One Month.

It’s a month today since I became a mother of three. A mother of three. Just typing that makes my eyes well up. Can I chalk it up to hormones? Because, honestly, I don’t know why I’m teary about it. Going from a mother of none to a mother of one was definitely special. Going from a mother of one to a mother of two seemed par for the course. But becoming a mother of three? I’m really in this now.
And I suppose I feel I’ve learned a thing or two about being someone’s mother but how much could I have learned in five years when really, I’m learning more and more everyday. And not even about being a mother but about who I am.

Here’s a recent revelation I had: I really suck at mediating disputes and coming up with getting-along ideas. It’s not surprising, though, if you know me. I tend to shy away from confrontation and let other people deal with the mess. If it’s a battle I feel is worth fighting, I’ll make a weak attempt at engagement but otherwise, the drama is not for me. So, most of the time, I let the kids handle it. The rest of the time, I fumble around for a response that’ll make every kid happy… which is mostly impossible, as we parents know.  That, or I let my sister Kate handle it. *ahem*

But I know there are other things that I’m good at, so I try not to dwell too much on my shortcomings. But if you ask me what I’m good at, I’ll draw a blank. I mean, I must be doing something right because my children are generally delightful little people with good hearts, normal kid behavior nonwithstanding. I don’t worry at all that I’m screwing this up, though I do wonder if I can do it better.

{I had to stop working on this to tend to various household chores and living creatures. During that time, I remembered one thing that I do well: answering my kids’ “Why” questions, even if I sometimes have to pull the answer out of my ass.}

When I first became a mother, I really struggled with feeling wistful about my life pre-children, and pre-marriage, even. I always felt a mild urge to go back to work, even though I know myself well enough to know that I can’t balance a career like teaching with the demands of motherhood. I mean, I could do it but everything would be done half-assed and I’d be a miserable person. That feeling has lessened somewhat since Stella’s birth and now, with Micah, I have fully accepted that I won’t be going back to work full-time until I’m nearly 40.  It feels like a long way off but I know better now how fast the time goes. Almost 5 years at home with Alice, and it has gone by so fast, in retrospect.

I’ve learned to be present. I’m not always good at it but I make an effort to try. The moments where I feel most frustrated and impatient are the moments where I think ahead too fast or expect too much of myself and the kids. Stay present. Stay present. It’s really the key, I think, to being the mother of any number of kids without losing your sanity.

So, one month down. A lifetime of months to go. It’ll be easy. It’ll be hard. It’ll be somewhere in between. I’m taking it day by day,  learning my lessons as I go.

2 thoughts on “One Month.

  1. dionysianmysteries says:

    Remember when you went back to work for Stella for a few months? IIRC it kind of sucked, haha. Its a great blessing to let go of working and selfworth tied to having a JOB.

    Great post… I'm def working on the sibling things too, there's some books I browsed – Siblings Without Rivalry. And "You're stuck together, so stick together!" a book for kids. I try to thank each kid for taking care of each other, it helps! Just narrating the situation also helps me deal without feeling like a referee, or feeling like I have to solve the problem in some way. I take a mediator approach. "You want her to leave the dolls alone, is that what you're trying to say?" "You want to play with them too." Eliciting help, "What can we do to work this out, what would make you feel good?" I too let them work out minor stuff that doesn't seem to be physical or overly emotional, I put the responsibility on them to move out of the way, go take a break, find a new spot or thing to play, put their things up. I remind them of their options without telling them what to do if I can avoid it. Your desire to avoid confrontation is not a bad one, you can make it work for you in approaching things peacefully without your own emotions leading. You can also ask yourself, WWIDIWAT… what would i do if i were a teacher? LOL.

    Sorry to say Its going to be an ongoing thing especially when Micah gets old enough to mess with the girls and their stuff! haha! Hope any of that helps, I know its a drag to sit around reading/researching when youve got a nursling and kids underfoot, so there's some ideas for you in brief!

  2. Heather says:

    Greetings! My name is Heather and I was hoping you could answer a quick question about your blog! If you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail.com that would be great!

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