Well in our foster care journey so far, we have had 2 calls. One for a 2 month old and one for a brand new baby. I remember when a newborn scared me haha but now looking back, how easy it was. We are still waiting on that “call” that will change everything, and we know it is all ing God’s timing, but I am anticipating a newborn very soon which made me think of how hard I thought it was to have 1 baby. Looking back now… I laugh.
I remember very vividly the first night we brought our sweets home, I stayed up all night with her, as she was coughing up quite a bit of mucous due to her speedy birth. I remember saying, “why do moms complain about being up with their baby’s at night? I just want to spend all the time in the world with her and stare at her sweet face” Then after the adrenaline wore off, and 3 nights of probably about 5 hours sleep combined, exhaustion set in. I then knew the answer to my question. I also remember being thankful and not complaining much, because she was my rainbow baby. Our first pregnancy had ended in miscarriage, and after that experience nothing more in the world was more important to me then becoming a mommy. Inside I wanted to complain though. it was hard, She was colicky, I was a new inexperienced mom, she would only sleep if she was moving, (thank God for swings) tightly swaddled, and had very loud white noise going. I remember downloading the “Happiest Baby on the Block” soundtrack and playing this weird womb sound track on repeat very loudly. She needed it loud to block out any other sound, she was a sensitive little babe and the world was just a bit too much for her. Thankfully this only lasted for the first 4 months of her life. I survived. We survived. I never asked my husband for help at night, because he was going to work and my job was to take care of her. I did every night feed, every 2-3 hours. Silently cursing my friends who had had “easy” first babies who were pretty much sleeping through the night by 8 weeks. Who’s husbands would get up and do a night feed or 2 because they were formula fed. (Don’t get me started on my breast feeding struggles, that’s a whole other post!) I was and still am a knowledge junkie. I had read every book and even though I didn’t have experience ‘I knew’ what it was going to be like to be a mom. I was prepared. Except…I wasn’t. See the thing is no matter what anyone says, or how much you prepare you do not truly know what it feels like to be a mother of a newborn, until you indeed are the mother of a newborn. Looking back it was hard and I can admit that now but refused to admit it then. 17 short months later along came Lovey. God really blessed me with her because I could of plopped her in the kitchen sink while I was making dinner and she would of probably still fallen asleep. She could be passed around, carted everywhere, and she would just give me a sleepy smile and yawn and drift away to dream land. It was much easier because a) she was just an easy baby b)I had some more experience so I was armed and ready for her newborn stage, swaddle, swing, soothies, and womb sounds in hand ready to go! However there is that whole 2 baby thing – Sweets was still in diapers (thank God she was trained at 21 months so not for long did I have 2 in diapers) she had a different nap schedule, different needs and guess what? That whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” saying is fine and dandy when you have one baby but when you have a toddler and all her needs, well….you ain’t ever getting sleep again. Now a few years later and I am in the thick of “terrible twos” (I hate that term by the way! No 2 year old is terrible!) and a “threenager” I long for a newborn – one newborn who I had to shhhhh and sway and snuggle to make her feel safe. How easy being a parent was then. One glorious little newborn to take care, seems like a piece of cake compared to breaking up sibling fights, diffusing tantrums, avoiding getting smacked in the face (that second easy peasy newborn is sure making up for it in her 2’s) dealing with “yesterday I loved bananas but today its like hey lady you are feeding me poison dipped in hot sauce so I’m going to throw it on the wall and have a 5 minute melt down over it, how dare you feed me those poisonous bananas.”
Ya parenting toddlers is SO MUCH harder. Then a moment happens where I have 2 little monkeys wrapped around me giving me kisses and telling me i’m the prettiest mommy in the world, and that they love me and miss me so much, and can they brush my hair and cover me with a blanket…..those moments, my heart melts and I could cry about how much love I feel for them. It makes every hard moment seem like its nothing.
So no matter what stage you are in, its going to be hard, and its only going to get harder. Your kids are like your heart walking around outside your body. The bigger they get the bigger their problems and even as they grow and you start to gain some “mommy time” back and you can pee in privacy and actually finish your coffee before its cold, it will always be hard. The moment you became a mommy you sacrificed a huge part of yourself, a part you will never get back. A part you will never want back. The part that could go to the spa at ease, and go on vacation and lay in the sun and relax, read a book, have random date nights, SLEEP IN. Ya, you won’t want that part back. That easy life just isn’t worth it once your heart is walking around outside of your body.