Today is the last day that I will be the mama of two kids under three. Leo turns three tomorrow and I'm flooded with feelings of happiness, pride, sadness and relief. Mostly, I'm just glad we survived this year. (Please keep any "If you think two was hard, just wait until three!" comments to yourself.)
It's been a tough year. An amazing year, certainly, but I've been short on sleep, patience, and time to myself. It hasn't been any one thing that has made this year difficult. Leo has had his two year old challenges, but nothing out of the ordinary. Zoe is a pretty easy baby. They get along great. There's nothing exceptionally challenging about our situation - and yet... When I am out and about with both kids we get a lot of sympathetic smiles and "You've certainly got your hands full!" comments. I usually smile and respond by saying, "Happily so, but yes, quite full!" I've also had two separate people reminisce about when their kids were the ages my children are now and refer to it as "the weeds." That rang so very true. I find these comments so validating.
I know I'm not the first person to have kids. People have juggled more kids/multiples/closer ages with less support, smaller budgets and fewer resources - but I'm not embarrassed to say this year has kicked my ass. Going from one kid to two has taken me for a spin.
I keep thinking things will settle down soon. That I'll catch up. But I'm coming to terms with the fact that this is just our new normal. And that's ok. I'll get better at it. Or things will shift again. It will work out somehow. Or at least time will continue to march on.
In the meantime I'm doing my best to not rush this time. It doesn't need my help - it's flying by all on it's own. I try to remember to be in the moment as much as possible. Even if the moments are totally hectic. Leo will never be two again. It's bittersweet.
I'm trying to balance remembering that there is a light at end of this tunnel and also reminding myself that I don't WANT to be rescued from this time in our lives. It's a lot of hard work, but the rewards are monumental. My babies are babies. They are forging this amazing relationship with each other. They are learning hundreds of things each minute. They need me (seriously, like every freaking second). I take comfort in, but also lament that things won't be like this forever.
I'm probably still going to feel overwhelmed. I'll probably still raise my voice or snap at my partner. I'll probably even break down and cry some days. The truth is I have no illusions that it will get easier, I just know it will get different. I have many years ahead of me to pee alone. And when they are here I probably will miss the days when most of our problems could be traced back to a kid being either too tired or too hungry.
Newborns are tough. Toddlers are tough. Preschoolers are tough. Big kids are tough. The teenage years are a breeze, though, right? No? Ok. So kids are tough all around.
Each stage has it's unique challenges and rewards and I'm sure whatever stage you are muddling through at the time seems like the stage that is finally going to break you. I'm pretty sure I'm going to survive. Many before me have. So, if you are in the weeds with me, maybe we can get together for coffee in about twenty years and complain about how the kids never call.