Reality check.

*Disclaimer: This was written a few weeks ago, and the next day we hit the worst sleep regression yet. It’s been terrible (and thankfully, slowly improving). So, while I’m not feeling as quite as sappy in the midst of my sleep deprivation, this still is pretty much the current state of my heart.

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Reality check.

I’m going to have two kids. Woah.

For the first time this past weekend, I sat with our toddler-baby and started to get emotional about the fact that she will no longer be my only little one at home. We have such a nice routine together. I get to enjoy every little thing about her – soaking in and savoring every new word that she attempts, every new endeavor she wants to learn, all her hugs and snuggles whenever she wants to dole them out. I try to not let my whole day revolve around her wants, but right now, I can. I can choose to save an errand or a house task for later when she is just having too much fun playing a certain game and I’m having too much fun watching her. I can choose to let her make a mess because she’s only one kid and the mess is fairly contained and easy to clean up. I can choose to put aside most things, because “most things” just aren’t that important right now. It’s not like there is another little life depending on me to do anything else. We are in this precious sweet spot that I am quickly realizing is going to come an end in just a few short months.

And, no, daily life is not heavenly bliss. We are still plagued by super early mornings. Every “new” thing is really just a hilarious indicator that we have a toddler who is growing up, growing more independent, growing opinionated. So, tantrums. And “mine” (which also means “no”) about a hundred times a day. And every other ridiculous toddler stereotype.

But the bliss comes with the fact that I am only dealing with this one. My mind is just now starting to try and wrap around the fact that I will be doing all of this with a newborn. That I will have to deal with this new stage of toddlerhood and figure out how to actually parent this girl (not just keep her alive) with a newborn whose physical needs are pretty constant. And I also have to try to learn to how enjoy and savor all the things that I love and adore about my toddler-baby while loving and adoring a brand new baby.

I can’t wait to see my heart grow and expand beyond what I currently know in order to love this second babe. I know my life is going to be so much more full of love than I can even imagine. I can’t wait for all the feels.

But I can. I can wait. So that I can eat up every last bit of my time with my first. Because no other baby will get all of me like this. No other baby will get to monopolize my mama heart. And I won’t get to selfishly spend all of my time delighting in my one and only baby.

So, reality check. I will look forward to the explosion of love that will enter our world in a few months. But I will also be sad and overwhelmed and feel everything I’m feeling right now. And I will soak up every (enjoyable) moment with my little, growing girl. (I’ll still be annoyed and tired and frustrated by all of the other toddler moments.)

ONE YEAR.

Words cannot describe this year. They truly can’t. My heart could seriously burst at the amount love I feel when I look at this girl. Being her mom is one of the greatest joys I have ever experienced. Watching her grow from … Continue reading

out of control.

Let’s face it. We have very little control in life. Ugh.

There are, however, some experiences that really highlight this reality of life. And, my, parenting is one of those. Particularly the whole “sleeping” part of parenting. Whew.

Right now, we are daily (hourly) oscillating between, “Girl, I love you and you are the cutest thing in the world and so much fun and I can’t get enough of you!” and “Please, child, I will trade anything if you would just. fall. asleep!”

It is one thing to physically be out of control – there is physically nothing I can do to force my child to sleep. Trust me, we’ve tried.

It is another thing to feel so psychologically out of control. I wake up frustrated enough from the night before that I am 100% determined to let her cry it out today – no matter what! We get through the day however we need to – crying it out til she naps, or throwing in the towel and putting her in the stroller til she naps, or giving up on naps all together for the day. (Thankfully, she isn’t terribly cranky in her overtired state, so we can enjoy most of the day.) But then 7pm hits. She has been crying for a full hour, and my 100% determination is shrinking by the minute, until I resolutely decide that it is best to console her, which ends up being rocking her to sleep. Once she is asleep and I’m ready for bed myself, my resolution to let her cry creeps back up. Until 2am. Then I spend the wee hours of the night (when no one should be awake), being a good ol’ flip-flopper between crying it out, consoling, rocking, and wishing I had bought myself ear plugs.

And that doesn’t even cover the emotional roller coaster. Tears are shed by all in this house on a daily basis. And while I know we should all be working against “mom guilt,” it is so. dang. hard. And not because I care what others think. “What is best” looks different in every household, and that is great. My guilt creeps in because I can’t make up my freaking mind about how to handle all of this (see the mental whirlwind above). Because the special educator in me wants to treat this behaviorally – it is simply a behavior that needs a calculated response and it will eventually be “fixed” when you are clear and consistent. But then my mama heart breaks in desperation of listening to her cry – guilt. And then I hug and console and rock her, and while I love those moments (when they’re not at 2am), I feel like I have “caved” and she is never going to unlearn this learned behavior – guilt. And back and forth and back and forth.

So, let’s face it. We have very little control in life. And in the scheme of things, this is a minor hiccup. I know. But man, it is quite the harsh reminder of life’s reality.

And, to wrap it all up neatly, I do pray that, at the end of the day, may the God who is in control at all times use these early morning hours to condition my heart towards patience and gratitude. Because man, I do love this little gift He has given me. I mean, just look at her!

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