three things: advice to all the moms with littles

advice to moms with littles

There is a slew of advice to be found in the mom-blog universe, so I’ll leave the methodical parenting to the experts (ha! The experts. Really, YOU are the expert re: your own children. But I digress.) I’m pretty good at giving practical, bullet-point style advice and now that I have three boys of my own, I do have a bit of experience under my belt. So for all you mamas spending your days and nights with little people, under the ages of 4, lets say, here’s some nuggets-o-widsom.

Stick your mug of room-temp coffee back in the microwave and zap it- you’ll be done reading by the time it beeps.

Continue reading “three things: advice to all the moms with littles”

find shelter, dear mama

find shelter

My sister-in-law is a new mother to a sweet 10 week old lil peanut and she was recently able to steal away with her mom and sister to see a Broadway show, making it the first time she was apart from her new love. My brother did great flying solo, btw, but when she was reunited with le bebe, I just happened to be with them. I made the comment, “It feels great to have a break, and it feels great to come back to your babies,” and if this doesn’t epitomize the tension of love that is motherhood, I dunno what does.

Continue reading “find shelter, dear mama”

groceries, gratitude, and letting God break in

groceries
I took all three of my boys grocery shopping today.
 
If you are a Mom, you probably flinched at that, right? Michael and I try with everything in our scheduling power to make sure that one of us can do the weekly shopping sans little ones, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.

Continue reading “groceries, gratitude, and letting God break in”

Jesus: The One and Only

Jesus-one-and-only

The time of year is fast approaching (and is already here) when I feel like I’m floating…direction-less…just kind of going through the motions of what I need to do but without much passion. The creative things that I was buzzing about even 2 months ago have evaporated and I can’t even remember what they were. I was so excited and now…I am floating. I am not unhappy but there is a distinct loss of some spark, something.

Is it summer? Does summer kill my creativity? Does the oppressive heat and thick humidity and constant drone of the a/c suck the life out of the right side of my brain? Another coffee will not kick start it. Believe me, I’ve tried.

I know life comes in seasons blah blah blah (I’m sorry for being so rude and dismissive) but I want to feel more than just some baseline happiness. Is that greedy? I am happy. Am I content? I want passion! I want to be excited about something! I want to wake up with ideas and energy and the desire to hit the ground running. Create something new! And beautiful! And to connect with people who are interesting!

Aaaaand then I feel a crashing guilt that I don’t already feel all those things towards my own children. Why? They are amazing and I love them! But it’s just so. much. work. all. the. time.

The beauty and wonder of motherhood get so very lost in the constant cleaning, serving, delegating, disciplining, feeding, etc. etc. etc.

There are no Big Picture Moments. I feel like I’m drowning in the details of it all (so many feelings!)

I don’t want to be detached. But I also don’t want to vomit my frustrations onto my poor kids. Cue balloon mode.

Pause. Teach me to pray. Lord, you are with me! I know this. It’s hard to remember sometimes. You have placed me in this role, this responsibility, this job, for this season. Help me! Help me to do this work out of Your strength. I don’t have it in me. The strength, the joy, the contentment. I need Yours. I need You to fulfill me. I need You.

Teach me to run to the well, run to You, when I am in this place again. Teach me to drink of You. Be quenched by You. I am thirsty, I am tired. I need You.

Here’s what I’m already thinking so I might as well be honest. I am afraid that motherhood will not satisfy me. Will not be enough.

And this is true. It will never be enough. 

Mothering will never deeply satisfy. There is no vocation, or pursuit, or relationship that can quench that kind of thirst.  Not on that eternal, gut-ache-level as you sit alone in the universe, crying silent prayers to the night sky, desiring something beyond all of this and something that will never disappoint-level. Something more powerful, more perfect. Unlike anything or anyone else. Even motherhood cannot assuage that kind of longing.

And then I read John 1. Theological poetry about a life lived and given over and offered as the Only One that will satisfy. For our sins, for my longings, for our peace with God, for all time.

Lord, only You can do that! Only You will ease that aching place within me. You are the One and Only, Jesus.

 

The Word became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.

Indeed, we have all received grace after grace
from His fullness,
for the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The One and Only Son—
the One who is at the Father’s side—
He has revealed Him.

(John 1:14,16-18)

Lessons from the Third Child

Lessons

Here are some things I’ve learned since having my third child:

  • Organic teething wafers will allow you to (almost) enjoy a meal without interruption (almost.) One pack at home, two for a restaurant meal. Just go ahead and work that cost into the overall price of your bill. It’s worth it.

 

  • You don’t need *all the baby gear* -somewhere for them to sleep, a way to help you carry them easier (I love a sling for infants, Ergo for big baby), a few simple onesies and footie pj’s, a car seat, and eventually one baby spoon and one cup. I’m a convert to minimal baby items. Don’t need that extra stress of trying to match the correct lid to cup and there’s like, 20 options to sift through. Just…no.

 

  • How to add an extra punch of protein to any meal. It’s amazing how much more energy your body needs to care for three children and yourself. Actually, scratch that. It’s amazing that we can do that, period. (Hint: add nuts to everything.)

 

  • If you have help, even for an hour, use it. I’m sure that thousands of years ago, mothers would be like, “Hey, sister-wife? I need to go, uh, rustle up some herbs for this stew here so, can you watch the kids for a sec? Thaaaaanks. BRB.” The  baby will not remember if you take a walk by yourself or go mindlessly browse Ross for 45 minutes. Get a fancy coffee or a milkshake. Listen to a podcast that has nothing to do with babies or parenting. Breathe. Don’t try to have complicated conversation with anyone. Small talk with the barista is all you need right now. Remember that you are a person, and now also a mother. Again.

 

  • And finally, This Too Shall Pass. Teething, growth spurs/sleep regression, spitting up fits, dirty diaper fests, doctors visits. But also- first belly laughs, two-teeth smiles, baby chatter and squeals, early morning snuggles. Savor the moments that make your insides fill up with light and hope. Either way, in the sweet and in the difficult, just take a deep breath and open your hands. The sun spins so much faster third time around.