Sometimes, I feel like if I'm going to talk to you all in real time, I need to preface the post. I can get so into a rhythm of sharing Worth Sharings, This Is How I Feels or The Great Big Essays on Motherhood, that I forget how much I enjoy sharing with you all about nothing, or maybe it's that I'm sharing about everything.
It's been three months since babygirl was carried into Oakland Avenue, and it has been the most exhausting, wearying and trying three months of my life. I can't tell you how many nights were spent, particularly in those first two months, holding a crying babygirl, with me sobbing right along with her. I was holding her, sure, but I was offering no real comfort, because in those moments, I needed it too.
I've come a long way since those tearful nights right after my husband and I made the decision to move. With the addition of reflux medicine and the truth in the fact that colic really does clear up around three months, Colette has become unrecognizable. She's seriously calmer, quieter and more predictable than Eli was at this age. It's bizarre. Mike and I often still find ourselves in disbelief that she's the same baby we had just a few weeks ago and there's this part of us that is still walking on eggshells around her, just waiting for her to keep us up all night again, burning our ears with her cries. But beyond a few nights here or there that have only lasted a few hours or so, and the typical fussiness that always comes with a baby at this age, she seems to be pretty stable.
It's funny, because I cried when she was crazy and I'm crying now thinking about how not-crazy she is and far we've come. A lot of people are asking me how the transition to two has been. They have also been a bit worried about me. Admittedly, the posts have been heavier around here. A little raw. But it's where I'm at. That's not to say I am not LOVING motherhood. I do and I always have. It's the best job I've ever had and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not so thankful I have these two amazing kids to raise and I get to stay home all day with them.
But my world sorta imploded when my second arrived. With Mike taking a new job out of state five days after she was born, we had just 10 weeks to sell and purchase a house, say goodbye to everything we knew, and move into temporary housing. And with Colette having the one-two punch of colic and reflux - well, it made for a tough few months.
For me, it's a bit hard to sift through all that's been happening in the last three months to know what was hard because of adding a second, or what was hard because I had to prepare my house to sell with a toddler at my feet and a baby in my sling. I can't tell you if I was distressed and weary because I was constantly trying to carry both my clingy toddler and my newborn up and down the stairs or because I was flying back and forth to our new hometown in Chicago, living part-time at my mother-in-law's and part-time in a house that didn't feel like mine since we change the decor to sell. I can't tell you if I was tired because babygirl was literally up all night or because of the mountain of cleaning, organizing, paperwork, phone calls and emails selling and buying a house requires. (Okay, I can tell you - I was tired because of babygirl. Hands down.)
And so my writing here reflects that. It's not just transitioning to two. But some of it is. A lot of it probably. Yet each post doesn't mean that's everything there is to it, they only spotlight one thing I'm feeling in this season out of many, many feelings. The thing is, as moms, we're always going through different seasons in this one big huge season of motherhood, right? This is a more difficult one for me, but it's not the end. It's nothing to be concerned about. In fact, it is just the opposite. I know from experience that these seasons, the ones that put our character and values to the fire and show how they burn, they are the ones that refine us to gold. And isn't that what we should want?
It's kinda a weird feeling this stage I'm in. I'm back to some of my old routines, but yet I still feel a bit off kilter. Like a wanderer. Out of place and unsettled.
But then I look around and see Eli riding Mike around like a horse, shouting "Giddyup!" and Colette hanging out on her playmat talking to the giraffe's colorful feet and everything centers itself again. I may be in an unfamiliar place, but it's a bright and blinding reminder that my home is not made up of four walls around me, it's the people that live in it.
Before we moved, every time I would get down on it, I'd remind myself, "But I get to take my three best friends with me. The three people I love most, in this entire world, they're coming too." And somehow, it took a bit of the sting out of it.
And so as hard as it's been, it's really been okay. It's good actually. I'm good. I can see the light ahead - in fact - when I think about it more I'm in the light right now. I've got everything I need and could ever want right here in front of me: my family. Because in all of this, as cliche as it is, they're really all that matters.
So onward we march to the next adventure.
*Photo: Leah Fontaine