I became a full time SAHM and left the hot rod shop I was working at about 6 months ago mostly because of my then 10 month old. Yes, I blame her. But in a good way. As much as I loved my job, my baby loved me more. It was a sad decision but a good decision.
This week I was asked if I could cover a couple days while the boss babe was on vacation. Clara, now almost 16 months old and not as dependent on me, and Kate were over the moon excited to have some other toddler interaction without me around all day. Henry was in school so it made it easy for me to say "Yes!".
I prepped well. Or so I thought....I made childcare arrangements early on. I packed lunches the night before and (maybe) even went to bed early.
Then morning came...
Getting all three babes dressed didn't seem like a big deal. It started out easy, like every other morning for us, me working or not. Getting kids dressed, check! Then came a new pair of shoes for Henry that involved actually tying his shoes. To be fair, he is still learning, but I thought "he's got this". He didn't have it... and he got really frustrated, really fast, and turned his bunny ear loops into tight knots which made me really frustrated. Small setback, but he got one shoe on and headed downstairs to put the other one on so I could get breakfast going.
Now, I sometimes take a little pride in my morning routine. One kid goes to school, the other two don't; but I get all three ready for the day at the same time. So, giving my almost 16 month old her morning applesauce pouch planned to be, ya know, breezy. Notice I said, "breezy." You can't SAY "breezy"... that negates the breezy! Clara actually squeezed the sauce all over her fresh onesie that I had just put on her 10 minutes before. All the while, my oldest was a hot mess over attempting to tie his second shoe.
Believe it or not, the only child holding it together was my middle child, Kate. She owed me though, as the day before, she whined FOR AN HOUR because I had the nerve to pick her up after being away from her for 8 hours... "Nice to see you too, sweet baby Kate."
Wait, there's more...
In trying to prep ahead, I thought it'd be a great time to run four lunch boxes, a backpack, a diaper bag, a blanket, and two stuffed animals out to the car while the babes seemed to be pulling it together, so I got everything together and went to grab the car keys.
I know that I know that I know that I CLEARLY remember bringing in the car keys from the night before and putting them on the counter... like I do at least 85% of the time. But as I dumped the diaper bag out and searched every room three times, frantically looking for my keys and trying not to lose it, I lost it. Particularly the moment when I found them laying on the backseat of my very locked car.
I wept. Like a baby. I could no longer hide the exhaustion I was feeling.
I actually thought that all these morning events were trying to steal my thunder of getting some "me" time at a place I so dearly loved and at one moment declared, "I JUST WANTED TWO DAYS OF ME!!".
In all the chaos, I still made it to the shop on time. My car stayed in the driveway, but with the help of family, some venting, and adjusting plans, all the events that happened in a 40 minute time span had faded by noon time. It all worked out. I got my two days.
I'm not entirely sure how working parents get thru the week and look like they have it all together. Maybe they don't. But, I'm grateful that I actually get to be with my kids full time. I'm grateful that on occasion, I do get to have "me" time. Day or night. Working. Not working. I'm grateful that my everyday mornings don't look like this particular morning. I'm also grateful that Henry has slip on shoes, Clara has more than one onesie, and that Kate channels in on my moments of weakness and gives me grace!
Babies are miracles. However easy or difficult it is for one to conceive, the science behind it all makes it amazing enough to know that they are God given blessings.
Clara wasn't entirely planned out for Jared and I. After we had Kate, we were comfortable with our one boy and our one girl and two was enough. It wasn't until Kate was about two years old that I started having small bouts of "baby fever" here and there. I'd ask J, "Are you sure you want to be done?" and "Maybe one more?", and it just never went past that. I remember getting to the point where I, pretty frankly, asked Jesus to give me the greatest peace about being content with two babes or to clearly speak to Jared and I that we were not done with growing a family. A week later, I got two pink lines on the pee stick. So, there's that.
I've never loved being pregnant, for selfish reasons. I've never been the mom that embraces my "pregnant body", my "mom body" and I never felt the "glow" of being pregnant. It was exhausting and I was moody and sharing my body was painful and very uncomfortable. That's not every expectant mother's experience, but that was mine. I loved the gentle kicks tho. I love hearing her heartbeat at each appointment. They were reminders that LIFE was happening.
Her birth story was very different than the first two. When her "due date" came, I figured I had another 9 days of waiting because that's how it was for Henry and Kate. So, I was thoroughly surprised when my water broke 4 hours after her "due date" came and went.
I don't necessary want to give you the gory details of leading up to her birth as it was pretty traumatizing for me. But in short, my placenta ruptured, which caused quite a panic to get to the hospital. After laboring at the hospital for about 5 hours, it was quite apparent that I wasn't progressing in a way that was healthy for Clara. In fact, in was causing a lot of stress on her whenever I had a contraction which in return, was causing a lot of stress on me. So, a cesarean was what needed to be done to make sure she was ok. She was born with her cord wrapped around her enough that she was very blue and did not enter earth side screaming because her lungs were so full of fluid. This might be more common than we think but in the moment, it was very scary. And when I heard her finally make her first sounds, my anxious self felt so much weight lifted off my shoulders. I never imagined an entrance that she gave us but was so relieved to finally get to hold my babe.
#clarassojoyful has so much purpose. She has been my most high maintenance, extremely needy and demanding baby. I have lost a lot of sleep, had to quit my very (self) fulfilling part time job, not been able to adult the way I want or need, made what seems like too many sacrifices because of her (that sounds awful)... But, she's also full of so much life and brings more smiles than not to everyone around her. Even as I write this, it's clear to me that she has played a huge role in forcing me to essentially walk into a whole new season of my life that I never saw coming. One that has challenged me and given me me a new found purpose for goals, passions and desires, and a new understanding of who I am.
I celebrate you, Clara. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. For you, my joy babe, are perfect, just the way Jesus made you.
Friday, February 3rd, I got a phone call, while driving home, that my 3 year old swallowed a penny. She imagined said penny was orange juice in her play cup and she "drank the juice." Even tho she appeared to be fine, the triage nurse at her pediatricians office directed me to the ER. As she sang her heart out to the music that was playing in the car (Seriously!), I'd ask her how she was... "My kinda hurts," while pointing to her throat.
After a 2 hour ER visit at our local Children's Hospital, an x-ray determined that the penny was in her stomach. She'd naturally get rid of the penny. So...
We went home. We celebrated my birthday. I got my girls night and a long over due date with my man and then Sunday came.
The beginning of Sunday and what has led up to today makes me appreciate a 2 hour ER visit for a swallowed penny. At least the 2 hour visit was just that. 2... hours. Because, since that Sunday, I have been sick, which my 11 month old inherited, which my mother inherited, which my 3 year old inherited, and now, currently, my 8 year old has inherited.
We have cancelled plans, washed dirty laundry, cleaned toilets and tupperware bowls, gone to the doctor's office for tests, and done a lot of laying around the house.
I like being home, I do... until I have to be home, all the time. Then I want to not be home! There's something about being forced to have no options to want to have options. I want my kids to be healthy. I want to choose when I want to be lazy. I want to not throw up. Seems reasonable, right?
But, the reality is, we just don't always get what we want when we want it. So, in my pain of having cabin fever, I wait... and look forward to having a whiskey with an adult instead of wearing the same t-shirt for the last 3 days...