What?? It’s Friday already?!?! What happened to this week (month, etc.) Sometimes I seriously can’t remember if it is spring or fall or what year it is, not to mention my first name. Serious newborn brain. Or maybe it’s just mom brain?? But, life goes on…at an alarmingly fast pace sometimes when you’re chasing 4 around.
Lately I have often felt as though someone is missing as we go about our daily “routine”. And usually someone is. The tricky part is figuring out WHO. I start counting and trying to remember how many I am supposed to be counting now. I’m not even kidding.
We’re all better off when I have a couple attached to me….
I am suddenly (and humbly) “that mom”. You know – rolling in late to most activities, usually with at least one (usually 2 or more) screaming children, and doing my best to at least appear like I have my life together (but I oh so do not). But, I try extra hard because I chose to have 4 kiddos, so I’m already labeled as crazy for that in itself by some.
I am not even going to apologize for the fact that the blog has been a teeny bit quieter. I spend my evenings nursing. And nursing a very cute and squishy baby, I may add. But, attached to someone most of what used to be “me time”. Kid-free time does not exist except in small spurts of exhale-I-need-sanity moments. The good news is that by the 4th I at least expect this for a few months. AND (I am so going to jinx myself here…) she happens to sleep numerous consecutive hours after that, so tied to the couch in the evening I will be.
Did I mention I rolled my ankle almost a month ago now? I think that may have just thrown me over the edge. Could have been so much worse, but it definitely threw me for a loop. I had “survived” the pregnancy, been handed my perfect baby and now I was being thrown a curve ball. I couldn’t even go on a walk, which had been my saving grace with my other three babies. Me sitting still never goes over very well. I understood intense baby blues more than I ever had before.
This hike was my first attempt…and this picture doesn’t show how bad off I was. A mile “kid-hike” was almost not doable. But, we were getting out, by golly!
I really could go on and on. My mental place up until pretty recently was far from great. And I knew that. I knew I should be thankful that in the grand scheme of things, everything was (and is!) very, very good. But, I’m pretty good at throwing a full-out pity party. Blow up the balloons, hang the streamers and call the WAAAAAAAmbulance to take me away. Life was a bit harder than I wanted it to be and, despite a very supportive husband, I wasn’t too happy about it.
It’s so easy to turn things internal – to assume that I deserve things and space and time and for everyone’s attention to be on me. I know that sounds extremely childish, but I dare to claim that I am not the only one that feels that way. In fact, I am sure of it. Our society is so me, me, me.
It’s ok to take time for myself (a poor attempt below), but not ok for my rotten attitudes to rule everyone else’s day. And, in many ways, that is exactly what was happening.
Taking this a bit further….
In general we (meaning you, me, them, etc.) skirt around difficult opportunities. We want the easy way out. And usually there isn’t TOO much wrong with that. Except when it prevents us from challenging ourselves and pushing ourselves and overcoming obstacles so we can try something that helps make ourselves (and those around us) better.
People with babies don’t get outside as much because it’s terrifying. And it is! People with kids don’t take them into public places quite so much because it’s humbling. And it is! Families choose to stay close to home because it’s easier. And it is! But, it’s richer and more beautiful and more rewarding beyond the walls.
I failed when given the opportunity to think of my baby and my healing body before my desire to be strong and “normal” again. It just made me mad and bitter. I wanted to be keeping up with my family skiing and running and hiking. Shame on me for not letting it go and understanding this was only a season. People deal with far larger obstacles on a daily basis for the rest of their lives.
Fast forward a few weeks. I got over myself just a bit. I healed just a bit more. I insisted on appreciating intoxicating baby cuteness and the uniqueness (however infuriating that may be at times) of my other three children. I walked some more, I breathed a whole lot more, and I stepped back just a little more. Because the rest of them (and me!) are worth it.
Today we biked 15 miles. Win for me because we went kid speed (what in the world am I going to do when “kid-speed” is so much more than “preschool speed”??) I had just a little glimpse into the reality that there is hope in adventuring without the weight of the aches and pains that pregnancy and recovery, etc. brings. I will get those extra 40 (!!!) pounds off and be able to keep up once again. But, it just won’t be today. And that’s ok. I’ll swallow my pride and let myself be in the family photos anyway (and then show them to tens of thousands!! of you too…)
The truth is it couldn’t have been more gorgeous and more freeing for me (yep, thinking of myself here!) I’m less than two months out from a baby torpedoing out of my body (which is an entirely different story). I have a lot of healing still to go. But, despite all that, this stuff is worth it.
I guess I shouldn’t talk because I wasn’t the one hauling serious weight behind my bike, but I birth the babies, he hauls them….and I nurse them when they’re hungry (whenever and wherever).
It’s easy to invite people to my pity party. It’s easy to complain and moan and pull people in. But, you shouldn’t come. Really. Life is better than that. Don’t be lured by other invitations either – they’re all around you.
Intimidated by the fact that hiking with kids is sort of like herding cats? Yep, me too. Let’s get over it together and get out and teach the little ones that we need this too.
At the end of your patience and happy-face rope? Yep, me too. Let’s let some fresh air refill our tank.
Overwhelmed by the amount of time it takes to pack for camping (and oh! the unpacking!) with a family? Oh, sister, I feel ya! But, let’s go anyway. This is what the memories are made of (even the full-on failure trips).
I’m choosing to move forward, keep on adventuring and not waiting for the “perfect” time to get out (because it is never, ever going to happen). The best time is now. And tomorrow. And the next day.
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