During a horrendous rainstorm this past winter, I stepped out of my car, and was instantly soaked. Grabbing my umbrella, I opened it just in time for the wind to blow it inside out. Running around the car, I threw open the door, grabbed the baby’s car seat, stretched the cover over it, and ran. Now, you see these new shirts in my closet? I got them on a trip to the store with baby in tow – during a horrendous rain storm.
Once upon a time, when my 4-year-old was teeny, she sat in the car seat on the floor, screaming. You see that homemade baby blanket? I frantically tried to rock her with my foot, while finishing the pressing and pinning of the hems.
Last week I went grocery shopping. The baby was a gem in the store, fell asleep on the car ride home, but then woke up and screamed the whole time I put away my perishable foods. What was I going to do? Let my milk spoil that I just purchased in order to soothe my baby? No ma’am! We need that milk for tomorrow cereal. The baby can wait, and yell, and stress me out while I’m taking care of business.
I’ve heard the question a few times: How do you do it with three kids?
The answer is simple: I just do it, and I do it through. Through the difficulty is the only way to do anything with children. Whatever I want to do, with 3 kids, will be slower, louder, more precious, more frustrating, and way longer than if I were by myself.
I think of the published women I admire, who produced quality work when their children were small. I think of Jen Hatmaker years ago leaving her babies with a friend for hours at a time while she frantically wrote a book in a cafe. I think of Shaye Elliott who has four young kids (one of which is a baby), and who home-schools, runs her family homestead with her husband, has a doTERRA business, and just published her 3rd book (Which, by the way, I am DROOLING over. Next month, the fresh budget cometh…)
How the heck do these ladies do it?
One guess: they do it through.
It’s a matter of getting used to walking up-stream in waist-deep water. It’s building stronger mom-muscles. I take stock of the situation, count the cost of potentially neglecting my child, and make a choice about whether or not to do that thing. When my other kids were babies, i used to not do anything. Because I knew that the baby would cry, which would stress me out, and the very thought of invoking unnecessary stress was anxiety inducing in and of it’s self. But I’m slowly losing that “all or nothing” way of thinking. I don’t need to finish all of the chores I see around my house. And I don’t need to give up entirely because it might upset the baby. I can just start and see how far I get. Then I can stop, play with the baby, go to the bathroom, and nurse. Then I can put in another load of laundry,. Then walk outside with the baby to listen to the spring birds. After which time I can put him down and type a few lines. But isn’t this neglecting your baby? In all honesty, yes! It is. And I have found that if I neglect my baby for a little bit, I can do another thing. Because mama has got to exist as well. If I sacrifice everything for my family, then I sacrifice my good attitude and benevolent nature too. Resentment builds and suddenly I’m a terrible person to be around.
But I CAN do things.
Even write a blog post while I should be getting the kids ready for school…
Lord help me.