There are days when I feel as if I have no idea what I'm doing and others when everything seems routine and predictable. I really like the in between where the unexpected falls upon us and we have no option but to fly by the seats of our dungarees and dance our bums around the living room. It's more fun that way!
The other day, I was asked to jot down some advice for a Moma-to-be. I chuckled because I've only doing this for 3 1/2 years even though it feels like forever already. I thought about it and realized that after all my learnings and doings, I'm still learning how to work this path I'm on. I am learning, also, that I will ALWAYS be in "learning" mode where motherhood is involved Three children is no rodeo. Rough days are promised but so are the blessed and outlandishly fun. It's how you handle them that determines it's blessing. So here's the advice that I jotted down. Ready? No laughing mmm-k? *smile*
1. Standards. Don't believe them. You know those things you hear about having an odd number of children. Blah blah blah. Standardized comments about the third not receiving as special treatments as the first, new clothes, lots of pictures, mementos, nonstop loving, etc. You get my point. You just have to make a point to do these. These are your children, your life, your blessings. Make it happen. Make them priority. And if you forget, it's ok because you have three littles to remember for you. Plus, they'll also forgive you.
2. Know deep inside that there are going to be many many late nights/early mornings and no matter how much you prepare yourself or attempt to prevent them, they're going to happen and you simply wont be ready. So instead of prepping for prevention in all matters, just prepare yourself on how to handle these situations as they arrive. Trust me, its all for the better.
3. Potty training. Its not going to be fun. Honestly. But its not going to kill you either. It is also a stage of they're growth that you will look back and say where did that time go and why was I so afraid? Don't be afraid to potty train.
4. The toddler years. I'll compare it to the years on the playground. There will be days when your child or children will resemble in a matter of speaking of course the mean girl that picks on everyone. If you get to this point, please breathe deep a few times and remind yourself that 1. You are the Moma and 2. This stage will subside the same as all the others.
5. Don't cry over spilled milk. No really. Its 2:12 am and I just spilled a freshly pumped bottle of milk out of exhaustion misplacement. If my girls were awake My girls would ask, do we cry, in a Pete the Cat type manner and in knowing this I simply said to myself, goodness no. Its bound to happen. It will happen. Juice, water, that expensive pedialite you just bought because they're sick, or maybe its a bowl of melted ice cream that they've been swearing to eat for the past 15 minutes. Its going to happen. So make yourself a pile of wipe it up rags and teach them the art of Mr. MIAGI. But more in a wipe left, then right type fashion.
6. When Moma said there'd be days like this. She wasn't lying. You know why? It a been-there-done-that type philosophy that for some reason we tend to forget they've learned already. Just ask my Moma. Plenty of I CANT DO THIS phone calls have been linked her way. I couldn't imagine if we were back in the early days of phone conversing. The operator would have called the insane asylum a long while back. Learn to see the joy in all the good moments so that when the rough ones seem like they're overtaking the world, (enter those pesky bwah ha ha's) you can recall those shiners and press forward. Other wise known as JOY EGGS!!!
7. Pump it up. Go now and make yourself a playlist. A list of songs for you. A list of songs to pump up when when you find yourself in the midst of the unbearable. A toddler that has long forgotten why shes been crying for the past 35 minutes, when they cant decide who this specific toy belongs to, when the decision on what to eat for breakfast becomes so overwhelming, when the baby forgets she cant run after her sisters so throws a tantrum on the floor like a bird that cant fly.... on and on she goes.....turn that music up via iPod or memory and belt out those lyrics...
8. Let go. Release all of your OCD tendencies as hard as it may seem (TRUST ME! I know it's hard!) and let them do. Cook, wash dishes, eat, dust, sweep. They have to learn and the only way to do so is TO DO.
So that's about it. I'm no pro, but I've learned a few things. I honeslty believe it's a day-by-day process that only the good Lord gets me through. He was gracious enough to provide me a help mate that is above and beyond in the helping department. I'd be lost without him and his ability to keep my pot from boiling over with anxiety. He's my rock and the Lord is my solid ground.
I hope this is a help to someone out there. I hope, for those that have been in my shoes or are still in them, that you were able to get a laugh or two. Maybe a smile to better your day.
As always sweet friends..lots of love and hugs.