s asleep! Thank goodness for those sleep skills, otherwise this household would be more of a mess than it already is!]
In the Mess Together and With Grace,