In a nutshell, having three ages five and under boys feels chaotic. At least it feels chaotic right now. Today is our middle son’s SECOND birthday! We’re planning to spend the day celebrating him and enjoying our little family and the relationships we’re blessed to create with one another.
I can’t believe it was two years ago that I called my husband to tell him my water broke. My c-section was scheduled for two days later, but he wanted his own day, apparently! They went ahead with the c-section, just two days early. I remember being nervous about the operation as they were getting me numbed up beforehand. And then my heart was having premature contractions during the c-section so I ended up in the ICU for the first 12 hours after having him! He went to the NICU during that time just so they could monitor me.
Everything ended up fine with my heart (praise God!), but that experience really caused me to think long and hard about how much of a blessing it is to be able to have children. What the body goes through during pregnancy and birth is phenomenal! So now that we have three healthy boys, I’m absolutely on top of the world with blessing. I’m so, so thankful to be a boy mama and to watch these sweet dudes grow!
I do want to give you guys some insight on what our life is like right now, though. Because I’m struggling to keep up. Everything is going so fast and I’m just racing to stay on top of everything! It’s a lot!
So before we had Boone, the baby, I was pretty on top of things. I had a daily list that I went through and it kept the chores from just piling up. Even during pregnancy, I usually got up early and got some cleaning done so I’d have more free time with the kids to read, play, or draw during the day.
Now, however, it’s difficult to get up early because I’m nursing the baby and he doesn’t really want to be anywhere but near me in the mornings. Cuddling and nursing him takes up a LOT of my time, so cleaning and laundry and feeding the animals has to be done in the short, 10-minute segments I can scrounge up in between.
I knew motherhood would be hard work, but I didn’t realize how defeated I would sometimes feel. And as mamas, it’s easy for us to start relating our worth as a human being to how much we can get done and how well we do our tasks!
Because I’m nursing the baby exclusively, he’s always looking to be cuddled… whereas the other boys were supplemented with formula so Papa could help with feeding. Also, because the middle boy is 2, he’s going through a clingy phase where he wants to cuddle and he needs snacks all the time; and the oldest, who is five, is always asking questions or asking for a cup or water or telling me a story! It’s wonderful to watch them all grow through their different stages!
But it’s also a big stress on my time and to-do list! So oftentimes, the laundry doesn’t get put away, the dishes stay in the sink or on the counter indefinitely, and the floor doesn’t always get cleaned. Pair all that with the fact that I’m trying to learn all these new skills like pressure canning and making sourdough bread and raising Muscovy ducks, and all of a sudden I have NO time in the day for basic maintenance tasks. But I’m trying to get better about using little tiny windows of time for cleaning and putting things back in their places.
One of our favorite activities is to play with Legos. The oldest is basically a Lego master, which is really fun. Our 2-year-old loves to watch his brother put things together and tries to mimic him. But the Lego obsession also leads to Legos all over the floor! Which means that I have to get on the kids about cleaning them up or just do it myself. Sometimes I choose to just do it myself because I know I’ll be thorough and I won’t have to ask the multiple times to get that last Lego they didn’t see or whatever.
Another thing that makes this particular season a little chaotic is that right about the time I think I’ve taken care of he baby’s needs and I can now get to work on cleaning or laundry (or even just a shower for myself), the other dudes need something.
I knew motherhood would be hard work, but I didn’t realize how defeated I would sometimes feel. And as mamas, it’s easy for us to start relating our worth as a human being to how much we can get done and how well we do our tasks! I’m constantly battling that negative self-talk where I’m telling myself to just “be better.”
If you’re like me, you probably need this reminder: having a clean home isn’t what makes you a good mom. Your love for your kids is what makes you a good mom. Those precious moments when you hold their hands and look into their eyes and laugh at silly things with them — those are the moments they’re going to remember. Not how clean the floor was or how much laundry you did that day!