The Minutia of Motherhood

On a typical day I wake up around 6am. I meditate for twenty minutes, shower, get dressed, unload the dishwasher while eating my breakfast, pack up Emmy’s snacks, water bottle and cup of milk for school. I do all the things I need to do so that when she wakes up I can be there when she opens her door and says, “Mama, I waited for the light to turn green!”

You see Emmy has a special clock set for 7am. At this time it turns green signaling it’s time for her to get out of bed. That’s when our day together begins.

Emmy then picks out a pair of undies so she can change out of her night time pull up. I grab her Minnie Mouse cup full of milk and my coffee, and we head to the couch. Some mornings she’s grumpy and whiny, others she’s talkative and chatty, others she’s just quiet. Some mornings she protests changing out of her pull up. Others she does her famous joke.  Mimicking a line from a Mickey Mouse Christmas movie she holds onto her weighted pull up and says, “If I eat any more turkey, I’m gonna need new clothes!” We laugh and oftentimes daddy is there laughing too. She then happily changes into her big girl undies.

Always, always, we snuggle up together and she plays with my hair as she drinks her milk from her Minnie Mouse cup.

It’s not lost on me that she used to play with my hair as she nursed, and then as she bottle fed. Drinking milk and playing with mommy’s hair has been a consistent comfort for her whole life so far. As much as it sometimes tries my patience when I’m not in the mood for my hair to be tousled and pulled, I know it’s a precious ritual that I’ll one day look back on and miss. So, it continues on, day after day.

Some days we sit in silence snuggling together after she finishes her milk. Other days daddy is there too chatting with her. Most days “Momeo” (Romeo) our Rhodesian Ridgeback comes wandering out, plants himself in the same spot and stares, expecting his first scoop of food.

We often put on the TV or she asks for her “scream” (iPad) and she quietly enters the day. I wander away and continue doing all the things I need to do to keep our lives running smoothly. Feed the dog, pack up the stroller, make her breakfast, walk the dog. Oh, and somewhere in this all I take my first sip of coffee- always magical.

Every day, within all the minutia and chores, I am there- steady and consistent. I am the mama I always wanted to be.

I couldn’t sleep tonight because I began thinking that there may be a morning soon where mommy is at the hospital having baby brother, and I’m not there for the morning ritual. As much as I know that it’s okay- as much as I know she will be totally fine in the care of her loving grandparents- my heart hurts knowing I won’t be there with my hair as she drinks her milk.

And it’s more than that. It’s knowing so much won’t be the same once baby brother arrives. It just can’t be. So, I cry thinking of all the shifts about to occur. I cry because endings are hard no matter how beautiful the next beginning will be.

As a mom there are so many details. There is so much to be done. There are so many intricacies that make up my day. All of these things are mostly silent and unseen, but all are molded and centered around this one precious girl. Soon my attention will be divided into the details of two, and I wonder how that can be.

Tonight I mourn the loss of our endless time alone together. Our quiet and calm Minnie Mouse Cup mornings will soon take a shift as I recover from birth and nurse a new life.

While I mourn I also feel hopeful. Although our mornings may become very messy and chaotic for a while, eventually we will land at a new normal. We will find a new way to start the day that involves the two souls daddy and I love and dedicate ourselves to.

There will be soon new version of our Minnie Mouse cup mornings that involves the endless details that mothering two children brings, and at that point my heart will have multiplied in size and what is more beautiful than that?

 

 

 

 

To My Girl

To my girl,

Soon you’ll be a big sister. Not the only kid in the house anymore. Soon you’ll see lots of changes in your life. My heart aches knowing it won’t just be us anymore, but my heart also tingles knowing you’ll have a buddy and lifelong companion.

☀️

I want you to know you’ll always be my sunshine. You’ll always be the one who taught me how to be a mama. I suspect you’ll be good at this big sister thing. You’re a leader. You know what you want and aren’t afraid to express that. You’ve humbled me to my core and you’ve shown me beautiful parts of myself I didn’t know were even there. Thank you for teaching me new things every day, and for reminding me of how this life is one big miracle. I’ll love you forever and ever with every part of my heart.

☀️

Love,

Mom

Challenges and Beauty

It’s a challenging time.

I’m 37 weeks pregnant with lots emotions and physical pains. Meanwhile I’m caring for a three year with all of her emotions and processing about getting a new addition to our family. My husband’s working hard to support our family while also offering lots of support at home. Our dog Romeo seems to be responding to all the changes too! He’s been more destructive when we’re out so I’ve had to keep him in my bedroom when we leave.

We are all doing our best, but it’s hard!

I’m not looking for sympathy or advice. I just think people don’t talk about these hardships enough, which why I am sharing now.

Honestly, sometimes my best doesn’t look so great. Like yesterday when I was losing my patience trying to get Emmy and me out the door. I was surprised when Emmy responded to me by talking me through taking a balloon breath, something I do with her when she’s feeling big emotions.

“Mama, are you frustrated?” Emmy asked me.

“Yes I am. I’m very frustrated. I just want you to get on your coat and shoes so we can leave.” I told her.

“Don’t worry, mama. You just need to calm your body. Fill up your balloon. What color is it?”

I’m kind of taken aback. “Hm. It’s purple.”

“I’m sorry I don’t have a purple balloon but here’s a red one.” She grabs a pretend balloon and places her hands on my belly. We take a deep breath together and let it out slowly like a balloon slowly releasing air.

“Thank you Emmy. I feel better now.” I really do actually.

We hug for a while. I tell her thank you. Then we get on her shoes and coat and are out the door.

There are lots and lots of chaotic moments. Loud moments. Frustrating ones. Ones I’m not proud of. Mixed messily within them are moments like this one. Where my three year old circles back and teaches me what I’m forgetting. And it’s during those moments that I remember again that it’s all worth it. It’s all beautiful. It’s motherhood.