[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] S [/dropcap]o you know those forms that the pediatrician makes you fill out every time you take your newborn for a check up? Those ones that are to monitor how you, the mom, are coping throughout the first 6 months of your baby’s life? I hate those. I hate that postpartum depression has become such a big thing in our culture, and it makes me feel paranoid that if I show any sign of having a meltdown then maybe I’m depressed. How about just tired, overwhelmed, needing a vacation, and trying to learn how to be a mom of 3? How about just totally normal? And how about having a community that reaches out to moms rather than making the pediatrician be the one who has to monitor the mother’s mental health? As if our pediatrician knows much about our daily lives . . . and yet this is what society has come to. Sad.

And I know that new moms do struggle. Having your hormones out of whack during pregnancy, going through labor and delivery, going through sleep deprivation, having your hormones out of whack again . . . all of it is very real and very hard. Yet every single mom goes through it. And I do believe that we all need grace given, grace taken, and just time to adjust without all the unreal expectations that society puts on us.

I love watching Prince William and Kate Middleton (or the Duchess of Cambridge). I love that they are new parents. I do not love how much pressure is put on her and how many comments have been made about her weight. Holy smokes, she just had a baby 4 months ago!! Why all the pressure to be skinny?! With this baby I’m just refusing to go there. I know from experience that no matter what I do it’ll take about a year to get my baby weight off, and I am not going to stress about it. Flat out, no way. Yet I wish others would realize that and not add more pressure to new moms.

Anyway, so obviously, I’m a bit bugged. I’m dealing with a 2.5 year old who is having his first life crisis. I can’t handle all the drama that he’s bringing as our 4 year old is already the king of drama. However, it’s actually making the 4 year old look quite mature, and I think he’s realizing that all the drama is not very fun. So I’m thankful that my big boy is growing up a bit; I wish my little boy would hurry up and get out of this yucky phase. Again, it’s all about extending grace and patience. It’s all about stages, transition, learning, and growing.

And truthfully, as I learn how to transition into the mom of 3 little ones, I feel like I’m the one who is really exhibiting major growth pains. I’m realizing that things that worked before Baby #3 don’t necessarily work now. I’m realizing that working as a family of 5 with 3 jobs and only 1 car is requiring a lot of communication, patience, time management, and sacrifice on all of our parts. We’re juggling a lot right now, and I need to figure out which balls to let go of. Our jobs are not the balls that we can let go of, so everything else has to be examined. For instance, it’s very apparent that dinner time at 7pm when Mark gets home from work is not working anymore. Eden has her major fussy, needing to be held, fed, cuddled, and put to bed at that time, and waiting till Daddy gets home and we all eat is not happening. She is the priority right now as she is the most needy of the family. She won’t always be, but for now she is. So after repeated dinner failures with a screaming crying baby and hungry kids, I’ve decided to just let family dinner time go. I will make dinner early in the day, the boys will eat around 5 when they are hungry, and then I can cuddle and feed the girl. Mark and I can eat and do story time around the table after EdieB has gone to bed. Then we can all enjoy a good meal that is not burned and does not consist of a very crabby, stressed out mom. It’s not ideal, but what in life is ever ideal?

I always wonder how moms with several children do it. I wonder if they’re just really relaxed women, or if they grew up with lots of siblings, so they learned from their moms? 3 small children is definitely my limit. And I think it’s totally okay to say that, know it, and make changes in life to make it work. Flexibility is definitely where it’s at, because I really want to be a good mom, not an overwhelmed, stay in bed all day (as if that’s even an option), checked out mom. And I know those women exist, and I don’t knock them for that. Motherhood is hard work; it takes every bit of everything in us to do it. Without God’s help, I can’t even imagine how most moms do it. So today, I’m most thankful for Him, thankful for His ability, His grace, His strength, and His wisdom. I know that motherhood is not something that I’m going to fail at, but I do need Him to help me in every way. So I’m receiving lots of grace and mercy today. Letting all that He is soak into me so that I can be the kind of mom that I would like to be. I’m choosing to let His grace be sufficient and to know that motherhood is a great refining process. Choosing to find all the positives I can so that I’m not some kind of zombie just trying to get through her day. Today is all I’ve got for now, and the two year old tantrums will end at some point. My baby girl will grow up too fast, and I will miss these days at some point in life.

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