Huh. It’s been half a year since I’ve last written.
Tonight is a rarity. The four-year-old is at a basketball game with dad. The babe is asleep, the laundry abuzz, the Mumford aloud.
Life is full speed, slightly chaotic and completely amazing. Adulting is simultaneously hard and beautiful. I’m young and I’m old. I’m on top of things and I’m completely behind. I need sleep, and I need a night out. All of the above.
Mothering two sweet girls is messy and miraculous work. And I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel like I know nothing, and yet, I realize I’ve learned a few things in the last eight months of being mom to two. Here goes.
1. Savor. That extra long snuggle. That piping hot cup of coffee. That she needs ten hugs before bed. Every moment is fleeting, and the most important thing of all is to enjoy the moments before they’re gone. Because some night she won’t need me. Some night she’ll want to sleep alone. Some day I’ll have nothing to immediately do and no where to urgently go. Slow down and savor the time now. These moments will be precious memories some day. 2. Prepare. For me, part of hushing the frantic hustle is preparing. Picking out clothes on Sundays, preparing simple meals, planning who gets free time and when. On weekdays, we’ve got the routine down pat. Five a.m. isn’t nearly as terrible as I thought it would be. Everything’s ready to go the night before, and we’re out the door most days by 7:10. It’s the weekends that are harder, with dance on Saturdays and church on Sundays. The start times are late enough to feel leisurely, and yet without preparation, crunch time creeps out of nowhere. Preparing is everything.
3. Let go. The organized house doesn’t matter. Nor does the padded bank account, the Pinterest-planned menu, the matchy-matchy outfits. Forget it. What matters is that the kids feel loved and secure and look back on childhood with warm, (mostly) happy memories. Elsa was a wise queen when she sang, “Let it go.”
4. Don’t lose the dream. While you can’t do everything, you can do anything. Work or stay home. Pursue a new direction. Whatever your dream is, live it. Stay true to you. For me, that means working full-time as a professional communicator. I know my passions: writing, being productive, creatively solving problems. Kicking butt at the office energizes me as a human, which makes me a better mom.
5. Give thanks. That quote about it taking a village? It’s true. My man, our parents, aunts and uncles, teachers and caregivers. There are so many people to thank for shaping our kiddos into well-rounded individuals. I’m thankful every day for the many positive influences on our lives and our kids’ lives.
6. Prioritize. First things first. Second things never. This is my new philosophy. Weekends are never long enough, and there’s always more that could be done. What matters most? Do that. I’m still figuring out what exactly that means for me. One thing I’m working to put back on the priority list is running. When running happens, my mind is clearer and my outlook cheerier. With my husband building a major roadway this summer, it’ll take some careful planning and serious prioritization to carve out time for running. Self-care makes me a better mom. It all ties back.
Being a mom is hard work. Sometimes I feel completely unqualified to do the good work of raising little humans. No amount of books or years can prepare you for the wild ride of motherhood, but it’s the messiest, loveliest adventure I’m thankful to experience.