As I sit here with a passed out newborn on my chest, a messy bun in my hair (I can’t remember if I showered today) and breast milk stains on my shirt (it’s my new fashion trend nowadays), I scroll through Pinterest and Instagram looking at a few other mommy blogger sites. Hmmm….these ladies seem to have it all together with their perfectly done hair and nails and overly makeup-ed face, displaying their regally dressed newborns perfectly posing in their brand new DockATots. Seriously? Either they had someone watch the baby all day while they put on makeup and did their nails and ever so carefully placed the newborn in a position that took about an hour to nail that one shot, or I am just not the supermom that I thought I was. All I can say is, it is definitely the first of the two and it is absolutely their first baby….even with just one child I learned a lot about myself, but now that I am a mother of two, there are a few things I have figured out and experienced that I would like to share:
Your house will never be clean. Don’t even try to imagine that your living room is ever going to compare to those on Pinterest with the perfectly folded quilts draped over the spotless couch with the perfectly plumped up pillows. Those homes do not have children.
Don’t put anything away until the kids go to bed. It’s pointless. If you ever want to pretend that your house is organized, just take pictures or invite people over once the kids are in bed. Otherwise, people will see that it will always look like a hurricane went through the playroom and there will always be a Boppy/Legos/Barbies/trucks on the couch. But that means that your home is one that is played in, loved and full of happy moments.
Terrible twos are real and you will lose your mind. As much as I try my hardest not to lose my shit and yell at my precious two-year-old, I sometimes do. I try to take deep breaths and speak in a calm voice to get her to understand why she shouldn’t hit her brother or throw her food on the floor, but it is hard. And when it comes to bedtime, my sweet angel recently began to turn into the Exorcist and our precious nighttime routine is now a two-hour horror story. Once she finally falls asleep, I have to American Ninja Warrior my way out of the room, crawling through obstacles and avoiding the creaky floorboards, so I don’t wake the wildebeest. I always tell Meyer mid-tantrum to breathe and relax because most likely what she is screaming about is not a big deal. I have learned to take the advice that you give to your kids.
If you are lucky enough to have a moment to yourself, take full advantage of mommy time. And when I say mommy time, I don’t mean napping. I mean mixing up the strongest dirty martini you can, putting on some music and relaxing. And about those moments alone? I thought about how I would do a lot of writing, pickling and organizing the house while I was on maternity leave but in reality, I binge watched Ozark or sat by the pool with that delicious martini.
Don’t stress about the little things. As I mentioned before, it’s okay that your house isn’t spotless or your playroom is in shambles. It’s not a big deal that your toddler is making a mess at the dinner table and your newborn just pooped though two outfits in a row. Life is short and your family is everything. Those are the moments that you will look back on and miss. You will adapt to this organized chaos.
Value the days that you get to run errands alone. On the days that I get to go grocery shopping without the kids, I used to constantly think that I had to get home quick to relieve my hubby or to feed the baby so I would just throw things in the cart and quickly dart out of the store. Until I realized that Anthony is capable of taking care of the kids alone and I kept coming home with nothing on the list but 3 bags of tortilla chips, 6 onions, antibacterial lotion and organic cat food (we don’t have a cat). Once I figured that out, I would take my time through the aisles, read the ingredients, compare products, check things off the list and even stop on the way home to get an iced coffee. It was so freeing!
Weekend mornings in bed are the best. Yes, I complain that my daughter, Meyer, crawls into bed with us in the morning, but nothing is more special than snuggling with my husband and my kids in our big comfy bed watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Home improvement projects when you have a newborn are not a good idea. As much as Anthony and I were dying to renovate our master bathroom, we had terrible timing on the project. Unless you love dust, banging, running up and down the stairs every two minutes, tools everywhere, sharing a smaller bathroom with your toddler and did I mention excessive banging!? It’s no fun. As much as we are struggling now, we will be so happy once our bathroom is done. I am going to pour the biggest glass of wine and take the longest bath ever.
Time flies, so enjoy every moment of your life as you will never experience so much love. I recently saw a few quotes that completely encompass motherhood, melt my heart and make me grateful for every day of my life:
“The days are long but the years are short.”
“I can’t promise to be here for the rest of your life but I can promise to love you for the rest of mine.”
And cue the tears….