By day, I homeschool my two oldest boys. By night I write. Some freelance. Mostly blog posts. Last year I released my very first book, and for the first time in a long time I felt like I was going somewhere other than the grocery store.
Then I had my third baby.
Please don’t get me wrong. This baby was prayed for, cried over, and more than two thousand percent wanted. The moment I laid eyes on that precious screaming face I could have thrown away every moment before that meant any kind of personal success. He is perfect – all sixteen plus pounds of spitfire energy – and my heart’s been broken wide open for the love of this little bright-eyed boy. No visitor statistic or sales update could even remotely compare to the joy I have in being chosen to mother Micah.
I’m seven months into this mom-of-three thing.
Still adjusting. Sometimes sleeping. Homeschooling on most days. And of course not writing as much as I’d love to. Of all the adjustments we’ve worked through as a family of five this has been the hardest for me. Writing has always been my outlet and without it I’ve been feeling pretty untethered and wildly unproductive.
See in this new normal productivity looks a lot like a shower before the kids are in bed, or a semi-home cooked meal, or trimming everyone’s fingernails. Gone are the days I could regularly tuck my writing into the fringe moments.
In this new normal Necessary trumps all.
Homeschooling is necessary. Eating is necessary. Sleeping and fresh clothes and somewhat clean floors – those are necessary (most of the time). There’s not a lot of time left for anything that is less than necessary.
Perhaps you can relate.
Necessary is the plight of every mom. Sure your story is different from mine, but you know the master that Necessary is – how demanding and recurrent and unforgiving he can be. You know that a momma’s things end up the last things on a long list of Necessary’s wishes.
And while Necessary and I are not always on friendly terms, I am trying my best to find balance in this often chaotic season.
These are the lessons Necessary’s been teaching me (when I’m awake enough to get them) . . .
1. No one gets to have it all.
Not the stay-at-home mom. Not the working mom. Certainly not the single mom. This mothering thing comes with a price tag and it costs us each different things. For some it’s time away from a job or a career. For others its time away from their littles, or a smaller home, or the feeling like there will never be another moment of solitude for as long as we all shall live.
We all mom differently but what makes us the same is that we all have to give something up to do it. No one, no one, no one gets everything exactly the way they want it. If anyone tells you otherwise, I’d start periodically measuring noses.
2. The seasons of mothering turn quickly.
I don’t know if it’s just because this is baby number three or what, but all I did was blink and seven months are gone. Gone. As in never coming back.
It’s true I am emerging from the haze of early motherhood a little more clear-headed and certainly more often showered, but I am leaving behind Micah’s infancy. We are on the cusp of crawling and walking and I know, I know, I am half a breath away from kindergarten.
Whatever unpleasantness I feel like I am enduring in this season (I’ll quickly acknowledge the standouts – teething, pumping, the general lack of sleeping) they’re temporary – as fleeting as his sloppy open mouth kisses and breathless tickled giggles.
And those things I will miss most desperately.
3. I need to be present today.
Not looking back at my yesterdays of productivity and not looking forward to the day when everyone sleeps all night long. I need to be present here.These are my moments and I only get to live them once.
There will be another day for blog posts, and writing books, and for making real home-cooked meals. What there won’t be is more than 28 days of my seven-month-old, or more than eight more weeks of first grade. Spring of 2016 will only come once, as will summer and fall and winter.
My only choice is to live today completely – with all it’s struggle and with all it’s goodness – breathing it in deep, and letting it linger just a second longer in my hope-filled, burning lungs. I don’t want to look back on this season of my life someday wishing I had really lived in it.
4. This is enough.
I wrote a post a couple months ago about surviving homeschool with a newborn and the pep talk that is most often on repeat in my head.
I am one person.
I can do one thing at a time.
I am enough.
When I start to think long and hard about that next book I’d love to write and all the blog ideas that are filling my Evernote I’ve begun to add to the list that . . .
This is enough.
Homeschooling my boys. Caring for my baby. Spending time with my husband. Doing the best I can with the time I have to live my life.
This is enough.
This is what I can handle right now and what I can do well. And I know that there is a fine line between contentment and complacency but I’ll put my effort towards contentment and know that it’s ok to hold onto my dreams for another day.
So it’s been good chatting but I gotta run.
My 15 minutes of hiding in the bathroom are up. The baby’s crying and the boys need a little redirection. I hope you feel like you’re not alone because we’re in this together momma.
All of us.
The post Necessary Lessons: 4 Things I’m Learning as a Third Time Mom appeared first on Secrets of Mommyhood.