Sunday, January 27, 2013

The ride of my life

Well I finally made it back around to blogging.

I just gave myself a pat on the back for that.

Ya know. Talking to people who have larger families I heard these two things countless times:

1.) Kid number 2 was the HARDEST adjustment for me. It is a lot different than just taking care of one child. After that you can do any number.


2.) Kid number 3 was the HARDEST adjustment for me-because you have more children than you have hands and more children than you have adults. After that you can do any number.

Well. The verdict is in. I fall in the second category.

For some reason I didn't think it would be that much of an adjustment since I did daycare last year and sometimes had 4 extra kids. My logic was: if I can watch 6 kids for 8 hours a day surely 3 of my own will be just fine.

I expected some adjustment of course, but more what I went through when I had my second. Not bad. Not bad at all. Even with Jaxons health problems...not bad at all.

So dont ask me why 3 was initally so hard. I really dont know. I consider myself a prompt, responsible person. So why with one extra kid did that get shot down the drain? Late to church, late to preschool, late to the pediatrician, late with dinner (if dinner got made), late to bed, late to wake up, the list went on......

I just couldn't keep up. I felt like I was on a roller coaster that never ended. I was so frustrated with myself as a mother.

Then. On one particular day. (I think Tyce was about 3 weeks old at this point)  I hit my breaking point. I had woken up late, was running late taking maya to preschool and in doing so forgot to feed her breakfast. I couldn't find socks for Jaxon so I shoved his boots on and quickly put him in the car without a coat. Maya, Jax,  AND Tyce was crying in the van as we drove to preschool. I did the walk of shame to mayas preschool to take her to class but couldn't remember the code to get in the building. Luckily another mother was late -who obviously still has her mind- because she remembered the code. I walked maya in late to her class than ran to the van.

I got in the car and started to drive. Tyce was now screaming, but at this point if I didn't keep going I was going to be late for my pediatrician appointment. Tears started to swell as I drove and I called my mother. I said, "I know its too late for this.....but I dont think i'm ready to have 3 children! I cant do it. "

You can hear the same piece of advice a 100 times in your life. But sometimes, once out of that 100 times it sticks. It is now lodged in the back of your brain forever. This was one of those moments. After recounting my mornings madness my mother wisely said to me,

 "Holly! You NEED to lower your expectations. "

my response: "Im not expecting much at this point! I just want to shower, eat , and get my kids where they need to go on time. How can I lower THOSE expectations??"

Mom: Well, you can wait to shower in the evening when Ryan is home, let the kids cry for a minute while you eat something, and being on time???? HA! Now you know why so many mothers with lots of little children are late. Just accept that you will be late UNTIL you adjust to 3 kids. It will happen. Just be patient and lower. your. expecatations.

The perfectionist in me was wanting to fight everything she had just said. But my gut told me that she was 100%  right.

At this point I had pulled off on the side of the road (my mother demanded it once she realized I was crying and driving- smart woman. )

I hung up the phone and drove to my pediatrician appt. As I drove I had a quote that I love come to mind.

"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."    -Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Maybe it was my headache that brought this to mind...... But I made a decision. Even though it is NOT in my nature to be lighthearted when I am stressed. I was going to make a concious effort to do so. On top of that I was going to....

lower my expectations.

Accept that I was going to be late for a while, maybe not have showered or gotten ready till AFTER dinner. That meals were going to be from Artic Circle, frozen chicken nuggets, or pizza for a while.

Then a couple weeks later I stumbled across this blog post on facebook. It too was life changing.

The next time I took maya to preschool: I was still late. Her hair wasn't done. (she did get fed though. I was mighty proud of that. ) Tyce was crying in his carseat again, but I took a deep breath as I walked her in late to preschool and said to myself "lower your expectations. This is ok." and you know what? It kinda worked! I got in the van and thought to myself. Just laugh.

It was definitely a forced laugh. But there were no tears. :)

I am now happy to report that things are going MUCH smoother. About the time Tyce hit 8 weeks old I started to gain a little bit more control. Here at 12 weeks old I am now arriving to preschool and appointments on time again, cooking dinner again-mostly, breathing, Ive even thrown in a few workouts here and there, I shower on a regular basis, im breathing. Hooray! Drops of Awesome for me! That doesn't mean life is perfect, but I just wanted to throw this out there to anyone else going through a time of adjustment. As moms we can be so hard on ourselves. Yes we have a big responsibility in raising our children. But there will be times where we wont measure up to our own expectations. In those moments-

Lower your expectations until you adjust.

Laugh and find a way to enjoy the ride.

and when you do have small victories

Pat yourself on the back and give yourselves a "Drop of Awesome!"

Cause you know what..... WE deserve it.