Three girls, I have three girls. I must say that thought still boggles my mind. It is amazing to me that I am a mama, even if I have had 5+ years to get used to the idea!
What a five years it has been. With the arrival of Caitlyn I got to use a name I had picked for a daughter, 15 years before. Bringing her home was indescribable. I was shocked at the love I could feel and the immediate desire to have more children.
I am an only child. Pregnancy was not as easy as I had hoped, neither was delivery. I said, while in labor, “women do this again?!” As soon as they put her on my chest, I knew why, I wanted another one.
Not all of it was easy. I hated seeing her grow up so fast. I hyperventilated in the store once because she was going to grow up and leave me. I was still on maternity leave at the time. I knew I could handle the age she was, an infant, but what if I could not mother the next age?
But regardless of my fear, she grew, she changed. And I could handle each age. I found joy in her advancements. I learned to trust my instincts, such as they were. I found my mothering style. Much to my surprise, it was more relaxed than I thought it would be. It included, and still does, a lot more fly by the seat of my pants moments than I ever dreamed I could tolerate.
- I started out with the plan to cloth diaper my oldest. I didn’t really know what I was doing, it just added more stress. I stopped after two months. Disposables became my friends.
- Co-sleeping was not for me…until our first week home and I realized baby would sleep if next to me.
- I was never going to give my baby a pacifier. She got hers at one week old and loved it until she was 10 months old; my second got hers at 3 days old and loved it until she was 3 years old. My youngest has never taken a binky. She hates them.
The biggest thing I have learned in motherhood is to go with the flow. Babies and children change by the day, hour, minute.
One night they might sleep all night in their bed without seeming to move, another night you might end up with all three children in your bed! One night I became the bed, my three year old slept on top of my side! That was truly the worst night sleep I’ve ever had, but the love she shows by wanting to be near me. That is a love I will miss someday. I will miss it when my girls are too old to cuddle with mama. So I will do my best to savor the extra moments of love, even if I would rather be sleeping and to glory in the nights I actually get to sleep.
There are days I get to go to the bathroom alone. Other days I have all three kids in there with me. I used to wonder when I would get to be alone, then started to notice the conversations that went on while I had company. We have talked about God, friends, growing up, work, good and bad memories. All because I shared my bathroom time.
I am learning to balance the two, the joy of now, the joy of the future, the sadness of them growing up, the wonderful moments of my own time, the great pleasure in having my girls close. And this I hope for all mamas, a bit of all worlds. Love and joy from all angles. Happy to balance the challenges, perspective to contain the frustration of today and excitement to face the tomorrows.