Monday, December 10, 2012

Under Water

I had a dream the other night that I just knew I had to share with you all.  I know some of you will be able to relate.  It started out as a normal day.  Jason and I decided to take the kids to see a family member in Benson.  Benson is about 45 minutes away from us, a straight shot up a rural highway.  In reality, we do not have family who lives that close, so I should have known it was a dream then!  Down where we live, near the Mexico/America border, there are checkpoints on roads leading away from the border.

In my dream, we reached the check point (or what I think must have been what my mind associated with the check point) and it had turned into a "fun" obstacle course to get through on our way to Benson.  Apparently it was a fun attraction for most, something to look forward to on their way to Benson.   We entered the first "obstacle" which included taking our children through some water maize.  We both had to be there, there was no way we could make the trip if not.  Each of us had to take a baby.  I had so much trouble keeping Jackson's head above water.  He kept dipping under and I kept panicking.  We were swimming through this obstacle and I was terrified I would lose Jackson or not be able to keep him above the water.  Then we got to the second obstacle.  This one was like a ride where you sit in cars with lap belts (like on roller coasters) and they sprayed tons of water at you.  I remember frantically dipping my body below the head of the "car" we were in and shielding a baby (not sure which one I had) with my body from the water.  It was awful.  I kept thinking, "This isn't fun at all!" What started out as a "simple" road trip that so many other people were taking easily became something straight out of my nightmares.  We decided after that obstacle that it would take us way too long to get to our family in Benson.  If just two obstacles were that difficult with two babies, there was no way we would get through the rest in a reasonable amount of time.  We decided to turn around and go home.

That's all I remember.  I woke up feeling defeated.  And then I immediately associated that defeated feeling with how I feel at least once each and every day - when I try to go to the store, throw in a load of laundry, go to a thirty one party with kids in tow, cook a meal, go to the zoo, do an activity, make a phone call...  Having two toddlers (or babies) is H-A-R-D!  Normal every day events that other people take for granted seems like an obstacle course under water for our family.   I read blogs and updates from people with one child and get pangs of jealousy - not that having even one baby is easy!  But there is a simplicity there, going to the grocery store does not feel like a military operation for those families!  To be sure, my jealousy is quickly replaced by reminders of how blessed I am - two beautiful faces I get to kiss all day long, two giggling toddlers that fill my life with joy.  The overwhelmed feeling passes, for the moment.

This is not how I imagined having children would be.  I had it all planned out.  I would have one baby, enjoy every second for 2-3 years, then have another and do it all over again, enjoying every moment again, lol!  I still fantasize about having one baby at a time, all the things I could do.  But I don't have one baby.  I have two.  They are hard.  Going anywhere is hard.  Doing anything is hard.  It really, really is.  And that's ok.  It's ok to feel feel "under water."  That is motherhood.  It may not be the motherhood I fantasized about, but it is the motherhood that is real, the motherhood I fought so hard for.  And my children are amazing.  They are healthy, feisty and perfect.  I realize how blessed I am that they ARE so energetic and difficult at times - they are healthy and full of life and that is beautiful.  So I allow myself the feelings of anxiety, pressure and frustration, because they are real.   There is no point to fighting them.  Then when I notice I am feeling under water, I step back and make a point to change my energy.  I can make a choice to be caught up in being overwhelmed, or I can make a choice to re-arrange things, slow down, and make the pace of my life match my reality.  I have two toddlers.  I won't get to do as much as other parents...for now.  And that's ok.  There are worth it all.

Here is an example - we decided to try and let them eat at the table instead of with their trays like they normally do.  Epic fail.  They messed with each other, got food on their laps, smeared food on the table, started hitting each other with the forks, trading food, etc...

But look how full our laps become when we pull out a book:).


  1. We must be going through a season together ;) I totally get it. Both the good and bad. The blessings for sure outway the every day trials, but that doesn't mean they still aren't hard. It is hard to realize some parents have it pretty easy. The hardest part for me is that they just don't understand how hard it is and why I'm never around. You're doing a great job momma. Just think 5 years from now we will look back and miss this chaos. That's what keeps me going.

  2. Wow, what a good metaphor for how you feel.

    I feel defeated sometimes and I don't have it that hard. Avery plays by herself, and loves to go out and about, so I just can't imagine.

    I think two that close in age must be such a challenge. And though I think twins must be hard, I think what you are going through is harder, because they aren't going through the same thing at the same time.

    Someday you will feel caught up, accomplished and very loved as a mom (I am sure you feel that now, just not enough as you would hope). I really hope things get easier.

    Thinking of you!

  3. What a really good post Faith. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and I only have ONE. I can't imagine mothers who have 7 or more children, let alone two like you! It sounds like you are a wonderful mother who can keep her cool even when there is chaos and for that your children will be someday grateful! And yes, healthy, energetic kids are the best!

  4. I'm one of the lucky ones who goes places but only because my mom or my husband always go with me. No way could I do this alone. And I am struggling with which child needs attention at what time. I feel like one is always being ignored. This is definitely tough... Hang in there!

  5. Well they are practically twins! And twins can be SO HARD, so I hear. One really fussy baby (like my Sam used to be) can be equally is hard. I still find it hard to go places, I basically like have to set a timer in my head. She only does well on one errand and it has to be quick. But I get the logistics of chasing two toddlers, worrying about two toddlers and just the everyday little things that comes with taking care of two! Two who have the same needs no less! I feel like I'm under water a lot of the time too. You are right, I think it's just a Mom thing. Its okay to have those overwhelming feelings sometimes, because we always know in our hearts and in the back of our minds just how blessed we are :) This too shall pass, as everyone says. I'm sure you have thought of this already, but what about moving them to opposites sides of the table so they don't play while they eat? I'm sure its a messy/crazy ordeal right now...but they will get it down in no time!!! Wish I lived nearby I would bring Sam over and come help you! We could brave the errands together haha

  6. I've just caught up on this recent post! I love your writing. I have 3 kids...21 months, 4, and just over 6. Your post captured how I feel every day too!!! I also teach 34 6 year olds all day long. BUT after last week's shooting, I am more tolerant and more patient. I cling to each moment with them and revel in their mess (yes our table and floor are a disaster) and all the toys that are all over. BECAUSE I CAN. Parenting is so hard and challenging and rewarding at the same time. It is getting easier as they get older and the challenges just change a bit. And yes...there are things I just don't get to do right now and I have figured out how to make peace with that. You will too! Time moves sooo fast and you will miss these hard years for sure.