Finding my way
Well, having 3 kids in 4 years is pretty incredible. In so many ways it's such a blessing, in so many ways it's really hard, in so many ways I'm finding myself, in so many ways I've lost myself, and in so many ways I'm ever changing. There are many thoughts, struggles, and wonders I have, just trying to make sense of it all. Here are just a few conclusions I've come to...
1. MUST FIGHT FOR IT. When your world is 3 little ones, you must put on your armor every day and be willing to fight. Fight for them, and fight for you. Whatever it may be. From getting on a schedule, to eating right, to potty training, to basic manners and consideration of others. Each thing they learn, each thing you teach will be a battle. Brick by brick you are building the foundation of their entire life, and in other ways tearing down brick by brick your own insecurities. When all day every day is a battle of some kind for someone, it's easy to get lost. Lost in the constant need of someone. I've found myself having to really focus on what is the most important. Things that used to rattle me don't anymore, because I've realized those things aren't the most important. The willingness to fight for what is most important must be implemented to see progress!
2. MUST BE VULNERABLE. This is a hard one. Having the strength to be completely honest about weakness to others can be so hard. When the world expects us to have everything together all the time. In the world of easy fixes, checklist parenting, and endless opportunities and activities to get involved in, the chaos can overwhelm so quickly. Some people have said to me, "Well, going from 2 to 3 kids is easier than 1 to 2, right? Because you are used to the chaos?" and I'm thinking "Um, absolutely not. I'm drowning over here and trying to survive each day." Any time a person enters the world, everything shifts. Even if that person is the happiest, most laid back baby you have ever met, the entire world shifts, and adjustments have to be made. For me, having to be so painfully honest with others has been the challenge. Asking for help, crying when I need to, coming to the end of myself and looking to my Savior Jesus every moment to fill me has been the hardest yet most stretching growth I have experienced in a long time. The willingness to be vulnerable offers great reward, but there is risk. Risk in others' judgment, risk in losing favor, risk that there may be an argument, discipline, or some kind of accountability at the end. The risk is always worth it however, because at the end, you don't have anything to lose. Everything is in the light and there is nothing to hide.
3. MUST MAKE TIME. I guess this would mean priorities. Make time for the things that matter and cut out ALL things that don't. I rarely get into prime time television anymore. I used to be into so many different shows too! A different one every night...well on Mondays I watch this, and on Tuesdays I watch this...etc. What a time sucker that is! In today's world where to "binge" is completely acceptable and somewhat weird if you don't. Don't get me wrong, Netflix is on in my house, but my attention really isn't. Sitting down and watching a show with my husband is one thing, but getting so into specific shows just doesn't matter anymore. The only real alone time I get is during "quiet time" and that is usually filled with editing photos, writing blogs, making things, working on curriculum, CLEANING MY HOUSE, preparing dinner, or talking with friends. Those things take precedent over TV for sure! Trying to make time for my husband, my littles, myself and my family and my friends can be exhausting, but so much more worth it. Sometimes sacrificing one important thing for another can happen too. Like sacrificing sleep to spend quality time with my husband, or sacrificing the comfort of staying home to give my kids little adventures. I guess what I'm trying to say is make coffee and get moving, life is too short to sit still too long. Make time for the things that matter and cut out ALL things that don't.
4. MUST GIVE IN. When the children outnumber you, your marriage becomes that much more important. You're a team, you've got each other's backs, you take one for the team when need be, and you must be willing to set your own preferences aside sometimes. I've found myself giving in to the season much more since baby girl came into the picture. Our kids are little, they are dramatic, their whole world is our little house and their big imaginations. Instead of picking apart what I wish would change (aka my ability to sleep through the night, my ability to have a leisurely relaxing weekend, my ability to sit and drink an entire cup of coffee with a friend and fully listen without any interruptions, to name a few) I've simply given in to the season because in these few short years, our kids will be little, and then all of the sudden they will be big. So I will get up at 6 am, or get up 3-4 times a night with 3 different kids, or pretend to eat acorns for the 900th time in a row because it makes them laugh, or clean up water on the bathroom floor because they splashed a little too hard, because this season will end as they all do, and the next beautiful season will come, filled with new challenges, and new rewards as well. Instead of complaining (which does happen, I promise) I will try and choose to give in, let them be little because they are ever changing and tend to grow up a little more after each nap.
Just like this blog, life isn't written in one day, one sitting, one thought. It's when we can look back and see that each little moment that passes we make choices and those choices add up to the beautiful life filled with struggle that is ever pressing forward. Keep moving, keep looking up, keep getting up and progress will be made.