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The Trenches

It could be because school has been out more than it has been in this year, but the running theme amongst my mom friends is that we're tired. The days start early with little to no breaks until bedtime, the dishes and laundry are piled and there aren't enough hours in the day to get things done. The end of the day leaves us wiped out, nothing left to give our husbands, overwhelmed. I want this post to be uplifting and to not reek of complaining but the truth is when you have tiny kids, as much joy as they bring (and truly it's a lot!), it's also hard. This is a post to not necessarily lift other moms up but to say "I hear ya. I feel ya." Some call it the trenches, others the weeds but whatever you call this season, the days are long. Yesterday was one of those days where I really felt like I might just lay down in the fetal position. Phoebe cried all afternoon for no apparent reason and Matilda was running the show, "Mommy your hair looks crazy." I cleaned up caked food off babies and floors all day long. I fished poop out of the bath (aren't you glad you're reading this post?!), I wiped noses more times than I could count. I felt certifiable, bewildered.

We went to our weekly small group last night (there are six married couples - all with babies or small kids) and let me tell you... there is comfort in solidarity. Listening to everyone else talk about their days and lives was a great comfort to me. Sometimes I can feel very alone in my day to day. I struggle to pursue a career (can you call this a career?) and to still be present and there for my babies. I truly want it all but the truth is, there's always a price that comes with everything. Our leader said something that rang very true for me that he had heard in a sermon, "You have to lose to win." It's true. You have to let go of some things to win at others. We are reading this book and discussing it. As an exercise we broke off into couples and talked about four things: 1. Finances - where we are at and where we'd like to be 2. Our sex lives (oh boy) 3. Forgotten Dreams and 4. Our adventure - how is it going? Just a fun way to touch base with your partner during the craziness of day to day because it is so easy to fill days with children and busyness and lose your connection which is ultimately the glue for your family.

I took these photos on my phone today during ballet. Phoebe got hysterical so I let her out of the carrier (which had already replaced the stroller) and just let her go free. She was everywhere. I think I officially need to baby proof my life. Ha! She is taking little steps here and there and yesterday she walked with both of her palms on the wall, back and forth. I know my life won't always be this wild and crazy. I can already feel a shift. That morning nap is being replaced by an after lunch nap. I'll be able to put my littlest one in mother's morning out to give me a bit to get things done and I know that there's a calm(er) time ahead. I look at my super self sufficient Matilda and breathe knowing that there will be a time where we can just snuggle and watch movies on cold days. For now I'm going to try to embrace the crazy, all I ask is that you don't tell me to "enjoy this time" if you've already made your way through it. All I want to hear is, "I know" and "it will get easier." K thanks. ;)

I really enjoyed reading this yesterday.

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25 comments :

  1. amen. I was talking to my mama about this the other day, feeling guilty for feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted when I have such a good baby. she said to me - "but she's still a baby. It's still hard." duh! I just needed to hear the "I know, I feel ya" from someone else. and even in knowing that there will be slower, freer days ahead makes me feel that I should cherish these baby days even more. but damn if it's not exhausting! thank goodness for wine ;) and honest bloggers like you. xo

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    1. ah the guilt. i almost didn't post this about five times because of it but damn it feels good to not feel alone. and yes to wine. yes.

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  2. Real life posts are my favorite. I am WITH YOU on all of this!!! I even had the lovely experience of fishing poop out of the bath tub last night TOO!!! HAHAHA :) Man oh man. I also dream about the day we can all lay around and watch a movie together on a cold day. I think we'll make it :)

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  3. Girl, I'm right there with ya! I just put my whirling dervish of a two year old down for bed, and it was all I could do to hold it together and be patient while she was being a complete nut. Ahhhhhh!!! I know we'll look back on these days (someday!) and wish we had our tiny babies back, and that sustains me a bit. In the meantime, I'm going to pretend I don't hear a kid upstairs kicking at her crib. Lol. xo

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    1. i literally loled about the kicking the crib. BAH. we will survive!

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  4. This could not have come into my facebook feed at a better time. I am also a work-at-home mom, and I often describe it as feeling like no part of my life gets my best, but every part "gets the best of me." My daugher, Hazel, is teething and threw a tantrum every. five. mintues yesterday. Today she work up at 4:20 for good. I have been so discouraged and lonely in motherhood lately, but read a great article on how, "God sees". God sees the food on the floor, the screaming stroller baby, the tears, the screams the hiding in the bathroom to almost cry, he sees the nose wipes, the hugs, the messy messy house. He is THERE and I am NOT alone. I'm so glad God designed us for community so we can muddle through this amazing and amazingly hard life along side one other. Anyway, all that to say than you for sharing the real stuff :)

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    1. yes, yes, and yes to everything you said. thank you!

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  5. you guys have NO idea how much your comments are making my night. i am literally laughing out loud and crying tears of joys for the companionship. THANK YOU!!

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  6. I FEEL YA. I am in a current utter-exhausted-am-I-even-awake-state. Seriously is it legal for me to drive right now? My boy hasn't slept more than three hours since before Christmas. But hey, what's a few months in a lifetime right?? Right? Right...It won't always be this way and it is just a season. Love you.

    xoxo

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  7. Isn't it kind of nuts how you expect the baby years to unfold vs the reality? Every day I wonder if my toddler is normal. Turns out he is. It's just that he's 2.5 and is very "high spirited". I have to be honest, it's nice to hear that I'm not alone and kind of like the idea of people telling us that it does get easier.

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  8. "embrace the crazy". - that is totally right! one day a few years ago, when i was pushing up the double stroller up a big hill near my church, with three other little ones in two, i saw my pastor's wife and asked her, "how did you do it?!" (she has five grown children) and she said to me, "believe me, you're going to miss the crazy. one day, your kids will be grown, the house will be clean and quiet. and you're going to miss it. you'll miss the mess. you'll miss the noise. you'll miss the crazy." i never forgot her words. it helps me to cherish every moment, even the crazy ones! you're doing great, lesley!! :)

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  9. Those kinds of days are terribly exhausting. And the reason I have to go to the gym every morning! I need an hr or two to myself so I can handle what is to come! I find that the days that my focus is purely on my kids (which I've really been trying to do this year), I feel much better and less chaotic (unless they r sick or pooping everywhere---not talking abt those extreme days) and I don't feel frustrated. I truly enjoy them more when I'm not thinking abt other things I could be doing in the back of my mind! I'm sure you do this but sometimes you temporarily forget! Anyways hope tomorrow is a calmer easier day! Taking care of toddlers is no joke!!

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  10. I don't normally post my blog in the comment of another blog, but this post reminds me so much of one I wrote recently. Every time I read something like this I sigh in relief that there are other women willing to say that this is not an easy time in life. The post I wrote was my way of telling others that we are expecting number three. Even now, writing that, sounds insane. But like you said, "for now I'm going to embrace the crazy". Great post!
    http://www.isntshelovelyblog.com/2014/01/when-babies-were-little.html

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  11. Just echoing everyone else that these real life posts are so refreshing and helpful to read. We just went through two weeks of a "lets wake up at 5am!" phase and I honestly didn't think we were going to make it through. But, that's how I felt with TeethingFest 2013 and sleep training and etc etc etc. You make it through day by day, hour by hour. Love from Italy!

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  12. Well I can't wait to talk to you about all this in person, but for now, I hear you, I get it, and I am going through so much of it all. I am realizing what I do and dont want to give up and most of it relates to moments with my children. It is so hard to always be refreshed and present to them no matter how much I want that. Solidarity is a cherished thing these days. And your small group sounds fantastic. Glad you have something like that! xx

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  13. You're going to make it!!! I'm right there with you, poop and all. Hope you find some moments of quiet today when you can. Love you!

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  14. Poop in the bathtub is literally the worst. It can send a decent day south FAST. I think the wonderful thing about motherhood is to share it. You are never in the trenches alone - working mama, work at home mama, we all struggle to be our best self in each of our roles everyday. I like to pretend that Beyonce has to scoop poop out of the bath every once in a while too. :)

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  15. In the newborn stage I need to hear it will get better daily. I love my time with this tiny babe, but being a mom is hard work. Just remember how far you've come already!

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  16. Love love love Lesley! We have poop on the walls and fingernails more than tub episodes other than that I'm right there with you! Hee hee!

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  18. Ohmygoodness, this is so my life right now. I'm also a work-at-home mom and we just moved to a small little town where I know not a soul. We left our beloved Mother's Day out program and a sweet nanny behind so I have been thrown into this new routine and I'm definitely struggling to find my footing and the elusive "balance" we all talk about. For instance, I'm sitting here typing as my one-year-old pulls at my shirt and the three-year-old is watching the 70th Bubble Guppies in a row. Whether you work-at-home, stay-at-home or work at an office, we all have our challenges of doing what needs to be done, what should be done and what you want done. I love what your group leader said as well. Easier said than done, but definitely something to keep working on. Thanks so much for sharing the not-so-pretty stuff. Comfort in solidarity for sure! I don't wish these feelings on anyone but I'm certainly relived to know I'm going through it with so many other wonderful mommas.

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