Our sweet Charlotte blessed us with her presence six weeks ago, making my postpartum recovery time officially over. Adjusting to my new life with three kids, two years old and under is in full-swing.
The first three weeks after Charlotte was born, I felt very grateful to have Matthew home with me. His work mandated three weeks paid paternity leave beginning in 2016. This was a big difference from the one day of paid paternity he got when the twins were born two years ago.
Physically, my recovery was much easier after this delivery, only because I didn't have a C-section. The first week, I was up and at 'em, and in hind-sight, doing way more than I should have been doing. Only home a few hours, yet I found myself cleaning the house and taking family walks. Not wanting to waste any of the precious time we had Daddy home with us, I made sure to arrange fun summer things to do with the boys, like going to the strawberry patch, the zoo, the splash pad and a few playgrounds. We made fun memories, but I do wish that I would have taken more time to rest during those three weeks, as I was feeling really tired and fatigued by the time Matt went back to work.
One great thing about having Matt home for three weeks was that he was a HUGE help with our rambunctious two year olds. Having his help with them was greatly appreciated, as both boys were displaying behavior issues in the days and weeks that followed their sister's arrival. He would often take them with him to the gym or the pool to burn off energy, and I would often take one of them with me for quick errands here and there, just to try to get a little one-on-one time with them, as we all adjusted to a new baby in the house. Daddy even camped out with them in the living room one night, which the boys of course loved, and I took them on a donut date one morning to show them a little extra attention. Six weeks into our new lives with a baby, and the big brothers are still adjusting but doing much better than when baby sister first came home.
When the three weeks of paternity leave were over, we were all ready to get back into a routine. Matt was more than ready to go back to work. I was obviously not looking forward to doing twelve hour days on my own, but I was anxious to get back to a daily schedule.
Three weeks later and into a new routine with three little ones in the house, and I'm not gonna lie....I am one tired mama! I'm still adjusting and trying to find my groove. I wish I could be Super Mom and get a bazillion things done in a day, while taking care of my "angel" kids....BUT....
The reality is that my days start early and end late.
And most days I'm just keeping my kids alive.
I've come to ACCEPT that.....
They don't call it the terrible two for nothing. My twins are more work now than when they were babies, and more exhausting than the new baby!
Showering can only happen at night after Matt gets home.
Messy buns and maxi skirts define my outward appearance this summer.
Wearing a little makeup, perfume and jewelry help me feel better about myself in the mornings.
Coffee gets reheated at least 2-3 times each morning before finishing a cup.
A sugar-free protein bar is what I'm calling breakfast.
Baby weight takes time and work to come off.
Only getting my cloth diapers and one other load of laundry accomplished in a day is sufficient for now.
Making easy meals every night will do just fine until I can figure out a way to make more time in the kitchen. After all, no one is starving around here.
Getting the house cleaned on the weekends is not ideal, but for now it is the only time I can do it, and that's ok.
Nursing is a full time job. Somehow, I had forgotten that.
Daddy taking the boys out of the house for a couple hours on the weekend and leaving me with the newborn feels like vacation.
Getting a nap is not realistic, but if all three kids nap at the exact same time, I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT AND NAP TOO!
Freezing and canning what I have time for from the garden is all that's going to happen this year, and giving away the rest can be a blessing to someone else.
Shopping with two toddlers and an infant has been interesting, but we are managing. I am certain that every week I go through the checkout line with a screaming infant who knows it has been two hours and is ready to nurse, and a two toddlers that have been confined to a cart for too long with an insane amount of energy laughing and speaking in their own twin language for all of Target to hear.....well, I am certain watching us checkout is great birth control for all of the teenage cashiers.
Blogging or doing anything for myself will happen when it happens, as it is not something that NEEDS to get done.
And most importantly, taking a moment to cuddle my newborn or play with my boys should always trump my to-do-list.
Why? Because time will always move forward, and I will never get these moments back again.