Trixie, who in the first couple weeks of her life gave us the impression that she was an easy baby who slept at night and would take naps in the bassinet during the day, has followed in the footsteps of her brother in being a demanding baby. Although it's a different kind of demanding. Instead of needing to nurse nonstop (which was Johnny's MO, leaving me totally touched out) Trixie will not fall asleep nursing and needs to be bounced to sleep. Sometimes for a very long time. Upside: it's impossible for me to just be a lump on the couch all day long, I'm forced to get a little exercise with all that bouncing. Downside: I have to bounce a baby to sleep multiple times a day.
She's also been waking up at 4:00 am like clock work for the last week, not fussy, not hungry, just wide awake with no intention of going to sleep again. Not cool Trixie, not cool. Especially since by the time we get her back down it's usually only an hour until Alex's 6:30 alarm for school goes off.
But I guess that's why they invented coffee.
School is really ramping up for Alex now. Four weeks from today the semester will be over, but getting to that point is not going to be pretty. I didn't think he could spend any more time studying than he already has been, but, I was wrong. He just needs to be studying all the time, which puts me on solo parenting duty all the time. Really the work of caring for two children is not that bad, it just gets lonely. I miss the company of grown-ups. Especially my favorite grown-up.
Then to add to the already stressful and sleep deprived state of things, Johnny got sick this week. He actually is very sweet when he gets sick, he just likes to sit and cuddle. But now that I have two babies and only one lap, it makes it hard to give both kiddos the snuggles they need and deserve. Also, both of my kids pooped through their pj's today. We are all (including me) on our second outfit for today. I'm pretty used to dealing with poop by now, but that.....that was a lot of poop.
So this is where I'm at right now. A lot of wiping butts and keeping people fed, the radio or group texts as my only window to the outside. My tendency is to feel bad for myself, and think that life is not fair. I find myself becoming envious of people who get to put on make-up every morning and drop their kids off at day care and then go work with other adults. It sounds so glamorous (as the smell of dirty diapers still lingers in my nostrils.) My life is so hard. being stuck here, in my home. with my children, it's so hard.
Then I saw this link, to a buzzfeed of all things, on Facebook and it broke my heart, shattered my self centeredness, and gave me an entirely new perspective on my situation as a stay-at-home mom.
I get to spend an entire day safe in my own home, while other parents are taking their kids and fleeing their homes and everything familiar. Literally carrying their kids across countries.
I ate my lunch today with both of my kids in my lap, while other parents are scavenging the country side trying to put a meal together.
I got to lay down in my baby's bed with him last night and watch him fall asleep on his pillow, while other parents offer their laps as pillows on make shift beds of cardboard or concrete.
I can't even image.
When I was in high school and college I was so passionate about serving the under-served. But motherhood has made any kind of service, missions, or outreach almost impossible. I struggle to even remember the sufferings of those less fortunate in light of my own "problems".
Why can I not be more mindful? I know there's not a lot I can do but being mindful, being prayerful, that's something I can do. Offering up the stresses I face today as a parent for parents who are trying to care for their children in crisis situations is something I can do. Every dirty diaper and poop explosion, I offer for them. Every toddler tantrum and sleepless night with a new born, I offer for them. Feelings of loneliness when my husband is at school or studying, I offer for them.
Jesus, be their comfort, peace and protection, and hold them in your Scared Heart, even as they hold dearly to their own children.
keep in touch!