Lest you begin to think that it's all roses over here... I am losing my hair like crazy (typical at 3 months post-partum), cannot FATHOM putting on a bathing suit and venturing beyond our backyard this summer, have yet to figure out how and when to have a consistent quiet time with the Lord (I will not give up the fight), really want to make a meal for a few people in need and just can't wrap my mind around how I would actually accomplish it which makes me sad, and although I'm thrilled that Maddie is getting used to sleeping in her crib for naps and nighttime, I now feel guilty schlepping her around when I know she's in need of good rest, which means we stay home more often.
Things are shaking out, like you know they will eventually but some days you didn't really believe they ever would. I have the mental ability to dwell on the inconsequential and the trivial, which indicates to me that I'm moving beyond survival mode and into living mode. Hallelujah!
It might be the transition, or it might just be what happens as we continue to live and learn and grow, but I also find myself getting braver. Or maybe I have just lost all dignity. I'll let you decide.
Today I had to get groceries and paper products for the 4 day party we are about to have with my in-laws who will be visiting us. I took all 3 kids to Target, put them in 2 carts, and proceeded to push/pull the carts up and down every aisle (some twice, I always forget things). Several other mothers stopped me along the way to marvel at my ingenuity ("2 carts! I never thought of that!" - I call it desperation but I let them think I'm just smart). Two other older women assisted Ellie with something she'd dropped that I hadn't noticed since at the time she was the caboose cart of our crazy train. In the entire time we were shopping, I keep the kids munching on something, the baby sipped a bottle, and no one lost their mind, including me. It was glorious. Not even dropping 1 1/2 dozen eggs at checkout or changing 2 poopy diapers in the trunk of the van before heading home could get me down. (It sure beat our last trip, when I somehow managed to run over 2 of my favorite tubes of lipstick in the parking lot, all 3 kids screamed at checkout, I actually said to the check out woman "I might lose my mind today" without cracking a smile, and I forgot essential items on our list.)
I typically dread these trips, especially since today we needed a LOT of stuff. It's not a matter of IF, but WHEN the epic meltdown will begin and commence and WHO the participants will be. I think I figured out how to navigate these situations, which are not altogether life-altering or really all that significant, but still take up a disproportionate amount of our daily life as it is right now.
I fake it.
I pile the kids into the carts, thinking "I can do this", or refusing to think about it at all. And I just go. I put a smile on my face, I try to anticipate the needs my kids will have and do my best to be prepared to meet them, and then I get on with the task at hand. Sometimes things fall apart, but sometimes they don't. I've decided that I've wasted enough time worrying over things that may (or may not!) happen. Tantrums. Illness. Feeling alone. Public humiliation. Judgement. Injury... to name a few. The anxiety I create within myself actually wears me out before I even start. In truth, I actually possess the energy / ability / patience required to manage a 3 year old, 2 year old, and 3 month old, I just don't believe that I do most days. I forget my Source and neglect to walk in the Spirit, and on my own? I really can't do this very well, or at all. With Christ, I can.
I am still learning to believe in my heart that this is the case. And until I can say that confidently and on a daily basis, I'm moving forward in faith that He is going to meet me in my worst moments, no matter how trivial, and bear me up under the demands of the day. Whether it's in Target, or at home as I discipline, or at my sick child's bedside, I'm choosing courage. And I suppose you can't really call that faking it, because although I don't always feel courageous when I start out, I know that the Lord promises to always walk with me. I have never doubted that, I'm just activating this belief I have in Him in ways that are very real.
It's about time. Thank goodness for this new growth and transition into greater confidence as a momma!