I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again, I never wanted my kids two years apart!
We have been in a rough patch the past month or so. A three and half year old and 18 month old are a lot of work!!
I’m a scheduler and I seriously couldn’t imagine what the past month would have been like if I wasn’t a scheduler. The schedule is there to serve us and usually the schedule serves us well and leaves me able to manage everyone’s needs while still being able to hold down the fort and keep up with housework for the most part.
But this past month, I have just felt worn down! It’s been mostly Little Bug wearing me down (what’s new?) but Sweet Pea’s had some things going on with her this past month that haven’t been the easiest to deal with.
Oh Little Bug. Where shall I begin? This girl literally keeps me on my toes all day long. From wake up to naptime to wake up to bedtime, Little Bug is a whirlwind of….drama. From being picky about what she wears to wanting to change clothes a million times a day (a battle I will fight because I refuse to do more laundry than necessary!), to arguing with me about washing her hands (seriously? just go wash your hands!!) to making me laugh until I nearly pee because what she says is just that funny – this girl is one of a kind.
Funny thing is – her birth mother, Tracy, warned me that I was going to be “in for it” with “this one”. How did she know that? She said ALL her kids are stubborn and strong-willed. Those must be some tough genes! Sometimes though, when I am dealing with Little Bug’s stubborn streak – I know I might as well be talking to her birth mother. They are very similar in personality, it is uncanny. I like that because Tracy is a pretty cool person. Only difference is, Tracy has sadly channeled that gusto into the wrong things, and I pray that we are able to teach and mold Little Bug to channel her gusto into serving the Lord with her whole heart.
Back to the 3 and 1 year old. This past month I have found myself wishing they were just a teeny bit older so that they could be a teeny bit more independent and not rely on me for everything from wiping their booties to preparing their food to dressing them (except Little Bug of course) to entertaining them!
Little Bug, at nearly age 4, still will not willingly entertain herself. She has never been one to go off and play on her own. As I have wracked my brain about whether I made her this way or if this is just how she is, I have come to the conclusion this is just the way she is. On the scale of introvert/extrovert she is as far on the end of extrovert as you can go. She simply thrives off interaction with people. And even though when she was a young baby I would take her with me everywhere I went in the house, I didn’t make her be this way. This is just her. But my goodness. It makes for some LONG days though.
It would be SO helpful if I could sit her at the table with some color books and crayons, stickers, markers, whatever and let her go to town, but that simply won’t work with Little Bug – yet. I am holding out hope that maybe by the age of 8 she will be able to do something like this. Or if I could set out the play-doh and let her play for 10-15 minutes. She won’t do this if I’m not doing it with her! I’m telling you. Constant interaction is a requirement with Little Bug and it is draining sometimes! I do not mind playing with her at all. It’s just that I DO have other responsibilities that need attention – like another child who also needs attention and a home to maintain!
I’ve heard it all. I just need to “let the cleaning go”. Believe me, I have. I used to regularly clean my blinds. As in polish them. Don’t make fun of me. I like things clean. But child #2 came along and I quickly learned there were way more important things to do in this life than clean my blinds. I also refuse to live in filth – kids or not. I will clean my house. And I want my daughters to see me keep a clean house because one day that will be their responsibility too when they are married and have babies of their own. They may not have clean blinds, but that’s okay.
The sister relationship is kind of in a funky phase as well. Sweet Pea is still so young and since she doesn’t really talk much yet, the girls relationship hasn’t really blossomed anymore lately. If anything, it’s turned more to a big sister picking on little sister relationship! I have HIGH hopes that this will change simply because we are speaking words of blessing to the girls such as “Your sister is your best friend!” and surely once they are both a little older and more developmentally on the same page, their sister relationship will grow. I am pretty confident I will see improvements here by the time they are 2 and 4 or atleast by the ages of 3 and 5.
But right now, it’s been a hard juggling act to keep everything moving in the right direction over the past month. I felt myself getting into a “funk” and finally I had to have a little talk to myself (pep talk I guess you could say?).
And in those moments God reminded me that I must meet my girls where they are in life NOW. I cannot constantly wish they were a little older (or in a few years I will probably be wishing they were a little younger – that is just how life goes). I must be the Mama they need now. And right now they still need me to do so many of the menial tasks such as wiping booties even though I am so over wiping booties I could scream. This is not the only hard phase we will go through. I know there are bound to be many more after this one.
These are the best days of my life. I am not being sarcastic. I wanted this and I still do. I want to be with my children every single day, all day long. But being a mother is hard. Some days I wish I had the luxury of calling in sick. I’ll be able to do that in about 16 years, I know. However, I know that I know that I know in 16 years when my baby goes off to college I will long for these days. My Mama has told me she sometimes misses the days when we were little and she was home with us. But she also tells stories of it being hard. Even though my brother and I were angels. We really were. We don’t have stubborn genes; my mother didn’t get to “parent” a strong-willed, stubborn child until her eldest grandchild came along. I think we’ve all sat dumbstruck at one time or another by the things Little Bug has done!
This is getting a little ramblyish. So let me wrap it up by simply saying: There is so much pressure on moms these days to be the “perfect mom” but I say we just need to meet our children where they are NOW. Push through the funky phases and find the silver lining in every phase. There are silver linings. Little Bug is a comedian every single day. And it is so precious when we see God working on her little heart. He is, there is no doubt in my mind about that. She loves to be read to. I love to read to her. It is so interesting to me how a child who moves like the wind throughout the entire day can sit still for an hour and read book after book after book.
And – Sweet Pea has officially dropped her morning nap so we are FREE in the mornings now and that is helping tremendously!!