Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sometimes it's hard

*** This is a post on motherhood that may be a little sensitive to anyone struggling with infertility. Feel free to skip! ***

So I have a confession to make.

Someone once asked me after Isaac was born if my life had been just totally turned upside down.
My answer? No. Not really. Isaac was such a chill kid. We took him everywhere with us. I honestly didn't feel that bringing him home was any more difficult than the day our (not so) little pup joined our family. Just a new adventure. But not life changing. I know not all newborn parents feel that way. But for us, that was the case. I wasn't recovering from a pregnancy or delivery, he was sleeping through the night . . . life was different but not completely altering.

No one has asked me recently if my life has been just totally turned upside down by bringing Elijah home.

But I've decided to answer the question anyway.

Yes. It has. Completely. While Elijah has been more challenging than Isaac was as a baby (which seems to have improved since we are feeding him more now!), it isn't Elijah that is difficult for me. It is having two that is more difficult and life changing.

I cannot say that their closeness in age is the reason that it is harder. I don't have anything to compare them to. Maybe having kids four or three or two years apart is exactly the same or even harder than this. I really don't know.

Either way, having a second at home has been life changing. That I do know.

JB has been home with me the last few days. We sat down on the couch after putting Isaac to bed and flipped on American Idol. JB was eating dinner and I was feeding Elijah. He told me that he felt like a day with both boys was equivalent to one of his busy rotation days. Just a day that you don't really have a chance to sit for a moment. Just the type of day that leaves you falling asleep sitting up at the end of it.

I do well throughout the day but at about 5:30-6:00pm, I start falling out, exhausted, and start having dreams about getting to crawl in my bed. When I do get into my bed right after I feed Elijah his last bottle of the night, usually around 9:30-10:00, I fall asleep in mere seconds. No tossing and turning for this chick.

I told JB I feel that when he is working, he gets my "scraps" at the end of the day. By the time he comes home, I have hit that exhaustion point. I don't quite feel like talking or hanging out together. I just feel like going to sleep.

Between diapers and feedings and changing clothes and putting a babe up or down from a nap and washing bottles and doing laundry and picking up and playing with the boys and letting Scrubs in and out and going for a jog, my day is completely jam-packed. If I add an "outing", it is then stuffed.

The hardest job I have ever done? Honestly? No. Teaching and coaching in Franklin during sports seasons definitely rivaled this. They were 70-80 weeks away from home. When sports weren't in season, the job got immensely easier, but during season, I remember feeling that same sort of fatigue.

But this is still not easy. I don't feel good at it. And sometimes, it is hard.

I need to admit that.

I'm not sure exactly why I haven't said this on my blog before now. I've always allowed my blog to be a place that I express my heart exactly and honestly. I haven't hid it. But I haven't really mentioned it either.

For some reason admitting that anything related to motherhood is difficult or challenging is hard for me right now. It isn't that I want to appear I am a super mom. I have no problem at all admitting that I am not a super mom. I don't see myself as one and don't feel that I am one. I am perfectly fine admitting that I need help or don't know how to do something. I see other moms and think, "Now that is a supermom."

However, I do have a fear of ever sounding like I am complaining about being a mom or having my two boys. I love them so incredibly much. I would never change where we are now for anything in the world. I never, ever, ever, want to sound ungrateful for the amazing blessing that has been bestowed on our lives.

I can remember when I was going through infertility. I remember hearing moms say it was hard. I agreed with them. I had done enough babysitting of multiple children to know it was hard. But I also knew I didn't care. I wanted that sooooo bad.

And now that I have it, I hesitate to mention the hard stuff because I don't want to sound unappreciative -- ever. I am so amazingly appreciate. I am so amazingly happy I am here.

But it is hard.

And you know what, my failure to admit that isn't fair to other moms or to moms-to-be. I need to be honest or people won't get the right picture.

I've been blessed with a few friends that I have really been able to share my heart with. They have encouraged me to go ahead and talk about some of the hard stuff. At MOPS the other day, moms went around discussing some of the good, bad, and in between stuff. Very helpful!

I got an email from a good friend the other day. She was talking about having two kids and admitted to me that it is quite exhausting. I echoed her sentiment and confessed my fear of not ever admitting that this was a little hard sometimes because I feared sounding ungrateful.

She wrote me back a very powerful email. I wanted to share just a portion of it, since her words were what encouraged me to write this blog.

Everyone who reads your blog knows the immense struggle you faced with infertility and then the immense joy you experienced through adoption and conception...BUT we also understand the immense time commitment of the daily feedings, diaper changes, naps, walks, and just pure chaos. Everyone likes the honesty of your blog, and other Moms would probably like you admitting.."No. I am not super mom!" because you always seem to have it so together.

When I read her last sentence, that I seemed to have it altogether, I knew I needed to set the record straight. I do not have it altogether. Oh my! Woah is that far from the truth. Things are chaotic and challenging and demanding and wonderful all rolled into one. I want to make sure everyone knows that. I never want to appear to be something I am not.

So I am saying it. I have to remind myself of the difference between admitting something is hard and complaining about it. I have to keep my mind clear that saying my day is chaotic or challenging is not saying I want to give back my boys or I wish they weren't here. They are amazing. They are an incredible blessing. I wouldn't change them for anything. I can admit that motherhood is hard just like I can admit coaching and teaching were hard. That doesn't admit I don't love what I do. I love it.

Even though it is sometimes hard.


Judy Woodford said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, most of us know EXACTLY what you mean, don't worry, we can Feel exactly how you feel. It is a grand ride, parenthood is, just hang on and scream when you feel like it and laugh or cry when you feel like it.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome place to be! To be this tired BECAUSE you are pouring yourself into your little ones. I have no perspective on taking care of two boys eight months apart-mine are girls, and they are 25 months apart. The only thing I can say is that now that they are nearly 3 and 5, they seem only a year apart. I think perhaps having one "mobile" and the other so very needy (for that matter, they're both needy), might contribute to the challenge currently. Think about it-if they were twins, you would expect the chaos of having to schedule feedings, take care of diapers, play, soothe, rinse, repeat, but for the most part, they would be approximately at the same level of mobility, needs, and interests. You would be progressing through phases all at once, rather than having the emerging toddler with the newborn-the emerging toddler who needs constant reminding to "be gentle" and "not touch," etc. BUT...oh, it is so very awesome when these little ones start to grow and change and connect more to each other and need you less. Enjoy the ride!

Joy Z said...

Thanks for being so honest! And please know that I don't think for a second think that you are complaining. It's ok to admit that it is hard. And that is exactly what the Lord uses to help us grow!

June said...

Oh, Wendi, no one could begrudge you admitting that it is hard work mothering 2 boys and a dog! Babies are exhausting. For me, parenting is a better gig than I ever imagined, but no kidding, it is a LOT of work. Harder than my FT job, in fact.

AW said...

Brilliant post again Wendi. Something that I relate to all too well. I too have struggled with stating how I don't enjoy being pregnant (after wanting it so badly for so long) and how exhausting it is to be a momma. Is it worth it? Absolutely! Would I change it if I had to go back? Not on your life! But I agree with sharing honestly the entire experience, good, bad, and ugly.

To be honest, in my instance, I was naive in what life with children entailed. It IS hard. Harder than I ever imagined. The sleep deprivation, the diapers, the midnight feedings, the gentle disciplining, the constant chaos of toddler play, the lack of time with your spouse. Wow...I'm more tired than I've EVER been in my life! Seriously. But this is also WAAAAY more blessing-filled than I ever imagined!

I also remind myself often that "this is a season" and that Life will change before I know it and to cherish it while it's here. I wished for a long time that JK would sleep through the night. Which he finally did. Only for me to actually miss the emotional bonding time of being with my son one-on-one in the middle of the night. That was a huge lesson for me. CHERISH THE MOMENT, even when it's hard and I'm not really liking it. There is always some blessing that I'm missing once it's gone...


Anonymous said...

There is quite an adjustment period that you are going through still due to the difficult days after the second child came. You might see if the older girls can come over about 5 or 6 in the evening to help for an hour so that you get a break. Maybe you skip Issac's afternoon nap and have him go to bed for the night an hour earlier.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere once that having one child changes everything but having more than one changes how you DO everything. After having my second I definitely believe that to be true.

Mrs. H said...

Being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done...but also the most wonderful job I have ever had! I wouldn't trade it for anything! But it is nice to hear that I am not along! I have 3 kids and I feel so unorganized most of the time. My house is not spotless! I am tired most of the time, but you know kids are loved and fed and very well taken care of! And in the end that is what matters!

Having 2 babies (I can only imagine) is HARD! But it'll get easier!

Thanks for sharing your heart though! Like I said, It's nice to know I am not alone!

Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

I have a 9mo. 3yr. and 5yr. olds and they are very busy. I don't know how my mother did it with five of us. I do daycare and I can't imagine having two babies all night long. All day is enough. Once everyone is in a routine, times will get better Wendi! Believe me. It seems overwehlming the first couple of months but then it is easier.jc

Tim and Roxanne said...

It's been a while since I've been on, but once again your transparency has touch my heart. I love you so much!!!

Tara said...

Amen, Amen and Amen.

I can relate to so much...the not so life changing event of the first child compared to the complete upsidedownness of the second, giving my husband the 'scraps,' exhaustion in the late afternoons...

I agree with MonkeyMomma on the "this is a season" thing. It's something I have to remind myself day after day, hour after hour sometimes. (And unlike you, I think this IS the hardest thing I've ever done).

Good for you for writing the post. I just choose not to blog. ;)

Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny said...

"But this is still not easy. I don't feel good at it. And sometimes, it is hard"

Oh my, I think any mother at anytime, in any place could and would and has said or thought these words exactly! I often think "this is it, this is the good stuff, don't miss it Jenny!" but sometimes it is hard to stop and enjoy this time for what it is. Be good to you Wendi, your doing so amazing as a Mommy of TWO babies!!!

TARA! Miss you blogging!!

Erica said...

Looks like you are in good company with LOTS of tired mamas! :) Great post. I hope you get a second wind now that you got that off your chest and now know that you are truly not alone in your exhaustion! Will be praying for you...

The Woodfords said...

Wendi, I just got a chance to read this post now, although I saw the first paragraph last night and was praying especially for you. I don't have anything to add really, to what the others have said. Just want you to know that although I don't "understand" in the sense I've never had two babies (quite) so close, =) I understand in other ways, and will continue to pray for you! Here are some verses I enjoyed today from Psalm 31:
v 15: "My times are in your hand"
v 21: "Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me."
v 24: "Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD."
Hope they are a blessing to you!Take care,
Love, Steph

Jess said...

Oh man, I could write a lot of this myself. Who wants to sound like you're not grateful for the best!gift!ever!? Yet, wow. Two kids. HARD.

I know what you mean about not having a big change with the first, more milk tempered baby. Perhaps it's the second one that's a pistol? Or maybe OUR SECONDS are pissed cause they THINK they should have been first! Ha! Toooooo bad boys! :)

I agree...adding that second kid, esp I think when the other is still PRETTY FREAKING HELPLESS has been tough.

Jessica said...

Good for you for telling it like it is! Bringing home my second baby boy was a shock to my system! It was the hardest thing I have ever done for sure and at the same time the most amazingly rewarding thing. Many times as my oldest was busy loving/torturing my little one "to death" I would ask myself "what have I done?" It only gets better and better as you go along though, I have to admit. Thanks for being true to yourself. You are good at being a mom. God is going to (and has already) enabled you to do this.