To the mom with a toddler and a baby,
Today, I’m thinking of you as your love is multiplying and you’re falling in love with that new baby in your arms. I’m thinking of you as your toddler runs up and wants you to hold him too. I’m thinking of you as you adjust to all the new everyday tasks that have been added to your already full plate. Sure, you probably feel that you’re juggling it all with a bit of awkwardness, but all we see from the outside is you doing with it with loads of grace and patience. You’re tired, I know. Exhausted, actually. But amidst the exhaustion you’ve found energy to intentionally love each of your sweet kiddos because you are amazing and the love you have for them runs so deep that you’d give up the world for them to feel it.
Your love for them truly surpasses understanding. It comes in the form of diaper change after diaper change. You tear up as you go back and forth between the newborn and toddler size, wondering how time has gone by so quickly when you suddenly realize how HUGE the older one has become. They may have just left you covered in pee and poop, but you wash your hands and then squeeze them a little tighter because you know how blessed you are and how fleeting time is.
That sentimental moment is interrupted by a baby who is ready to eat and a toddler who has dramatically lost a toy under the couch. You rescue the toy and set him up with an activity that will entertain him long enough for you to have a semi-peaceful feeding without there being any smothering or pulling on one of baby’s fragile ligaments. You settle in and take a deep breath, feeling a bit accomplished after making a successful transition. You are doing it! You are settling into your new normal.
After five minutes of peace, your toddler decides to wander into another room and screams for you to help him. You jump up, baby still attached, and see what he’s up to. You realize that the days of relaxed nursing while you stare deep into your baby’s eyes are long gone, and this time around you’ll become a pro in “meals to go.”
Speaking of meals, YOU are experiencing the hunger of your life. Chasing around multiple kids is no joke. Neither is finding time to shove food in your face or pump yourself with a little caffeine. You take what you can get, and even though you’ve probably enjoyed too many of those desserts your friends and family members have dropped off, it really doesn’t bother you because these days there are more important things than counting calories.
Mom life has a way of changing you. Your joy is no longer found in being freshly showered and fashionably dressed (although it feels SO good to do that from time to time). You might not feel put together, especially in those early weeks, yet you’re experiencing the sweetest moments of your life. These days your joy is found when you sacrifice for your children. You give up things so they can be your priority. Their immediate needs trump anything else you want or need to do. They are completely dependent on you, and while that can feel overwhelming, you are momma and you were made to do this.
Day after day, your confidence is building. You even decide you want to venture out to the grocery store by yourself with them. You feed the baby before leaving, which means you have exactly 2.5 hours before you need to do it again. After you pack up what seems like everything but the kitchen sink, you put the kids in the car and step back inside the house to grab anything left behind. The house is quiet, and you decide to spend just 10 seconds standing at the door, basking in the peace, before taking a deep breath and gearing up for the huge undertaking ahead of you. There you are in the parking lot, deciding how to get both kids inside the store safely. I’m thinking of you, sweet momma, as you park near the cart corral, carefully position the infant carrier in the cart, and promote your toddler to momma’s helper. I see you race through the aisles with that look of fear on your face, knowing that chaos could break out at any moment. I see you standing in line to check out, trying to remain as calm as possible when your toddler throws a tantrum and the baby starts to fuss, and you get the college-aged cashier who doesn’t have a clue what you’re going through. He hands you your receipt, which is basically like handing you a golden ticket. You survived, you conquered, and you need some Starbucks therapy.
After that there are many more firsts. The first time baby sleeps through the night. The first time baby smiles at big brother or sister. The first time you actually get them to nap at the same time. The first time you’re alone overnight with them. The first time you leave them both with a babysitter. The first time they get sick at the same time. The first time they play together. The first time they fight. The first time they giggle with each other. The first time they share without your prompting. The first time you get to drink a hot cup of coffee again. Each of these firsts is a big deal. You are experiencing something so special, so significant. Don’t let anyone ever let you feel otherwise. Little things matter, the work you are doing matters, and most of all YOU matter. Through every difficult challenge and small victory along the way, YOU matter.
So yes, today, dear momma. Today I’m definitely thinking about you. Because sometimes, when you’re in the thick of it, you just want to know that someone else gets it. You need to know that someone else gets it. You need to know someone else knows how hard it is, and how unbelievably incredible it is at the same time. Sometimes you just need to be acknowledged and remember that YOU are amazing. That YOU MATTER. That YOU are loved. That YOU are doing work that makes the world a better place.
To you, dear momma of a toddler and a baby, YOU are beautiful beyond description, and I’m cheering you on as you embrace the chaos. Keep on keeping on. I’m in awe of you.
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