You want to know how to make time go really really fast? Have a baby. Works every time. I finally understand what people mean when they say, "Don't blink! It goes by so fast!" It's not that time actually passes more quickly than usual, it's that you're in such a fog. I have a feeling that one day, when the kids are grown, the fog is going to lift and Zach and I are going to look at each other and say, "WHAT JUST HAPPENED." This girl's arrival has brought on the fog like none other.
The other day I told Zach I feel like a broken record on social media lately. Every time I post something it's basically the same thing: "Newborns are crazy. I'm tired. Motherhood is hard. I can't do this. Maybe I can. No I can't." Rinse||Repeat. Zach shrugged and said, "Well. That's where you're at right now." And that's true. But things are starting to get better. We're getting into a groove over here and I think I might actually be able to do this.
I've discovered the secret to getting through this adding another human to your family thing. It's as simple as making a list of things that are ok and not ok. When you start to feel overwhelmed and like you're the worst mom ever, go to the list. Some of the things on my "this is ok" list : dirty laundry, unfolded laundry, unmade beds, tv as a babysitter, napping in the middle of the day, eating out, and the occasional shower cry. On my "not ok" list : saying negative things about myself, ignoring the boys to "get stuff done", criticizing myself -- especially my body, crying in the shower every day, not taking a shower, snapping at Zach simply because he's there, and comparing myself to other moms. When things on my "not ok" list start happening, it's usually because something on my "this is ok" list has moved into my "not ok" list and my emotional/mental state is suffering because of it. So I take a deep breath, assess my surroundings, and say "This is ok. This mess is ok."
I'm not supermom. I can't do all the things and I shouldn't try. The newborn stage is literally the shortest season of childhood and I don't need to do much else other than feed that baby and play with the boys. The messes will always be there and that's ok. I'm not able to cook three meals a day and that's ok. The boys default to Zach right now and that's ok. I have fat in places I've never had fat before and that's ok. I weigh more than I've ever weighed before and that's ok. I haven't been alone for more than 10 minutes since Anna was born and that's ok. This is ok.
If you're in any stage of motherhood where you feel like you're drowning (maybe that's every stage?), try and take a deep breath and just say, "This is ok." No one is giving out trophies for accomplishing everything every day. I mean...they definitely SHOULD BE doing that, whoever those people are that would hand out such a thing, but they don't and you won't be getting one. Chances are, your husband won't even see everything that you're doing. He'll just see the mess of a wife that trying to do too much makes you. Your kids will only get the version of you that is stressed out and overwhelmed because you're prioritizing the things that make you stressed out and overwhelmed. So do what you need to do to get by and to the rest, just say, "It's ok."
Because it is.